Body, Soul And Midrash

New collection of essays shows how interpretation
can be used to find new meaning in the biblical text —
and as a resource for healing.

Jewish Week Book Critic

I n shuls everywhere, of all denominations, the “Mi Sheberach” prayer is said regularly, naming individuals in need of healing. The prayer itself and the way it is said may differ from one community to the next. The late Debbie Friedman, for instance, set the words to music that is widely known and sung. Some people approach the bima with “long lists of names inside their hearts,” while others have handwritten lists in their pockets, Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler, explains in an essay, “A Midrash on the Mi Sheberakh.”

Contributors to “Midrash and Medicine” include physicians, rabbis, social workers, psychologists and philosophers.

A New Beat For The Heart

Drum-fitness adds a different rhythm to the tired old workout routine.

Special To The Jewish Week

With drumsticks poised over a tremendous lime green ball, I prepare to strike. Along with 18 other women and one man, I’ve ventured to the 92nd Street Y on this icy evening to experience DrumCore, a new class that is meant to exercise body and mind, while also offering a new rhythm in one’s tired workout routine.

The DrumCore workout makes use of drum sticks to bang out a rhythm and keep the heart working.

The Long Run

Blind athlete finishes grueling Israman triathlon;
shifts gears and perceptions.

Special To The Jewish Week

A few hundred of the finest amateur athletes in the world gathered in Eilat last month for the annual Israman triathlon, where they swam in the Red Sea, cycled uphill through desert heat, and then ran for miles along trafficked roads. Among the competitors in this year’s Israman, Israel’s version of the arduous Ironman triathlon competition, was a man who didn’t exercise at all until about seven years ago; a man who can’t see two feet in front of him, or even own feet for that matter.

Richard Bernstein with his running companion Shaked. “I was putting my entire being into someone else’s hands,” Bernstein says.

The ‘Super Gene’ Spotter

Einstein researcher trying to unlock ‘the biology of aging,’
with the help of Ashkenazi centenarians.

Editorial Assistant

Lily Port is in the Galapagos Islands. When she returns, she is going to visit her daughter in Texas, then take a vacation to Florida. A few months ago she took
a trip to Austria and Hungary, traveling on the Danube River between Vienna
and Budapest. Earlier last year, she journeyed to Australia and Singapore.

After decades of traveling, Port doesn’t seem to have slowed down — even though she’s 97.

Dr. Nir Barzilai.

HealthCare February 2011

Matters of the Heart: lessons from a blind Israeli runner, drumming for aerobics, and more

Staff Writer
HealthCare February 2011

Breaking A Sweat, In Public

Israelis are flocking to outdoor fitness centers that have cropped up
in parks and beaches. Who needs a personal trainer?

Israel Correspondent

J erusalem — As it usually does during the intermediate days of Sukkot, Gan
Sacher, Jerusalem’s largest park, attracted large numbers of Israelis late last month. But they weren’t all picnicking and relaxing. Some were pumping iron. Others were logging miles on rowing machines and stationary bikes. Still others were
breaking a sweat on steppers and gliders. Throughout the holiday period, the park was
filled with families — secular, traditional and haredi Jews (the latter dressed

Municipalities all over Israel have installed public fitness centers in parks, community centers and beaches.

Rare Genetic Disease Didn’t Deter Family

Warburg-Walker Syndrome ‘blindsided’ Toronto Jewish couple
but Ashkenazi mutation also stiffened their resolve for children.

Special To The Jewish Week

Once Randi Chapnik Myers gave birth to a healthy son in 1996 and a healthy daughter in 1998, she and her husband, Rob, figured that the developmental defect that affected her pregnancy in 1995 was just a fluke. That fetus, a girl, was found to have severe hydrocephalus (water on the brain) at 20-weeks gestation, and the Myerses were told that she stood no chance of surviving beyond birth. They decided to terminate the pregnancy.

Randi Chapnik Myers with her husband and children.

House Resolution Aims To Help Holocaust Survivors

Staff Writer

(JTA) — The House of Representatives has introduced a resolution aimed at helping Holocaust survivors in the United States in need of in-home care.
U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a resolution Sept. 29 to raise awareness of the social service needs of Holocaust survivors — specifically the need for them to be able to age in place.

New Centers Open At Methodist Hospital

Staff Writer

A Comprehensive Back and Neck Pain Center has opened at New York Methodist Hospital. The center, which will offer diagnostic and treatment options for disorders of the spine, will emphasize such non-operative options and physical and occupational therapy, medication management, injections and bracing, as well as radiation therapy for metastatic cancer of the spine.
For information: (718) 369-BACK

Stronger Antibiotic Being Developed

Staff Writer

Dr. Micha Fridman of Tel Aviv University’s department of chemistry is developing what he calls the next generation of antibiotics, which will eb able to combat drug-resistant “superbugs.” The medication, whose research was conducted in collaboration with Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova of the University of Michigan, is based on turning antibiotics’ bacterial resistance against itself.

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