Local | Mind, Body & Spirit

Rabbi touts holistic, kabalistic path to health

Rabbi Manis Friedman speaks at the Tucson Jewish Community Center May 26.
Rabbi Manis Friedman speaks at the Tucson Jewish Community Center May 26.

Good health and happiness can be achieved, says Rabbi Manis Friedman. During his talk, “A Healthy, Joyous and Fulfilling Life, A Holistic and Kabalistic Perspective,” attended by about 50 people on May 26 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, Friedman highlighted ways for people to look at life and healing holistically, taking into consideration the body, mind and soul.

Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz of the Foothills Shul at Bais Yael introduced Friedman as a teacher who inspires people by taking ancient wisdom and making it relevant for today. “He’s been my secret hero all my life. He takes your mind for a walk and helps you discover wonderful things.”

A world renowned author, counselor and lecturer, Friedman created It’s Good To Know, a nonprofit foundation that provides products and services to help people attain goals and overcome obstacles. He hosts his own cable television series, founded the world’s first yeshiva exclusively for women, and has given talks in many countries including Israel, England, Australia, South Africa and Peru.

When the body, mind and soul are in balance, says Friedman, we are healthy. An illness is anything that disturbs this balance and interferes with daily activities and achieving our purpose for living. The body in balance supports the mind so we can pursue the reasons why we exist.

Friedman often recommends homeopathic remedies. He mentioned remedies for conditions such as bruising, grief, bee stings, infertility and mood swings. Homeopathy was founded by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), who developed a method of treating illness based on the principle of like cures like, using substances that can cause symptoms of illness in a healthy person to treat one who is ill.

Friedman cited the Rambam, who said that to be healthy, everything you do should be for the sake of heaven. The Rambam, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (1135-1204), a Sephardic physician and philosopher, was one of the most important figures in the history of Torah scholarship.

“For the sake of heaven, it is good to get to know G-d better and find out what G-d needs from you,” says Friedman. “Stop worrying about what you need, make sure you are doing what you are needed for.”

Look to the Torah for guidelines on how to heal the soul, he suggests. Keeping the mitzvot allows the soul to work together with the body and mind. There is no need to get depressed or discouraged while you are trying to work out what is best for your body and soul, he adds. This is a process and if you get discouraged or depressed, your body will pay the price.

“Sometimes healing people is a matter of giving them confidence and treating them like human beings,” Friedman says. “If we can balance ourselves, we can balance the world.”

Brake Masters and the Weintraub Israel Center cosponsored the presentation. For more on Friedman, visit itsgoodtoknow.org.

Korene Charnofsky-Cohen is a freelance writer in Tucson.