Is there anything in Judaism which would be akin to spiritual healing? By which I mean miraculous healing performed by oneself or another, like an expert healer, but through spiritual means as opposed to medical means. Thanks in advance.
Judaism definitely ascribes underlying spiritual causes to health and well-being or maladies and sickness. The basic idea is that to the extent that one is in tune with
There are many examples of this throughout Tanach (Scriptures), but two verses found in the Torah are: “If you diligently heed the voice of the L-rd your
Similarly: “So you shall serve the L-rd, your
Since health and healing from sickness is viewed in Judaism as stemming from spiritual causes, there is actually a very involved and extensive discussion in the sources as to whether one is permitted to practice medicinal healing and enlist the help of doctors, medical treatments and medicine. Despite the many opinions on this subject, the final outcome is that
One main form of spiritual healing in Judaism is through prayer. Prayer becomes the metaphysical medium through which Divine powers of healing envelop and infuse a person in order to restore his spiritual balance and thereby cure its external manifestation. An example of this from the Torah is Miriam the prophetess who was plagued with tzara’at as a result of judging and speaking unfavorably about Moshe. When Aharon pleaded that Moshe intercede on her behalf, “Moshe cried out to the L-rd, saying, ‘I beseech you,
One of the more striking examples of the type of spiritual healing you’re asking about is the following story from the Talmud (Berachot 5b):
Rabbi Eliezer became ill. Rabbi Yochanon went to visit him and saw that he was secluded in a darkened room. Rabbi Yochanon uncovered his arm, and the light radiating from his body illuminated the darkness. He saw that Rabbi Eliezer was crying and declared, “If you’re upset on account of the Torah that you aren’t able to learn in your illness, it was taught, ‘Whether one is able to learn much or little, the main thing is his Heavenly intention’; if it’s because of your poverty, not every person has an abundant table in both this world and the next; if it’s because of a son that has passed away, here is a bone from the tenth son I’ve buried.”
Rabbi Eliezer explained, “I’m crying on account of this beautiful, Divinely-created body which decays in the earth.” Rabbi Yochanon replied, “That is certainly worth crying over,” and the two of them cried together. Eventually, Rabbi Yochanon asked him, “Do you desire the spiritual benefit of continued suffering?” Rabbi Eliezer replied, “I don’t want the suffering, or its reward.” At that point, Rabbi Yochanon gave him his hand, Rabbi Eliezer took hold of it, and he was miraculously cured.
So, since the source of health is spiritual, Judaism recognizes spiritual healing. This takes the form of repentance, prayer, and even what appears like miraculous faith-healing.
It is important to note that despite the above considerations, our Rabbis nowadays teach that one should certainly go to qualified medical experts when necessary.