Celebration & Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism

By Rela M. Geffen | Go to book overview

daughter vehemently objecting. And what of the rights of a "significant other" in the decision-making process, whether of the same or opposite sex as the patient? The rabbi also has to decide her or his halakhic-ethical norm: whether to look for a consensus among halakhic opinions, to choose one mentor and remain consistent, or to judge each case on its own merit and involve several opposing opinions so that there will be room to maneuver as the case develops. Much more is at stake here than halakhic or medical opinion. Painful emotions, such as love, guilt, and ones arising from intrafamily conflict, have to be dealt with sympathetically. Ideally, the physician and the rabbi should play the role of counselors, who listen and guide but never pontificate. In this way they may help the family grope toward the appropriate solution for their specific set of circumstances.


NOTES
1.
Hayyim Dov Chavel, ed., Kitvei Rabbenu Moshe ben Nahman, Vol. 2 ( Jerusalem: Mossad Ha-Rav Kook, 1964), Torat Ha-́Adam, pp. 11-311; see esp. p. 18.
2.
Newsweek, 20 November 1989, pp. 82-83; Philadelphia Inquirer, 27 November 1991, pp. 1A-2A.
3.
Naḥmanides, Torat Ha-'Adam, p. 42.
4.
The view that one must expose oneself to possible danger is not incorporated in the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides or the Shulḥan Arukh of Joseph Caro, possibly because they and the Bavli disagree with the Yerushalmi on exposing oneself to danger.
5.
On the other hand, opinions have been offered that one should flee the city when there is a plague and one should not visit lepers; Ḥoshen Mishpat 426; Y. Gruenwald, Kol BóAĺAvelut, pp. 17-18, nn. 5 and 6. An article by David Novak , "AIDS: The Contemporary Jewish Perspective," in Stephen Katz, ed., Frontiers of Jewish Thought ( Washington, DC: B́nai B́rith Books, 1992), 141- 56, has recently appeared. Novak deals with the moral and halakhic issues of caring for victims of AIDS. He cites Naḥmanideś model of the obligation of the physician as commanding care when cure is impossible and making this care an act of compassion and imitatio Dei. However, despite the obligation to give care he considers the active homosexual and the drug user to be in the category of a "provocative sinner" (mumar le-hakh́is), whose actions are habitual and willful. We must, he says, heal their souls while we care for their bodies and respect

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Celebration & Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 3
  • Be Fruitful and Multiply - Issues Relating to Birth in Judaism 12
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 31
  • Parents as Partners with God - Parenting Young Children 32
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 52
  • From Bar/Bat Mitzvah Through the Teen Years - Challenges to Parent and Community 53
  • Notes 70
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 70
  • Choosing Judaism - Issues Relating to Conversion 71
  • Notes 88
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 88
  • Marriage - Judaism's "Other" Covenantal Relationship 90
  • Notes 122
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 130
  • Midlife - From Understanding to Wisdom 132
  • Notes 147
  • The Altar Weeps" - Divorce in Jewish Law 151
  • Introduction 151
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 166
  • Bikkur Ḥolim - Sickness in Jewish Law 167
  • Notes 196
  • The Crown of Glory - Aging in the Jewish Tradition 202
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 223
  • Death and Mourning - A Time for Weeping, A Time for Healing 226
  • Conclusion 249
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 249
  • Glossary 252
  • Contributors 258
  • Index 261
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