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"Health" - IEA Reut-Sadaqa on November 13th

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  • Yehuda Stolov
    Members of Reut-Sadaqa met on Monday, November 13th at the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem. We welcomed two new people to our group, one person,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2006
      November 15, 2006


      Members of Reut-Sadaqa met on Monday, November 13th at the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem .  We welcomed two new people to our group, one person, Yitzchak from Petach Tikvah, who traveled quite a long ways to be with us, and the other newcomer, ZeeZee, a Jerusalem local.


      The theme of this meeting was Health in our traditions.  Saheer presented from the Moslem tradition.  She explained that some foods are forbidden for health reasons.  The Islamic method of slaughtering animals is healthier – and this was verified by scientific reports.  Alcohol is forbidden because it can be addictive – it slows perception and weakens the body.  There is controversy over smoking amongst Islamic scholars.  It isn't forbidden by the Koran but since nicotine is addictive, causes lung cancer, etc, some scholars declare that it should be forbidden.  Animals who have died of illnesses, old age, who have been abused or stabbed to death and predators such as lions and tigers are forbidden to Moslems.  Pork is another food not allowed in Islamic tradition.  Medical studies show pork contains parasite and bacteria unique in pigs.


      Aviva gave the Jewish perspective saying that everyone is expected to take good care of your health – body and soul.  There are many articles on the internet on health and Judaism.  There is the tradition of salting the meat as part of the process in making meat kosher.  In ancient times salting meat was used for the preservation of meat, as there was no refrigeration.  Washing hands before a meal (with bread) is necessary and many believe this type of sanitation saved the Jews from the Black Plague during medieval times.  Another tradition is brit milah (circumcision) which is a religious ceremony, but many believe that is considered healthier to be circumcised.  The Rambam (Maimonides) was also a renowned physician, who wrote medical books in Arabic and many of today's remedies are based on his writings.  And Rabbis today are speaking about environmental effects on health.  This is the time to take care of our health and environment


      Karmela spoke about health from the Christian perspective from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God.  We must take care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.  Concern for the health of its citizens requires society's help in the attainment of living conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity such as food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment and social assistance.  The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco or medicine.  Those incur great guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed endanger their own or others' safety on the road, at sea or in the air.  The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life.  Their use, except for strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offence.  Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices.  They constitute direct cooperation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to moral law.


      After these interesting presentations, we continued this subject on a more intimate level, separating into two different groups.  Rafiqa and Saheer prepared a wonderful break with pittot, salads, cheese, deli meat, danishes, and soft drinks for us to share.  After our break, we regrouped to plan our next meeting which will be held on December 18th when we will talk about our holidays of Christmas, Chanukah and Eid al Adha, which are celebrated quite close together this year.


      This report was written by Leah Lublin (Jewish coordinator), in consultation with Karmela Farrugia (Christian coordinator) and Rafiqa Othman (Moslem coordinator)



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        Ms. Rafiqa Othman, Chair

        Sr. Karmela Farrugia, Vice-Chair

        Mr. Dotan Arad

        Rabbi Dr. Dov Maimon

        Ms. Rose Naber

        Ms. Saheer Siam

        Mr. Adnan Trabsha

        Ms. Nada Abu Zaidan


      Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Director

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