Health & Healing

The Wings of the Sun

Traditional Jewish Healing in Theory and Practice
by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Free unabridged online version

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By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

This innovative study of healing teachings in the Bible, Talmud, Rambam, Kabbalah, writings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and other texts has become the authoritative contemporary work on the Jewish healing tradition and its present-day application. A must for doctors, therapists, students of healing and all who wish to explore and understand the original sources of the tradition.

Size: 23.5 x 17 cm. 500 pages. Hard cover


Judaism has its own distinctive approach to healing giving pride of place to the health of the soul. Rooted in the Bible, Talmud and Kabbalah, this tradition finds its fullest expression in the teachings of the outstanding Chassidic luminary, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810)

THE WINGS OF THE SUN is a clear, informative study of Rebbe Nachman's teachings on healing, providing sound yet easily understood explanations of profound kabbalistic concepts, and offering a wealth of practical guidance for those facing illness or caring for the sick.


Part I: The Wings of the Sun

Section 1: Refa'einu

Chapter 1: Refa'einu -- "Heal Us!" The Medical Establishment; Rebbe Nachman of Breslov; Paradigms of healing; Prevention and health; Sickness and healing; New directions in medicine; Where do we put our faith? Refu'ah Shelemah

Section 2: The Jewish Healing Tradition

Chapter 2: Hezekiah and the Book of Remedies

Chapter 3: Healing in the Bible Avimelech's Dream; Leprosy; King Asa and the doctors; The mysteries of providence

Chapter 4: The Rabbinic Tradition Sanction to Heal?

Chapter 5: Two Outstanding Healers The Rambam; Insights from the Rambam on the Art of Healing; The Baal Shem Tov
Insights from Rambam on the art of healingHealthcare advice from Rambam

Section 3: Rebbe Nachman

Chapter 6: A new path which is really the old path The collapse of faith ; "I set God before me constantly"; Asceticism and beyond; Taking responsibility; "The tongue of the wise brings healing".

Chapter 7: Rebbe Nachman's Book of Remedies The Aleph-Bet Book; Remedies from the Aleph-Bet Book; The power of words; Heavenly decrees

Chapter 8: Lemberg "I will tell you the beginning of my journey"; Lemberg; Compelled from on high; The Burned Book

Chapter 9: Sound the Shofar Dominion over the Angels; Rebbe Nachman's Teachings on Healing; Who is the true leader?; The healing power of prayer; The power of speech; Pidyon Nefesh: Redemption of the Soul; Beyond nature; Miracles; The main thing is faith!; Uman

Section 4: Simchah for Health and Healing

Chapter 10: What is health? Prevention is better than cure; Healthcare Advice from the Rambam; Body, Mind, Soul; What Rebbe Nachman said about....

Chapter 11: The Great Mitzvah Wholehearted with God; The Mitzvot

Chapter 12: The Soul and the Body
1. Simchah and Healing
2. The body: garment of the soul. The Torah view of the human body; Hitlabshut; The divine and animal souls; Food of the soul; The struggle of the souls and bodily health; The four elements; The four elements in the human body; Harmony among the elements: homoeostasis
3. "The soul is in the blood". The Pulse; The ten pulses in the Kabbalah; The ten pulses and the Hebrew vowel signs; The Ten Pulses as explained by the Ari
4. Health, Sickness and Healing. The ten pulses and the four elements; The Bed of Sickness

Chapter 13: The Ten Kinds of Melody
1. The Beggar who had no hands. The healing power of melody
2. The Number One Destroyer. Atzvut and marah shchorah: depression; Atzvut and the body; Stress and illness; The environment
3. Holding back the stormwind. Rhythm and Melody; How songs are made; Searching for the good points; Ten kinds of song
4. Does simchah really heal? The Simchah Workshop

Section 5: Rebbe Nachman and the Doctors

Chapter 14: Redemption of the Soul
1. Why do people get sick? Missing the mark
2. License to Heal? Redemption of the soul; Captivity and freedom; Mitigating the decree; Kabbalistic intentions of Pidyon Nefesh

Chapter 15: Rabbis vs. Doctors The Ramban on Doctors; Death's emissaries; Medicine in the time of Rebbe Nachman: Danger! Tried and tested remedies; An open question; Medicine today; A matter of faith

Chapter 16: The Breslover Chassidim and Medicine Reb Noson; The later Breslover Chassidim

Chapter 17: Nature and Beyond A two-tiered view of healing; Knowledge and awareness of God: Da'at; God's kindness; Know your level; "What people do at the end I want you to do at the beginning!"; A word to doctors; "It's not the doctor who heals, but the angel who goes with him"

Section 6: Sound the Shofar: Rebbe Nachman's Pathway of Healing

Chapter 18: Takhlis! Prayer; Dominion over the angels; How to study this teaching; Sound the Shofar -- Dominion; Binding oneself to the souls of Israel; Binding oneself to the Tzaddikim; The knowing heart: Yerushalayim; Three destructive cravings; Bringing da'at into the heart; Prophecy; The redemption of prayer ; Healing power from the "Word of God"; The bread and water cure; Three destroyers; Prevention and cure; King Hezekiah and the Book of Remedies; Mashiach; Recognizing false leaders; Judgment and mercy; In brief

Chapter 19: Faith Fundamentals of Faith; The main thing is faith; Sound the Shofar -- Faith; Medicines; Prayer and the merit of the fathers; Cries and groans; The four elements; The waters of counsel; Dark night and the light of day

Section 7: The Wings of the Sun

Chapter 20: The Wings of the Sun A world of amazing wonders; The House of Prayer; The Wings of the Sun; Arousing the dawn

Part II: In Practice

Chapter 21: Keeping Healthy Spiritual healthcare; Hisbodedus; Shulchan Arukh: Jewish Law; Mikveh; Tikkun Chatzot; Physical healthcare; Abuse; Diet; Exercise; Relaxation and breathing; General healthcare; Preventive medicine

Chapter 22: Dealing with Common Problems
1. Minor Upsets.
2. Healing Crises. Godly awareness in exile; "Through the blow itself God sends healing"; When to call a doctor; Spiritual strategies; Simchah; Vidui: Acknowledgement.
3. The Meaning of Symptoms: The mitzvot and the parts of the body; Selected mitzvot associated with major limbs of the body; The all-encompassing mitzvot
4. Getting out of a rut: Atzvut; Tracing the causes; Making a start; Turning self-healing into an ongoing project; Making time: regular hisbodedus; A healing worksheet
Guiding questions for self-awareness and change.

Chapter 23: Facing Serious Illness
Illness is a call to live!
1. Medical treatment: Choosing a doctor; What makes a good doctor?; Your role in the healing process; Spiritual healing strategies 358.
2. Faith. Don't feel bad about feeling bad
3. Pidyon Nefesh: Redemption of the Soul. Other means of pidyon nefesh
4. Fear: Standing outside the feeling; Turning fear into awe
5. Patience
6. Pain. Pain control: psychological techniques; Transcending pain
7. Mind over Body. Benefits of meditation; Visualization; Magic and manipulation; The power of words
8. Prayer. The quest for connection; Channeling healing energy through prayer; The divine conversation
9. Recovery. After the crisis; Healing means living; Making a start; The joy of prayer; The blessing of thanksgiving
Transcending pain

Chapter 24: Care of the Sick
1. Laws of Visiting the Sick
2. The Human Connection. Trying to understand; Reaching out to the person; Breaking through the walls of the heart; The good points
3. Children's Illness. Prayer; Education

1. Simchah 2. Healing through prayer 3. Sweeten the bitterness 4. Heal our wounds 5. A good sweat 6. Faith

Supplementary Readings
1. The medicine of Torah must be administered softly; 2. Fever from overeating; 3. Epidemics; 4. Faith in God, not in the means; 5. The hands of the angels; 6. Healing from matzah; 7. Healing a wound; 8. The month of Iyar: a time to heal; 9. Sweetening pain with divine awareness

Sources and Further Reading