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The Eleventh B’Or Ha’Torah Miami International Conference on Torah and Science

The Shul of Bal Harbour, Surfside, Florida

December 11-14, 2015

Heart, Mind Behavior and Purpose

 

 

Arthur Agatson, MD

Health Cardiologist, Baptist South Florida

Spiritual and Clinical Insights into Healthy Eating and Nutrition

ABSTRACT

Healthy living and the prevention of many illnesses depend on the adoption of healthy eating habits and weight management. Clearly, this is an increasing societal challenge. Today, over 60% of Americans are overweight and nearly one out of three are obese. The public today has access to much nutritional information, but what do you really need to know?

In this seminar session, Dr. Alan Rozanski and Dr. Arthur Agatston will overview selected topics regarding the spiritual nature of healthy eating and both clinical and psychological approaches towards healthy nutrition. The nutrition seminar will be divided into three parts  

Dr. Rozanski will first overview selected aspects concerning the Torah’s perspective on the successful steps toward healthy eating, including the role of such factors as discipline and mindfulness. Dr. Agatston will then cover selected clinical concepts concerning the principles of healthy eating. This will include an overview of healthy versus unhealthy carbohydrates, as well as healthy versus unhealthy fats, and what constitute healthy snacks, beverages, according to national recommendations for healthy eating.  In addition, Dr. Agatston will cover the subject of glycemic index, the role of gluten, applied nutritional concepts, such as the reading of food labels, and general concepts concerning weight management. This will include a general discussion regarding the factors influencing obesity and the role of diet and exercise in managing weight.

          Of course, simply knowing what is healthy and unhealthy food is only part of the battle that many people face in managing their diet and weight. Often, we know what to do but do not know how to do it. In the third part of this seminar,  Dr. Rozanski will address certain selected psychological drivers of eating habits. This part of the seminar will cover the concept of comfort foods, emotional eating and stress eating, and the role of social and environmental factors which govern mindless eating. Dr. Rozanski will then provide examples of motivational or goal setting techniques that individuals can use to better manage their eating habits or exercise activity.
 

Agatston
 

Arthur Agatston, MD, is the Medical Director of Wellness and Prevention for Baptist Health South Florida. A pioneer in cardiac disease prevention, Dr. Agatston worked with Dr. Warren Janowitz to formulate the Agatston Score, a method of screening for coronary calcium as an indicator of atherosclerosis that is used at medical centers throughout the world and considered by most experts to be the best single predictor of a future heart attack. Dr. Agatston is a clinical professor of medicine at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His cardiology practice in Miami Beach is focused on preventing heart attacks in high-risk patients.

Known as the author of the internationally best-selling book, The South Beach Diet, his first nonacademic work, Dr. Agatston created his balanced approach to healthy eating to help his patients improve their blood chemistries and lose weight. Today, the South Beach Diet is the trusted choice of millions and there are more than 23 million copies of The South Beach Diet and its companion books in print worldwide. The lifestyle program has grown to include Web-based materials and a family of healthy and convenient foods, including delicious and nutritionally balanced bars and snacks, as well as a popular online program, SouthBeachDiet.com. Dr. Agatston’s most recent books, The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution and The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution Cookbook, were published in 2013.

Dr. Agatston has published more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts in medical journals and is a frequent lecturer across the US and around the world on diet, cardiac imaging, and the prevention of heart disease. In recognition of his contributions to cardiac prevention, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) created the prestigious Arthur S. Agatston Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award in 2011, which is given annually to pioneers in cardiac prevention. Among his many television appearances, Dr. Agatston was featured along with President Bill Clinton on Sanjay Gupta’s 2011 CNN special, “The Last Heart Attack.”

Dr. Agatston can be found on the Web at SouthBeachDiet.com and EverdayHealth.com and he is also an advisor on heart health for Prevention magazine. He lives in Miami Beach, Florida.

e-mail

 

Professor Nathan Aviezer

Physics, Bar Ilan University

Second Creation Narrative in the Second Chapter of Genesis: A New Approach

ABSTRACT

The Torah contains two creation narratives.  The first-chapter narrative (“In the beginning, G-d created the heaven and the earth…”) is followed by a very different second-chapter narrative (“These are the generations of the heaven and the earth when they were created…”).  The two creation narratives constitute one of the sharpest arrows in the quiver of biblical critics. They claim that these two narratives were written by two different authors and later joined by an anonymous editor to form Genesis. Biblical critics also point to the two different expressions for G-d in the two narratives.  G-d is called Elokim in the first chapter, but HaShem Elokim in the second chapter.  They claim that these two different names of G-d further supports their thesis of two different authors.

Various explanations have been proposed for the two creation narratives by those who remain faithful to a single Divine Author. We here propose a new explanation which answers the following questions:
1. What does the second creation narrative add to the first creation narrative?
2. Why do different names for G-d appear in the two narratives?
3. Why are the two narratives so different?  For example, in the first narrative, the plants precede man, whereas in the second narrative, man precedes the plants.
4. Why was man “formed” in the second narrative, but “created” in the first narrative?

5. Why are the raw materials mentioned from which man was formed (dust of the earth)? For no other item are the raw materials mentioned.
 



Nathan Aviezer is Professor of Physics and former Chairman of the Physics Department of Bar-Ilan University in Israel.  Aviezer is the author of 140 articles on condensed matter physics.  In recognition of his important research contributions, Aviezer was honored by being elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

In addition to his scientific research, Aviezer has a long-standing interest in the relationship between Torah and science. He is the author of three books on this subject: In the Beginning (in nine languages), Fossils and Faith (in four languages), and Modern Science and Ancient Faith (just published).  Aviezer teaches a course at Bar-Ilan University on “Torah and Science,” which was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize.  Aviezer is active in the organization of an annual Torah and Science Conference which attracts hundreds of participants from all over Israel. 

Born in Switzerland, raised in the United States, Professor Aviezer received his doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, and subsequently held a research position at the IBM Watson Research Center near New York. In 1967, Nathan and his wife Dvora made aliya to Israel. The Aviezers have four children and fifteen grandchildren and live in Petach Tikva.

aviezen@mail.biu.ac.il

 

Professor Joseph S. Bodenheimer

B’Or Ha’Torah Editor-in-Chief

President Emeritus and Professor of Electro-Optics, Jerusalem College of Technology-Lev Academic Center

“Communication – A Divine Gift to Humans”

ABSTRACT

Most people of almost any religion, and many non-religious people, too, feel that we are interacting with realities beyond the realm of science. The highest form of supernatural interaction is with the A-lmighty. Divine communication with humans differentiates us from other created beings. Our Sages define our unique feature as ruah memalelah, a communicating soul. This enables us to communicate with G-d, through prayer and through other forms of expression, and also to dialogue with one another. Although animal and birds can communicate, even between different species, they lack the unique divine spark that G-d instilled within us and instructed us to nurture. This divine spark empowers us to interact meaningfully with each other, whether through speech, poetry, graphic arts or music, and to create by means of the fine arts, science, and technology.

Are modern communication devices improving or distorting our divine gift of meaningful communication?


 

Editor-in-chief of B’Or Ha’Torah, Joseph S. Bodenheimer is a full professor of electro-optics at the Jerusalem College of TechnologyLev Academic Center (Machon Lev) and president emeritus of this unique college. He received his PhD from the Hebrew University in physics. He did postdoctoral studies in laser spectrometry at Kings College, London University, and discovered two previously unknown phase transitions and also developed a new spectrometric technique.

In 1982, Professor Bodenheimer was appointed head of the electro-optics department of the Jerusalem College of Technology. In 1989 he was elected rector and subsequently, up until 2009, was president of JCT. Under his leadership, JCT expanded dynamically to become a world-class institute, supporting Israel’s position as a global hi-tech superpower, while combining Torah and academic studies.

Professor Bodenheimer has endeavored to make Israel a world leader in the field of optical engineering through his students and applied research. Awarded substantial research grants from institutes and foundations throughout the world, he has published over eighty papers and holds eleven patents in a broad range of electro-optical devices and systems.  He has served as consultant for numerous high-technology companies in Israel and the United States and as a member of several national scientific committees.

Professor Bodenheimer sets aside time for daily Talmud study, and teaches regular shiurim. A founding member of the California chapter of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, he is a member of the Zomet Institute for Halacha and Technology, a member of the board of Nishmat Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women, and the president of Ramban Synagogue in Katamon, Jerusalem.

Fascinated by the combination of science and technology with Jewish studies and ethics, Joseph Bodenheimer is a life-long Zionist leader who loves working with young people, especially his own extensive family. He and his wife, Rachel, have eight children and many, many grandchildren.

ysefb@jct.ac.il

 

Daniel A. Drubach, MD

Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota

Meditation and the Brain

The Internet and the Brain

ABSTRACT

Meditation can be defined in different ways, and the word is utilized in different contexts. Several forms of meditation exist, but they all have in common the use of intense focused attention directed to either an intrinsically or extrinsically generated stimulus. Stimulus mental manipulation and permutation is also utilized in some practices. Meditation also incorporates other cognitive and metacognitive processes, including that of perception and imagination, as well as the recently conceptualized process of foreground-background perceptual shift. As with other cognitive modalities, the meditation experience can be expanded and strengthened with practice and repetition. Recent advances in various neuro imaging techniques (such as functional MRI and PET scanning) have allowed us to correlate the experience of meditation with the activation of highly specific systems in the brain, including the default and salience modes networks. Exploring the process of meditation can teach us much about brain functioning; conversely, exploring the neurobiology of meditation can clarify the process of meditation.  Therefore, I will discuss the highly dynamic neurobiology of meditation and its potential benefits in self-development. I will discuss the relationship between meditation and certain concepts in Judaism, such as  that of “selective” perception. Furthermore, I will also discuss the commonalities between prayer and meditation from both a neurobiological and process perspective.

Daniel Drubach, MD, completed double training in neurology and psychiatry at the University of Maryland and then went on to complete a fellowship in neurorehabilitation there. He was head of the Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program and co-director of the Coma Emergency Program at the University of Maryland for several years. He then went on to join the Behavioral Neurology Division at Mayo Clinic, where he has worked for the past twelve years. He is active in the training of medical students as well as residents and fellows. He has written extensively on the neuroscience of music, meditation, language, religion, and many other topics. He also has published several articles discussing how the application of newly discovered neuroscience concepts can help us answer existential questions about free choice, empathy, mystical experiences, and other phenomena. He has given a number of lectures on this subject at multiple academic facilities. His main interest, however, is the interface between Judaic precepts and neuroscience. He is deeply convinced that the study of Judaic works can help us understand the brain, and vice versa.

Drubach.Daniel@mayo.edu

 

Professor Menachem Feuer

Jewish Studies, Philosophy, and Comparative Literature, York University, Toronto

ABSTRACT

Biographies of great individuals are always the subject of much discussion and debate. The questions posed usually turn around what is remembered, how it is remembered, and whether the account has veracity. There is, in other words, always a kind of suspicion or cynicism that surrounds a biography. Jacques Derrida has made a distinction between Gedanchtnis (thinking memory) and Erinnerung (interiorizing memory). He argues that both “internal” types of memory, today, have to pass through the “externality” of the letter and, like much information, go to the archive. This suggests that every attempt to render true living (bios) memory—whether as a “thinking memory” or a memory that can be “interiorized”—is put into question by writing itself. Derrida associates this challenge to true memory with deconstruction. In her book, Postmodern Saints, Edith Wyschogrod challenges deconstruction by arguing that sainthood, on the one hand, “generates moral practice,” since saints are selfless and exemplary in their way of life; on the other hand, sainthood, as conveyed by hagiography, “highlights the breach between belief and practice.” The biography, in other words, brings out a conflict between “cynical reason,” which doubts the veracity of the spiritual and professed belief, and “altruism.” What tips the scale is what Wyschogrod calls a “grammatical mood” to express “personal desire on the one hand” and “social obligation on the other.” Working with a few different biographies of the Lubavitcher Rebbe—but also including Eliot Wolfson’s—I would like to outline the tensions articulated by Derrida and Wyschogrod and argue that biography can challenge the cynicism they evoke.

 


 

Professor Menachem Feuer has a PhD in Comparative Literature and a Masters in Philosophy.  He teaches Jewish Studies at York University in Toronto. Feuer has published over twenty-five essays and book reviews on philosophy, literature, and Jewish studies in several book collections and peer-reviewed journals including Modern Fiction Studies, Shofar, MELUS, German Studies Review, International Studies in Philosophy, Comparative Literature and Culture, Ctheory, and Cinemaction.

Professor Feuer is the author of Schlemiel Theory (www.schlemielintheory.com)—a blog which is dedicated to the Jewish comic character otherwise known as the schlemielIn its first two years, it has over 5,000 followers and 100,000 views. He also writes regularly for the popular online journal Berfrois. Feuer is currently working on a scholarly trade book on the schlemiel for Indiana University Press’s lauded Jewish Studies collection. Besides doing work on the schlemiel, Feuer is also the subject of a 2011 documentary entitled Shlemiel by Toronto film director Chad Derrick. You can see it at www.shlemiel.net

mfeuer@rogers.com

 

 

Dr. Norman Goldwasser

Internet Addiction in the Orthodox Community

ABSTRACT

Addictions in general have increasingly been more prevalent in the Orthodox community in recent years, and the focus has recently been more placed on the toxic effects of Internet addiction and its effects on individuals, relationships, work functioning, and spirituality. As the effects of the modern, secular world continue to invade the boundaries of this community, efforts to understand and analyze the specific toxic effects of the Internet, and to contrast that with the ways that the Internet can enhance the lives of people and families, as a constructive source of information, will be discussed.

The presentation will first address the various ways that the Internet can be used effectively and appropriately, including the access of vital information for business, medical, and educational purposes, as well as for business and personal networking, connecting with people from the past, and to maintain contacts with far-flung family members. Then, the focus will shift to the risks and dangers of Internet use, beginning first with the psychological dynamics of the addiction process itself, and then shift to the unique qualities of the addiction to the Internet. Several aspects of this addiction will be addressed, including the obsessive preoccupation with the various aspects of smart phones, such as emails, texts, IMs, Whats App, Face Time, Facebook, Twitter, chatting, groups, and their effects on the lives of individuals and their daily lives. Then, other aspects of the Internet addiction will be discussed, including over-preoccupation with the news, compulsive shopping, and random browsing. Finally, the dangers of the Internet in terms of the development of sexual addictions will be addressed thoroughly, specifically with regards to the unique dynamics of these addictions, exposure to pornography, as well as the more serious risks of engaging on-line with other people for the purpose of sexual arousal and gratification.
 


 

Dr. Norman Goldwasser is a licensed psychologist based in Miami Beach and Boca Raton, Florida. Originally from Newport News, Virginia, he went to high school and yeshivah at the Talmudical Academy and Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Maryland, and then went on to earn degrees in psychology and health science from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his graduate training at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, where he received his PhD in Clinical Psychology and a masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Dr. Goldwasser has been the Director of Horizon Psychological Services for the past twenty-one years, where he has led an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals who work collaboratively to meet the increasingly complex needs of our community. He is a nationally renowned speaker who has inspired dozens of communities across North America dealing with a wide range of topics, and has been a popular speaker at a number of different conferences over the years. His areas of expertise include trauma, addictions, sexual orientation confusion, marital conflict, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, depression, and Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. Dr. Goldwasser is also the Director of Victim Services or Jewish Community Watch, an organization that strives to stop child sexual abuse, and to provide support and treatment for victims. He also has been an experienced practitioner and consultant in EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a dramatic treatment for trauma, that literally transforms the lives of victim of traumas.

Dr. Goldwasser lives in Miami Beach, where he has been active in Jewish outreach, both at the campus and family levels. He has eight children, six of whom are married, and is the very proud of grandfather of twenty grandchildren. 

normangoldwasser@gmail.com

 

Professor Simcha Gottlieb, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami

Knowledge, Knower, and Known:

Maimonides’ Nutritional Science and Twenty-First Century Medicine

ABSTRACT

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon– Maimonides, or the Rambam (1138-1204 CE)—was a preeminentTorah scholar, philosopher, and physician whose medical writings were ground-breaking in his time and remain pertinent today.In his comprehensive halakhic compendium Mishneh Torah the Rambam presents dietary and lifestyle guidelines for establishing perfect health—and goes so far as to say that compliance with these principles guarantees longevity and freedom from disease. Moreover, his confident, pragmatic advice is presented in a context of spiritual devotion and moral integrity. As such this work constitutes an extraordinary confluence of science (such as it was up to the twelfth century) and Torah. Close examination reveals how this seamless integration of physical science, empiricism, ethics and metaphysics —a product of Maimonides’ uniquely Torah-based philosophy and epistemology—is also consistent with principles of Hasidism that emerged centuries later.

This paper will:

(a) identify core dietary principles embedded in Maimonides’ halakhic and medical works;

(b) compare and contrast these principles with contemporary scientific studies in nutritional therapeutics;

(c) weigh the respective strengths and weaknesses of “gold-standard” RCT clinical trials and reductionist micronutrient studies vs. the whole-systems complexity of traditional medicines;

(d) explore contemporary clinical applications of these findings;

(e) trace Maimonides’ effort to reconcile rationalism with revelation, Greek/Arabic logic with a Biblical/rabbinic perspective on the limits of human knowledge; and

(f) suggest ways in which Maimonides’ implicit philosophy of science presaged both today's emerging medical science and modern expressions of hasidic philosophy. In that vein his works can contribute significantly to present-day clinical practice and the future evolution of medicine.

צילוםGOTTLEIB

Simcha Gottlieb, MS, is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine; formerly Adjunct Professor at thePacific College of Oriental Medicine (NY and San Diego); currently in clinical practice in an integrative setting at Miami’s Mount Sinai Medical Center. He has studied and practiced nutrition and natural medicine for more than four decades—initially as an apprentice and colleague of the renowned nutritional counsellor Meir Michel Abehsera  and subsequently as a board-certified herbalist and acupuncture physician. His credentials also include many years as a pioneering writer/producer for Jewish Educational Media and Chabad.org.

gotsimcha@gmail.com

 

Rabbi Simon Jacobson

The Meaningful Life Center

Can A Rebbe be Captured on Paper?

ABSTRACT

The very concept of a biography seems antithetical to the nature of a spiritual leader. To a large extent, a biography is meant to be an objective portrayal of the individual, not a hagiography. But a spiritual master, like spirituality itself, is primarily about a personal, subjective experience -- one that touches the heart and soul of its adherents. How can that be expressed in a detached biographical account? It would be like trying to capture the soul—or music—on paper. No wonder we don't find in Jewish literature (until modern times) what would qualify as biographies of Jewish leaders -- not of Abraham, not of Moses, not of David and not of all the other great sages, mystics and prophets. Their lives were captured not by an outside observer, but in their Torah and wisdom, which was copiously documented. This paper will address the pros and cons of the three recent books written about the Rebbe in context of the question: Is writing a biography of a Rebbe achievable?
 


 

Rabbi Simon Jacobson is the author of Toward a Meaningful Life (William Morrow, 2002), founder of The Meaningful Life Center (meaningfullife.com), and publisher of the Yiddish-English weekly, The Algemeiner Journal (algemeiner.com). Rabbi Jacobson served as the documenter and publisher of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe’s public talks from 1979 till 1992. He also headed the research team for Sefer Halikutim, an encyclopedic collection of hasidic thought (twenty-six volumes, published from 1977 to 1982). Rabbi Jacobson has deeply impacted diverse audiences in all continents with his keen insights into the human condition, applying Torah thought to contemporary life, in a cutting edge voice that is rooted in the timeless teachings of Judaism, while being profoundly timely and relevant.

simon@meaningfullife.com

 

Professor Nathan Katz

Just the Facts, Ma’am: Biography, Fact and Meaning

Nathan Katz is Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, at Florida International University in Miami. He served there as Director of Jewish Studies, Director of the Program in the Study of Spirituality, Bhagwan Mahavir Professor of Jain Studies, Kaufman Professor of Global Entrepreneurship, and Chairman of the Department of Religious Studies. He is also Academic Dean of the Chaim Yakov Shlomo College of Jewish Studies in Surfside, Florida.

The author of fifteen books and more than one hundred scholarly and popular articles, Professor Katz has won four Fulbright awards for research and teaching in South Asia, where he has lived for more than seven years. He has been named a Master Teacher by the Florida Humanities Council an unprecedented twelve times, and in 1994 his classroom excellence was recognized with a Florida State University System Teaching Incentive Program award. In 1999 he won the President’s Award for Achievement and Excellence, the most prestigious distinction awarded by FIU. His most recent book, Who Are the Jews of India?, was a finalist for the 2000 National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Studies. The book also earned the 2004 Vak Devi Saraswati Saman Award from India.

Professor  Katz’s research spans the religious traditions of South Asia and focuses on Indo-Judaic Studies. He has written more than a dozen books about Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism. His most recent book is Indian Jews: An Annotated Bibliography 1665-2005 (2013). His other books include The Last Jews of Cochin: Jewish Identity in Hindu India (co-author with Ellen S. Goldberg, 1993); Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies: Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma (co-author, 1988), and Buddhist Images of Human Perfection (1982).

The editor of the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, an academic journal devoted to exploring the interactions and affinities between Indian and Jewish civilizations, he has been a pioneer in establishing dialogues between Jews and Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, on international and local levels. In 1990 he was invited to participate in the historic Tibetan-Jewish dialogue, hosted by the Dalai Lama at his palace in Dharamsala, India. He was a featured character in Rodger Kamenetz’s best-seller, The Jew in the Lotus, and he made an appearance in the film of the same title.

katzn@fiu.edu

 

Professor Alan Rozanski, MD

Cardiology, St Lukes Roosevelt Hospital, NY

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

 

Spiritual and Clinical Insights into Healthy Eating and Nutrition

ABSTRACT

Healthy living and the prevention of many illnesses depend on the adoption of healthy eating habits and weight management. Clearly, this is an increasing societal challenge. Today, over 60% of Americans are overweight and nearly one out of three are obese. The public today has access to much nutritional information, but what do you really need to know?

In this seminar session, Dr. Alan Rozanski and Dr. Arthur Agatston will overview selected topics regarding the spiritual nature of healthy eating and both clinical and psychological approaches towards healthy nutrition. The nutrition seminar will be divided into three parts  

Dr. Rozanski will first overview selected aspects concerning the Torah’s perspective on the successful steps toward healthy eating, including the role of such factors as discipline and mindfulness. Dr. Agatston will then cover selected clinical concepts concerning the principles of healthy eating. This will include an overview of healthy versus unhealthy carbohydrates, as well as healthy versus unhealthy fats, and what constitute healthy snacks, beverages, according to national recommendations for healthy eating.  In addition, Dr. Agatston will cover the subject of glycemic index, the role of gluten, applied nutritional concepts, such as the reading of food labels, and general concepts concerning weight management. This will include a general discussion regarding the factors influencing obesity and the role of diet and exercise in managing weight.

Of course, simply knowing what is healthy and unhealthy food is only part of the battle that many people face in managing their diet and weight. Often, we know what to do but do not know how to do it. In the third part of this seminar, Dr. Rozanski will address certain selected psychological drivers of eating habits. This part of the seminar will cover the concept of comfort foods, emotional eating and stress eating, and the role of social and environmental factors which govern mindless eating. Dr. Rozanski will then provide examples of motivational or goal setting techniques that individuals can use to better manage their eating habits or exercise activity.
 


 

Professor Alan Rozanski, MD is the Chief of Cardiology at St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital in NYC and Professor Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Early in his medical career, Dr. Rozanski received a two-year sabbatical fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation to study the determinants of health-promoting and health-damaging behaviors at various medical campuses across the US. Subsequently, Dr. Rozanski assumed the position of Director of Preventive Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, before joining the faculty at St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital. Dr. Rozanski is internationally recognized as a leading authority in behavioral cardiology, a nascent field which combines the conventional practice of cardiology with the study of psychosocial risk factors for disease and the use of conventional and holistic techniques to promote cardiac and overall health wellness. Dr. Rozanski is the author or co-author of over 250 medical articles, including many seminal articles in the areas of cardiac stress testing, cardiac imaging, preventive cardiology and behavioral cardiology.

E-MAIL

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Rabbi Eliezer Shemtov

General Director of Habad in Uruguay

Spiritual Heredity according to Maimonides, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi and Carl

Jung

ABSTRACT

Maimonides in his Mishne Torah says that WE saw the giving of the Torah. Rabbi Schneur Zalman wrote in the Tanya about our inheriting faith, love and fear of G-d from our forefathers. Are these statements compatible with Carl Jung’s ideas regarding genetic memory? In what ways are they similar? In what ways do they differ? What might the practical implications of these different views be?

What other sources can we find in traditional Jewish texts that would buttress or challenge this connection?

What can we find in the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s teachings regarding this matter?
 

 

Rabbi Eliezer Shemtov was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1961. He received rabbinical ordination from the United Lubavitcher Yeshivoth, Brooklyn, NY, in 1984. In February of 1985 he was sent together with his wife Rochel by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, may his merit shield us, to establish Habad of Uruguay. Since then has served as its general director.

Rabbi Shemtov has published hundreds of articles in English and Spanish addressing a wide range of topics related to Judaism, focusing primarily on the relevance and applicability of the age old messages of the Torah to the modern-day Jew. His books include:

Dear Rabbi, Why Can't I Marry Her?, A Dialogue on Intermarriage (Targum Press, 2006).

A Bridge to Somewhere, An Uruguayan Rabbi and an Agnostic Argentinian explore their Judaism. 2010

Ser Judío Hoy, (Being Jewish Today) 55 temas para el creyente, descreído, ateo, agnóstico, pensante, curioso, interesado, desinteresado, moderno y posmoderno., 2011

Veamos de qué se trata, Un paseo guiado por el judaísmo. 2014

e-mail

 

Rabbi Professor Avraham Steinberg, MD

Neurology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center;

Hebrew University–Hadassah Medical School;

Talmudic Encyclopedia; Yad Harav Herzog, Jerusalem

 

The Halakhic Definition of Motherhood

ABSTRACT

A natural continuation of mitochondria replacement therapy would be the halakhic definition of motherhood. I propose to discuss this with an enlargement to definitions of the most basic concepts—human being, motherhood, fatherhood—in face of new fertility technologies.
 


 

Rabbi Professor Avraham Steinberg, MD, is an associate clinical professor of medical ethics at the Hebrew University–Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem. He is the author of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics, published in seven volumes in Hebrew (two editions) and three volumes in English (translated by Dr. Fred Rosner), for which he was awarded the Israel Prize in 1999. Professor Steinberg is a senior pediatric neurologist at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. He directs the Medical Ethics Unit at Shaare Zedek. Head of the editorial board of the Talmudic Encyclopedia, he is also director of Yad Harav Herzog, and a member of national and international societies of child neurology, medical ethics, and Jewish medical ethics.

In Israel, Professor Steinberg is the co-chairman of the National Bioethics Council, chairman of the National Committee in accordance with the Dying Patient Act, a member of the National Committee in accordance with the Brain-Death Act, a member of the National Committee for Inspection on Mohalim, a member of the Institutional Review Board (“Helsinki Committee”) of Shaare Zedek, and a member of the Ethics Committee of Shaare Zedek. He is the author and editor of 36 books and public reports in 53 volumes, and over 260 articles and chapters in scientific journals and books on Jewish medical ethics, general medical ethics, the history of medicine, medicine and law, and pediatric neurology. He has given over 3,000 expert witness opinions in court cases on pediatric neurology and medical ethics.

steinberg@szmc.org.il

 

Michael Szycher, PhD

At the Intersection of Torah and Cardiology: A Jewish Perspective

ABSTRACT

Background: While working on the development of an artificial heart, the author encountered a complexity totally unexpected from a medical standpoint.  At the beginning of the 1980’s the medical community widely believed that developing an artificial heart would be a simple affair, since the heart was considered only as a “pump.” That was the conventional wisdom at the time.

We were forced to re-write the books on subjects such as hematology, hemodynamics, cardiovascular technology, implantable electronics, cardiac telemetry, and the role of coagulation in bacterial infection. This led to the inference that life is too complex and too orderly to be explained by random chance, as proposed by simple evolutionist theory.

Presentation Scope: Science and religion are two of the most potent forces in human civilization. We begin by probing the nature of medical science and religion; how they differ in methods, sources, knowledge and certainty of prediction, and how they are similar in terms of questions. At the same time, we shall ask what is the relevance of religion today in light of scientific and medical knowledge. Is there harmony between science and the Bible?
 


 

Having conceptualized, financed, taken public, and run three public companies and founded a fourth over the last forty years. Dr. Michael Szycher is a successful serial entrepreneur who created substantial value for his shareholders. As chairman and/or CEO of companies he has been responsible for public offerings, acquisitions, product introductions, and spin-outs. To strengthen his capabilities as an entrepreneur and business executive he obtained his MBA from Suffolk University.

Dr. Szycher has a long history of being awarded government contracts and grants. He developed a state-of-the-art battlefield wound dressing for the US Army, an artificial heart for the NIH, and an antimicrobial catheter for military and civilian use. He has served as chairman of government review committees, and is considered an international expert on polyurethanes. He wrote Szycher’s Handbook of Polyurethanes, a book that has become the industry’s “Bible”.

 

Rabbi Professor Moshe Dovid Tendler

Talmud, Biology, and Bioethics, Yeshiva University, NY

Gene Editing Therapy Halachic Parameters

ABSTRACT

The decision by the medical profession in England to permit MRT-Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy crossed the “red-line” of gene therapy allowing alterations of the germ plasm of a human. Previously, only somatic cells were subjected to genetic modification. Any deleterious re-combinations would not impact on all future generations.

A powerful genome-editing technology, CRISP-cas 9, has made it easy to insert, remove, or edit genes in sperm, ova and embryos, potentially curing genetic diseases or enhancing desirable traits.

Leading molecular biologists have protested gene-editing of humans since any errors will persist for all time in the human genome. In addition, they are concerned that this technique will be used for genetic enhancement or “designer babies,” rather than for medical cures. Despite these concerns, halacha would favor continued research with its potential to cure genetic diseases, even if a modicum of risk exists.

MRT can impact on the 12,000 U.S.A. women who have defective mitochondria causing heart, liver, respiratory disease.  MRT replaces the defective mitochondria with healthy donor mitochondria, without impacting on the genetic traits that are controlled by nuclear genes. MRT thus allows these women to bear genetically related children and not resort to donor ova.

Clinical trials are now under way for the maturation of MRT as a viable cure. If animal studies conclude that any risk to volunteers is minimal, halacha would encourage participation in FDA sponsored studies

The impact of new discoveries in immunotherapy will be evaluated.
 


 

Rabbi Professor Moshe D. Tendler, noted authority on medical ethics and the relationship of medicine and science to Jewish law, is Rosh Yeshivah at the Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and professor of biology at Yeshiva College, and holds the Rabbi Isaac and Bella Tendler Chair in Jewish Medical Ethics at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Tendler was ordained at RIETS in 1949 and received Yoreh Yoreh in 1953 from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, of righteous memory. He earned a PhD in biology from Columbia University in 1957. He has served on the Medical Ethics Task Force of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, for which he edited the Compendium of Medical Ethics. For nine years he served as its chairman. For decades he chaired the Bioethical Commission of the Rabbinical Council of America. A former president of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists and current member of its board, Rabbi Tendler is author of Pardes Rimonim (a text on Jewish family life); coauthor with Professor Fred Rosner, MD, of Practical Medical Halachah, a primer for physicians; and author of Care of the Critically Ill—Responsa of Rav Moshe Feinstein; as well as many articles on science and religion in leading publications. He is frequently consulted by the media and public officials on ethical issues.

Tendler@YU.edu

 

Rus Devorah (Darcy)Wallen. LCSW. ACSW. PC

Founder of Toratherapeutics TM

The Holistic Approach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and His Plea for Kosher Therapeutic Meditation

ABSTRACT

Predating the cutting-edge trends we find today, the Lubavitcher Rebbe addressed an array of holistic health issues in both public addresses and private correspondence. Even more prophetically, in 1978-1979, the Rebbe contacted health and mental health professionals requesting the development of a value-free format of meditation that avoids all elements related to avodah zarah (idolatry). Speaking about the therapeutic benefits of Transcendental Meditation (TM), the Rebbe urged professionals to develop and disseminate a neutral therapeutic meditation. The technique should “calm the nerves” and bring “peace of mind.” At the time of this appeal, minimal research was done, but meditation had promise toward these ends.

Today, various formats of meditation are ubiquitous. Mindfulness (focal point) meditation has become one of the most successful techniques used in therapeutic circles (DBT, MBCT, MBSR). Significant research demonstrates the beneficial neuroplastic effect meditation has on the prefrontal cortex of the brain. However, despite the scientific benefit, most available methods contain some avizrayhu d’avodah zara (subtle Eastern religious elements). The author has developed meditation recordings to respond to the Rebbe’s request for “kosher/pareve” healing meditation. In this paper, the author will review the known letters, memoranda and addresses of the Rebbe about holistic health techniques, with emphasis on meditation. Examples from the author’s psychotherapy practice will show the remarkable extent of the effectiveness of these techniques for wellness. This paper will reveal the truly prophetic words in the Rebbe’s plea for therapeutic meditation when he stated, “It will save countless lives.”
 


 

Rus Devorah (Darcy) Wallen, LCSW,ACSW, founder of Toratherapeutics,™ is an accomplished musician, performer, social worker, psychotherapist and educator. Rus Devorah conducts workshops on themes that improve emotional wellbeing and incorporate holistic practice with techniques such as sound healing and therapeutic meditation. In addition, her themes range from marriage enhancement, hasidic philosophy, music, and religious observance. An alumna of the Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work, College Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, and Machon Alta Womenʼs Institute in Tsfat, Israel, Rus Devorah utilizes her rich educational background to augment her natural abilities that inspire and heal. With advanced clinical training in several areas of diagnosis and treatment, she specializes in: perinatal wellness, aging well, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as well as advanced therapeutic ethics for clinical supervision.  As co-founder and clinical supervisor of SPARKS (Serving Postpartum Families with Awareness, Relief, Knowledge and Support), Mrs. Wallen speaks on women’s perinatal issues (such as postpartum depression, and anxiety).  She coordinates and performs for a multitude of various organizations, and travels extensively worldwide, to impart her knowledge and share her talents. Rus Devorah makes her Torah-based therapeutic techniques accessible to the lay public by distilling therapeutic concepts from the Torah in general and hasidic philosophy and creating cutting-edge educational materials. Wallen is most passionate about her latest endeavor, creating “kosher” healing audio recordings.  NOGA™ Sound Solutions, vol. 1, contains “kosher/pareve” meditations under the supervision of Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, Av Beis Din, Sydney Australia. 

toratherapeutics@gmail.com