The Torah View of Mental Illness: Sin or Sickness?

By Marvin Wikler

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), June 1977

The author, an Orthodox Jew and a practicing mental health professional, examines the Tanakh (Hebrew bible), Talmud (Oral Law) and various rabbinic writings in order to ascertain the Torah's view of mental illness as it relates to sin. The author concludes that the Torah does not view mental illness either as sin alone nor as sickness alone; rather, the Torah has a complex and multi-faceted conception of mental illness, including situations in which mental illness causes sin, situations in which sin causes mental illness, and other situations.


Topic: Halakha, Jewish Law, Mental Health, Jewish Text, Values

Name of Publication: Journal of Jewish Communal Service

Editor: Sherman, Sanford N.

Volume/Issue: Vol. 53/No. 4

Page Number(s): 339-344

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Genre: Other

Language: English

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Wikler, Marvin. The Torah View of Mental Illness: Sin or Sickness?. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA). June 1977: 339-344. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=1159


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