Health

Can religion boost your immune system?

January 13, 2017

When I was young, I remember being taught that the laws of kashrut derived from a pre-modern understanding of hygiene. Pigs were “dirty” and you took the risk of contracting trichinosis if you ate raw or undercooked pork. Keeping kosher, as a result, was a way of staying healthier. Indeed, today even non-Jews will buy […]

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What if there were an “end date” to life?

October 2, 2016

It was my birthday last week. I turned 56. That means I have another 19 years left on this planet. No, I don’t have a crystal ball predicting when I’ll die. But I have been very much taken with the end-of-life prescription laid out by medical ethicist Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, who wrote in a much-cited […]

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Crowdfunded shnitzel without killing coming to your kitchen

August 2, 2016

Shir Friedman calls me a care-nivore. “You’re someone who cares about not harming animals…but you still eat them,” she says with a smile. Friedman wants to change all that. If Friedman’s new company takes off – and judging by the rapid response to their Indiegogo campaign, I have every expectation that it will – I […]

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Electro shock therapy meets the iPhone

August 2, 2016

Over the last three weeks, I’ve been zapping my brain with small jolts of electricity. Does the new Thync device work? Or is it placebo?

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Meditation intervention

April 28, 2016

“You’ll be staying in Building 3,” explained Danny, as we arrived at Kibbutz Ein Dor, where we were about to spend just under a week at the annual silent Jewish meditation retreat my wife and I have attended for the past several years. We had gotten to the retreat late this year – our son’s […]

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Lost in the woods: cognitive defusion on vacation

September 1, 2015

Google Maps said it would take just under two hours to hike from Oslo’s Frogsternen café, with its world famous homemade apple pie, to Sognsvann lake via the rolling hills and blueberry patches near Ulyovata. Weather.com said the temperature would get up to lovely 25 degrees and there was a zero percent chance of precipitation. […]

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Multifocals and the wisdom of Inside Out

August 21, 2015

“Let me take care of him. He’s very sensitive,” my optometrist Nadine whispered to her coworker in Hebrew behind the counter as she brought out my new glasses. “I heard that!” I snapped back, indicating that, while my Hebrew is famously fragile, I had command of enough basics to know when I was being insulted. […]

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Detox: A Sleeping Pill Addict Goes into Voluntary Rehab

January 28, 2014

There’s no easy way to admit this: I’m a drug addict. My particular addition is relatively benign and not in any way illegal – it’s sleeping pills. But I’ve been hooked on them for 13 years now, since the days when helicopters would fly above my house during the Second Intifada on their way to […]

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Toughing It Out: A Colonoscopy in Jerusalem

January 13, 2014

The waiting room in the gastro clinic at Shaarei Tzedek hospital is pleasant enough. Recently refurbished, there’s free WiFi, extra padded seats (a thoughtful touch given the nature of the work done there) and clean walls. The wall-mounted TV hums away, but not too loudly. I was at Shaarei Tzedek as the “designated driver” for […]

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Castration Clinic

February 1, 2012

At first glance, it looks like any other veterinarian’s office. Pictures of dogs and cats on the walls, efficient and busy animal doctors flitting around in blue cotton smocks. But the pets coming this morning to the Jerusalem Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) in Jerusalem’s Talpiot Industrial Zone all had one […]

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