Our Bodies

tattoo

Tattoos

The Torah explicitly prohibits tattoos. But does that mean a Jew with a tattoo cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery? Read one rabbi's reasoned response.

Read more


Clothing

Jewish Clothing

Jewish Clothing

Clothing has reflected religious identification, social status, emotional state and even the Jews' relation with the outside world.

Hats and Head Coverings

How and when a Jew covers his or her head is a spiritual declaration and a social statement.

Modesty

Discretion in appearance and speech is designed to protect our souls.

Jewish Clothes

A slideshow of Jewish clothing.

Dress in Judaism & Islam

A cultural and religious analysis.

Adorning the Body

Adorning the Body

Adorning the Body

The Bible imposes some specific limitations on what we may do to our bodies.

Tattoos

The biblical ban on tattooing remains in force, but a contemporary rabbi probes its rationale.

Body Piercing

Jewish law does not prohibit it, but Jewish theology and ethics raise serious questions.

Cosmetic Surgery

If it does not serve a medical purpose, it's frowned upon by the Jewish legal tradition.

Beards and Sidelocks

Beards have become a powerful symbol of Jewish manhood.


Health and Illness

Health and Healing

Health and Healing

Judaism generally views medical treatment positively, even as an obligation.

Caring for One's Health

Jewish law mandates a healthful lifestyle.

Smoking, Alcohol, and Drugs

Jewish culture values sobriety, individual responsibility, and health.

Saving a Life

Most of Jewish law can and should be set aside in order to avoid endangering a person's health or safety.

Overcoming Addiction

Messages from Jewish tradition to help combat substance abuse and other addictions.

Healing

Illness and Healing

Illness and Healing

The Bible sees folk healing as idolatrous.

Biblical & Post-Biblical

A clear distinction between medicine and magical healing developed only gradually.

Rabbinic & Post-Rabbinic

The evolution of attitudes towards physicians, beliefs connecting illness and sin, prayers for healing, and the use of folk healing traditions.

Contemporary Healing Movement

Jewish "healing" is more about providing communal support than about curing the sick.

Faith Healing

Curing with supernatural powers is viewed with skepticism in Judaism.

free newsletters