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For eight days you shall dwell in booths

Tuesday, 18 October 2016  |  Admin

SuccahLiving out of doors is not what most people aspire to. I mean nobody wants to be homeless. Yet a lot of us love camping. See this touching story about a father bonding with his two-year-old on an overnight biking, fishing and camping trip. Then after I read that, I found another.

But the reason I mention all this is because, at the time of writing, we are in the midst of the Jewish festival of Succot, when Jews, the world over, commemorate their wondering in the wilderness for 40 years, during which time they dwelt in improvised shelters. Now, whether or not you believe ancient religious texts, is up to you. But one thing we should all recognize is that we don't know everything. Not in science, not in nature, not in medicine.

Nature has its own way of dealing with things. That is why some people like to live close to nature, as the above examples illustrate, even in our brave new world of advanced science and technology. And that is why some people rely on alternative medicine and natural healing even in a world of laser surgery, antibiotics and the vast repertoire of high-tech machinery to be found in a typical western hospital.

That is not to say that we should not make use of every weapon in our arsenal in the war against disease. Just that we should remember that even in an age of laser-guided missiles and nuclear warheads, soldiers are still trained in the art of unarmed combat. Even though cities and entire countries can be obliterated at the mere touch of a button, soldiers are still expected to be fit- and fitness training form a major part of any modern-day military training regime. 

Sisters eating in succahThe same, of course, applies to medicine. We have NMR and CTI scanners. We have X-ray machines. We have heart-lung machines, robotic, long-distance, surgery. We have advanced prosthetic limbs made out of resilient composite materials. We have air ambulances that can carry patients from mountaintops to hospitals. We have decompression chambers for divers suffering from the bends. And yet...

FDA-approved magnetic anti-acid reflux band

And yet...

There is still room for alternative medicine. Whether it is the Jewish penicillin of chicken soup, or an FDA-approved magnetic band to prevent acid reflux. Natural medicine is here to stay.