Jewish Science developed in the early 1900s. At the time, many denominations of Christianity and Judaism emphasized the distantly transcendent nature of God, dwelling in the heavens. Instead, Jewish Science – like Religious Science, Christian Science, and other New Thought movements – focused on the imminent closeness of God as a wellspring of peace, health, and happiness. So close, that God is within and expresses those qualities through each one of us.
Unlike Christian Science, Jewish Science has always supported the role of doctors and mental health practitioners as vital to health and healing. Human ailments are real and not the result of sin or mental weakness.
Like Judaism, Jewish Science has no formal creed or catechism. Our co-founder, Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein set out the “Ten Fundamentals” that further define and explain Jewish Science – each one rooted in Jewish belief.
What’s Jewish about Jewish Science?
Jewish Science has deep roots in Torah, the Psalms, and the writings of the prophets. Our use of affirmative prayer shows up time and again in the Book of Psalms. The relationship between spirituality and health has been explored in Jewish thought for centuries — from the philosophical writings of Moses Maimonides to the poetry of Judah Halevi, from the traditions of Hasidism to the prayers of the kabbalists.
One of the beauties of Jewish Science is its ability to adapt and evolve. Science is just beginning to catch up in recognizing the “mind-body connection” and the power of affirmative prayer in restoring health, serenity, success, and peace of mind. While the Lichtensteins were instrumental in giving Jewish Science its foundation, our current spiritual leaders also draw from other wisdom sources and practices to create a positive and inclusive Jewish experience.
Although MAKOR is not, strictly speaking, a synagogue, many of our members consider it their spiritual home. We have become an oasis for spiritual travelers who wish to connect with Jewish spirituality and the power of affirmative prayer. For that reason, MAKOR offers Friday night Shabbat services and High Holiday services in addition to its educational and cultural programs.
What’s scientific about Jewish Science?
The term “Science” –as it was used in the early 20th century – refers to the relationship between psychology and mental/physical health.
Today, we’d call it the “mind-body connection.” Or self-fulfilling prophecy.” We understand that our mental attitude, personality, and perceptions can have an impact on disease … as well as dis-ease. Recent trends in holistic health, environmental medicine, immunology and the mind, stress control, and biofeedback support this as well.
By using meditation, affirmative prayer, and visualization through Jewish Science, we have an opportunity to rise above that dis-ease and lead us to a place of greater recovery, healing, and peace of mind.
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Sc. 2.