Position: Jewish Chaplain
NAJC Board Certified Chaplain.
Work as a Jewish Chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
THE POWER OF PRAYER IN HEALING (2010)
The focus of the thesis is on the actual curative properties of prayer. The thesis begins with: exploration of the power of prayer as Jewish tradition views it; examination of the healing prayers included in our liturgy; examples of prayer and healing which occur in the Tanach, (specifically in the stories of Moshe, Hannah, King Hezekiah, Elijah and Elisha); discussion of the healing teachings of Rabbi Nachman; and ideas about uses of prayer expressed within the National Center for Jewish Healing. The thesis goes on to examine and review the literature on scientific studies which have attempted to prove or disprove the power of prayer. Discussion includes the theories of Larry Dossey, MD, a leading authority in this area, his supporters and detractors, and the latest studies and reviews of studies which have focused on the power of prayer. This review of Jewish traditions regarding prayer in healing and the important published scientific work suggest that while religious and anecdotal evidence abounds that prayer is helpful in healing the sick, it is very challenging to prove this scientifically because of the difficulty in quantifying and analyzing something of such an amorphous and spiritual nature.