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Who we are

*Basic Tenets of Jewish Science*

*Forward to the Book Jewish Science – Divine Healing in Judaism*

What is Jewish Science?

Jewish Science uses the concepts, tenets, and principles of Judaism to raise the religious and spiritual consciousness of the Jewish People. When applied to daily living, these practices help us eliminate and conquer the mysteries and problems of everyday life. Jewish Science helps us to obtain a secure, joyous, peaceful, pragmatic yet spiritual life. Jewish Science also focuses on the healing traditions that are found within Judaism.

Is Jewish Science Authentically Jewish?

Most definitely. Every aspect of Jewish Science has its roots in Jewish tradition, whether Biblical or Rabbinic. Jewish Science’s theological concepts, principles of daily living, worship, and ritual are all grounded in Jewish thought; a study of Jewish Science writings clearly illustrates these connections.

Why the name “Jewish Science”?

The name Jewish Science was chosen for a variety of reasons. To begin with, the early 1920’s found large numbers of Jews attracted to “mind science” religions that were in vogue, particularly Christian Science. Wishing to demonstrate that Judaism in fact offered similar approaches within its own tradition, the term “Jewish Science” was selected. Another reason is seen in the Hebrew term for Jewish Science, Chuchmah Yehudit. Chuchmah means wisdom and implies Jewish Science utilizes the wisdom of Jewish Tradition in its approach to G-d, to life, and to prayer. Prior to “Jewish Science”, Applied Judaism was the name given to this thinking; this term has been revived and is becoming more commonly used today as, “The Center for Applied Judaism.”

Health and Healing are emphasized in Jewish Science. Why?

Jewish Science believes, based on classical Jewish Thought, that G-d has provided us with a reservoir of health, and that we need to learn how to preserve it, and restore it when it wanes. Emotional health is achieved through proper thinking and relationships with our fellow human beings. Spiritual health is reached by way of our realization of our relationship with G-d and what this relationship may offer us. Physical health is often related to the first two, where we frequently find select physical ailments resulting from depression, anxiety, fear, or dicouragement. It is important to note that Jewish Science encourages the involvement of physicians when one is ill, a practice not found in most non-Jewish “mind-science” systems.

What is the role of prayer in Jewish Science?

Prayer plays a most vital role in Jewish Science, and Jewish Science firmly believes in the efficacy of prayer. Prayer is the language we use to communicate with G-d. It is the human means by which help is invoked in moments of need. It is the ladder which connects the divine in us to the Divine. Citing the need and importance for communal prayer, Jewish Science stresses that private, personal prayer, petition, is vital in helping us resolve the issues before us. It also aids in developing a relationship between ourselves, and G-d. Methods of prayer that are similar to those used in Chassidism are also taught.

Does Jewish Science have a creed?

Jewish Science, like Judaism in general, has no formal creed or catechism. However, like Maimonides’ Articles of Faith, and similar statements written by other great philosophers and theologians, Jewish Science adheres to Ten Fundamentals that define and explain what it is about. Each fundamental is rooted in Jewish belief.

Is Jewish Science affiliated with any of Judaism’s four branches?

No. Jewish Science maintains no formal affiliation with any of Judaism’s four movements, since part of its philosophy states that it is compatible with all movements. In addition, Jewish Science welcomes Jews from all four movements. Whether one’s approach is that of the observant Jew, that of the liberal thinker, or anything in between, the principles and practices of Jewish Science may be employed.

Organizationally, how is Jewish Science structured?

Jewish Science is based in New York City, with chapters on the west coast. Since the passing of Jewish Science’s co-founders, Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein (1938) and Tehilla Lichtenstein (1973), the organization has been run by non-rabbinic professionals, with rabbis conducting religious services, High Holy Days, Torah classes, Passover Seders, etc. Jewish Science publishes books, cassettes and a magazine, organizes study groups or chapters and provides ongoing education on the principles and practices of Jewish Science. All of this is done under the Society of Jewish Science; The Center of Applied Judaism, its Board of Directors, Executive Director and volunteers.

Are there Jewish Science Synagogues?

Since its founding in 1922, Jewish Science had always rented space in New York to conduct services and activities. In 1995, the Society was able to purchase their own building in New York City, which now houses their administrative offices, Judaica Library, and Sanctuary. Since the principles of Jewish Science are applicable to all Jews, some choose to attend a local synagogue, usually movement affiliated, in addition to the Jewish Science synagogue.

How does one explore or become acquainted with Jewish Science?

The first step is to attend Jewish Science services on a regular, weekly basis. In addition, the articles in the monthly magazine, “The Interpreter”, and the texts available are a wonderful written resource for self-help and study. These works are available through the administrative offices in New York City and chapters authorized by the Society. A listing of approved groups is available from New York as well. For additional information, contact the Society of Jewish Science, The Center for Applied Judaism; 109 East 39th Street; New York, NY 10016. (212) 682-2626.

Fundamentals

Jewish Science has formulated ten fundamentals. These are not speculative creeds which every adherent of Jewish Science must accept, but are beliefs which those in Jewish Science attain through conviction and experience. They are not imposed, but are an outgrowth of a search for spiritual truth. The following is the declaration of the ideals by which we guide our lives each day:

1. The Jewish Faith is the only faith to which we adhere. Jewish Science is the application of the Jewish faith to the practices of life.

2. We believe wholeheartedly in the efficacy of prayer. We believe that no prayer, when properly offered, goes unanswered.

3. We shall endeavor every day of our lives to keep serene, to check all tendencies to violence and anger, to keep calm even in the face of unpleasant and discouraging circumstances.

4. We shall strive to be cheerful every day of our lives. The Talmud says that the Divine presence departs from one who is in gloom.

5. We shall seek to cultivate an attitude of love and goodwill toward everyone. We shall make no room in our heart for hatred or bitterness. The world was created on a plan of Divine love, and to give way to thoughts of hatred or malice is to violate the plan of G-d.

6. We shall cultivate a disposition of contentment, envying no one, and praising G-d for the good He has already bestowed upon us. Contentment is the greatest friend of happiness; envy its greatest enemy.

7. We shall make conscious effort to banish worry and fear from our lives. We regard these as our greatest enemies and give them no place in our consciousness.

8. We shall trust in G-d’s goodness in every circumstance of our life.

9. We believe that death is an elevation to eternal life, and not a cessation of existance.

10. We believe that G-d is the Source of Health and the Restorer of Health.

In these fundamentals, we in Jewish Science, profess our wholehearted belief in the efficacy of prayer; we acknowledge the duty of keeping serene and cheerful, of cherishing good-will and contentment, of banishing worry and fear; we declare our trust in G-d’s goodness and love; we profess our assurance of immortality because we have faith in G-d’s loving-kindness and the everlastingness of His creations.

Membership

The five boroughs of New York City – $200.00

Nassau/Suffolk/Northern New Jersey and Westchester – $100.00

Any other region in the United States – $50.00

All new members will receive a free copy of Jewish Science & Health.

About our Rabbi

Rabbi Frank Tamburello has been associated with the Society of Jewish Science since 2006. He was a student of religious science teachings years before becoming a member here. Frank came to the rabbinate as a second career, first being a teacher. He studied with Rabbi Joseph Gelberman of the Rabbinical Seminary International. Rabbi Gelberman was a colleague and friend of Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein, Co-Founder of Jewish Science, and often referred to Rabbi Lichtenstein’s writings in class. A voracious reader, Rabbi Frank very quickly became well versed in the history and teachings of applied Judaism, and his conversational style, and adept teaching skills made him a natural selection as spiritual leader here at the Center. Rabbi Frank, a prolific writer, has developed liturgy that incorporates both traditional Jewish elements together with the philosophy of Jewish Science. Recently, Immanuel Lichtenstein, son of our Co-Founders stated that not since his parents, has anyone embodied the true essence of Jewish Science the way Rabbi Frank does. Rabbi Tamburello is currently a board member of the International Federation of Rabbis.

What is “scientific” about Jewish Science?

The Society of Jewish Science, organized in 1922 by Rabbi Morris and Tehilla Lichtenstein, stresses mental and physical health, the power of the mind in gaining control over human emotions and beliefs, by utilizing prayers and ethical teachings based on the underlying tenets of Judaism.

The term “Science” in Jewish Science was originally used in the early 20th century sense, to imply a study of the relationships between psychology and mental health. While Jewish Science is not to be understood as a study of physics, chemistry, biology, or any of the empirical sciences, it nevertheless is consistent with much of modern medicine and psychology. The existential – humanistic movement in psychology, for example, which attaches great importance to human will, creative potential, and power to overcome obstacles is a theoretical descendent of Jewish Science beliefs.

Much contemporary research into health and psychology emphasizes the role of mental attitudes, personality characteristics, or the perceptual environment on the course of disease. Investigation of what are known as “self-fulfilling prophecies” provides scientific support for the often expressed belief that “Thinking something makes it so.” Cognitive science, in general, stresses the importance of mental factors in the determination of behavior, and cognitive therapy, in particular, gives a major role to “visualization,” a technique used throughout the history of Jewish Science for its therapeutic value. Recent trends in holistic health, environmental medicine, immunology and the mind, stress control, and biofeedback, to cite a few relevant areas, support much of the body of Jewish Science belief which is clearly outlined in Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein’s book Jewish Science and Health and Tehilla Lichtenstein’s Applied Judaism.

While Jewish Science places emphasis on the mental effects of a person’s physical health, it supports the undeniably vital role played in healing by medical science and mental health practitioners. Jewish Science opposes those creeds that deny reality to human ailments, and further opposes the belief that sickness is only the result of inadequate mental control, or the superstitious conviction that illness is a punishment for sin.

Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein, founder of the Society, based his principles and methods primarily on the Torah, the Psalms, and the writings of the prophets. The method of affirmation, for example, by which people express their desires in affirmative terms in the belief that such expression will assist in bringing about the desired state, parallels the method of expression found in the Book of Psalms. The relationship between spirituality and health can be found in a variety of areas of Jewish thought, from the philosophical writings of Moses Maimonides to the poetry of Judah Halevi, from the traditions of Hasidism to the prayers of the kabbalists.

The ceremonial programs at the Society use abbreviated siddurim which emphasize Jewish Science philosophy, visualization, and silent meditation. Our weekly programs consisting of learning sessions and worship services have been held on Sunday mornings in order to avoid conflict with traditional synagogue attendance. Many of our members, however, do consider the Society their spiritual home, and so special celebrations for Shabbat and the major holidays have been added to the calendar.

Membership in the Society of Jewish Science is open to anyone who wishes to connect with its philosophy and with the power of Jewish spirituality. We are, and have always been, a progressive, inclusive community. Tehilla Lichtenstein, wife of the founder of Jewish Science, led the Society for 35 years, and is reputed to be the first woman to occupy a Jewish pulpit in the United States.

What is “Jewish” about Jewish Science?

What is “Jewish” about Jewish Science?

Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein, founder of the Society, based his principles and methods primarily on the Torah, the Psalms, and the writings of the prophets. The method of affirmation, for example, by which people express their desires in affirmative terms in the belief that such expression will assist in bringing about the desired state, parallels the method of expression found in the Book of Psalms. The relationship between spirituality and health can be found in a variety of areas of Jewish thought, from the philosophical writings of Moses Maimonides to the poetry of Judah Halevi, from the traditions of Hasidism to the prayers of the kabbalists.

The ceremonial programs at the Society use abbreviated siddurim which emphasize Jewish Science philosophy, visualization, and silent meditation. Our weekly programs consisting of learning sessions and worship services have been held on Sunday mornings in order to avoid conflict with traditional synagogue attendance. Many of our members, however, do consider the Society their spiritual home, and so special celebrations for Shabbat and the major holidays have been added to the calendar.

Membership in the Society of Jewish Science is open to anyone who wishes to connect with its philosophy and with the power of Jewish spirituality. We are, and have always been, a progressive, inclusive community. Tehilla Lichtenstein, wife of the founder of Jewish Science, led the Society for 35 years, and is reputed to be the first woman to occupy a Jewish pulpit in the United States.