When people working for a good cause turn in directions that aren’t good—or might even be bad—do their virtuous intentions outweigh the unintended side effects of their activities? How far can the ethical standards of activists and philanthropists be trusted when people worship capitalism as blindly as many Americans do today?

Healing Our World

For years, we danced with the idea of a bar mitzvah. Thirteen is a milestone for all Jewish children, and I was determined that our son would take part. I knew he could learn a few simple prayers and songs; he has amazing memory skills, not uncommon for children with autism. Still, we worried. What if a large crowd unnerved him?

Healing From and Unlearning Violence

What does it mean to make accountability not a buzzword but a solid foundation for a life path? True accountability requires an offender to commit to entering those deep, dark, scary, shut-down places and attempt to heal. Healing is hard work.

Another element of the Obama Administration’s Lesser but Still real Evil

When people often say that they are going to reelect Obama as “the lesser evil,” it is important to acknowledge that though lesser evil, the Obama Administration has been involved in considerable evil. By Jeffrey Sachs
Huffington Post
November 25, 201
The wonder of our world is that scientific knowledge is
now so powerful that we can save millions of children,
mothers, and fathers from killer diseases each year at
little cost. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and
Malaria has mobilized that knowledge over the past
decade to save more than 7 million lives and to protect
the health of hundreds of millions more. Yet now the
Global Fund is under mortal threat because of budget
cuts approved by President Obama and the Congress. The Obama Administration had pledged $4 billion during
2011-13 to the Global Fund, or $1.33 billion per year.

Becoming a Jew Is Dangerous — Circumcision Is the Least of It

Matthew Taylor initiates his sharp critique of brit milah (the covenant of circumcision) with anger … as a rabbi, I would of course be very engaged by such a confession and would want to know more. But as an introduction to a learned discussion over a ritual practice that is so central to the Jewish narrative, this expression of anger is not exactly conducive to a rational exchange. It is, however, honest and deserves a sober response.

Faith Healing For Skeptics: How the Expectant Brain Relieves Pain

Are those who seek faith healing deluded? Not entirely. Although no amount of faith can regenerate a lost limb, faith can indeed help a person overcome crippling pain. The natural brain mechanisms that allow this to occur are increasingly understood. Believing in a Higher Power—even a fictional one—can cure ills amenable to the placebo response.

The Work of Healing

Mary Jane Nealon’s gorgeous memoir works along that revelatory thread, examining the physical and metaphysical life of a person who became both a nurse and a writer.

Twelve-Step Healing: Beyond Disease Metaphors and God-Talk

While it may be true, as Nicholas Boeving states in this issue of Tikkun, that recovery (the blanket term used to describe twelve-step programs) works for only a minority of addicts, that minority is a rather large number: millions around the world. And because recovery is such a large and growing movement, Boeving’s criticisms—which for the most part are valid—only speak to a certain aspect of the twelve-step paradigm.

Is Addiction Really a Disease? A Challenge to Twelve-Step Programs

For most of America, having a disease means having a foreign body assume residence in the biological tissue, multiplying itself and attacking the surrounding healthy tissue. This idea is a direct result of the discovery of microscopy and the bacterial origin of many afflictions. The metaphor here is war, and all good doctors are on the front lines, battling leukemia, eradicating AIDS and other serious illnesses. Sometimes we cause the war ourselves and sometimes we are simply invaded. But where is the infection in addiction? To what can we actually point?