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Talmudic Medicine: Between Magic and Science

Hosted By: Haberman Institute

Although medicine is not the first topic that most people expect to encounter when studying Talmud, this corpus is in fact the richest collection of medical remedies in ancient Judaism before the rise of Islam. The Talmud contains dozens of complex therapies for over a hundred physical afflictions, ranging from toothaches and headaches to more serious conditions like pleurisy or strangury. Many of these therapies rely on natural ingredients such as plants or animal products, while others are superstitious spells or amulets. In this lecture, Professor Mokhtarian describes the ways in which the rabbis adopted and adapted the scientific knowledge of their time in order to address the health needs of their community.

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