SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Jews and Health: Tradition, History, and Practice

In the time of Coronavirus, the preservation of health, the prevention of infection, and the healing of the sick have become our foremost concerns. The topics of health and illness play a prominent role in the Jewish tradition from the Hebrew Bible onwards. In the Book of Job, the protagonist is given advice by his friends on how to deal with the disease that afflicts him. In the Babylonian Talmud, rabbis provide medical advice in the context of Hellenistic and Persian medicine. Jewish physicians were present at the Ottoman sultan’s court. Jews also experienced epidemics such as the plague in earlier periods already and understood the need for social distancing and adjustments in religious law. This lecture series looks at health, illness, and medicine amongst Jews from antiquity until today.

The lectures will take place on Zoom on Wednesdays from 18:00-19:00h. Attendance is free of charge. Advance registration on Eventbrite (at the links provided below) is required separately for each lecture. Places are limited to 50 for each lecture. Those who have registered will receive a Zoom link a few days before the event takes place. For questions please contact the organiser at

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