April 11, 2024
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Groundbreaking Journal Delves Into Intersection Of Halacha, Medical Ethics and the Pandemic

Highlighting: “Medical Halachah Annual, Volume 1: The Pandemic and Its Implications,” by Touro University, New York Medical College. Mosaica Press. 2023. $18.99.

Mosaica Press, in partnership with Touro University and its New York Medical College, is set to release the Medical Halachah Annual, Volume 1: The Pandemic and Its Implications, on March 6.

This groundbreaking journal, edited by Dr. Edward Lebovics, delves into the intersection of halacha, medical ethics and contemporary medical issues. Through the examination of complex medical scenarios involving sensitive triage decisions, administering and withdrawing of ECMO, trust in medical and rabbinic authorities, and the application of halachic principles, readers will gain a deeper understanding of the ongoing pandemic and its far-reaching implications.

“The Jewish community suffered great loss and hardship during the pandemic but also learned much about confronting a medical crisis according to halacha,” said Dr. Lebovics, vice chair for clinical affairs, Department of Medicine at New York Medical College, and member of Touro University. “In this volume, we share, from rabbinic authorities and leading physicians, some of these lessons in areas such as assessing risk, dealing with medical uncertainty, and interactions between rabbis and physicians. We hope the broad Torah readership will find it enlightening. We’re already working on volume two.”

The Medical Halachah Annual includes essays on a variety of topics, ranging from medical uncertainty in halacha to vaccine hesitancy in the Orthodox Jewish community, allocation of scarce resources and dishonest acquisition of potentially life-saving care. Additional topics covered include “othering” the Jews during both the calamitous Black Death of the 14th Century and the COVID-19 pandemic of the 21st Century.

The pandemic presented its own unique challenges, requiring complex halachic reasoning and application of Jewish medical ethics to keep pace with the ever-changing medical situation and new questions as they arose. Featuring contributions from prominent experts in the field, including Rabbi Mayer Twersky; Rabbi Prof. Avraham Steinberg, MD; Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz; Rabbi Dr. Jason Wiener, BCC; Rabbi Aaron E. Glatt, MD; Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky; Rabbi Mordechai Willig; Rabbi Yossi Sprung; Zvi Ryzman; Sarah H.D. Becker, MD; Margot Lurie; and Edward C. Halperin, MD, MA, the Medical Halachah Annual promises to be a valuable resource for those interested in the dynamic interplay between religion and medicine.

This annual publication aims to fill a gap in the medical halacha literature and serve as a valuable resource for years to come.

“As leaders in medical education and the largest institution of higher education under Jewish auspices, Touro University is pleased to produce this journal that explores the connection between Jewish law and ethics and medical practice,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, Touro president.

The Medical Halachah Annual can be purchased at mosaicapress.com or at your local Jewish bookstore and is available for pre-ordering.

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