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The Torah and secrets of well being in nature


Rabbi David Sperling

Adar 5, 5781
Hi there, I have a really fascinating question about Torah. I’ve heard many rabbis say that the Torah is like the manual, blueprint, or design plan of the entire world. I’m sure this is also on many levels of depths that I or regular people don’t understand, but on a very basic level, if aside from being moral, and aside from being Jewish, and our Jewish service of G-d, the Torah is the book on the world, why doesn’t the Torah also include in it to tell us about the various plants of the world and how they might heal people, or how we can take care of our physical and mental well being together? In a similar but much deeper way than other ancient traditions have? I’m just really fascinated by this question....there’s also this notion that as the people of G-d, we’re supposed to know a lot about His world, so why aren’t we taught in our own tradition the benefits of the various plants of the world and their contribution to healing and well being? Or wellness of the human, like how forest bathing and certain waters are good for health? I know that King Solomon used to have this amazing book of healing that had in it every cure in the world, and then it was burnt, but still, this knowledge wasn’t included in the five books of the it considered in the realm of intellect and not in spirituality of the world and that’s why it is not included? Is the fact that many rabbis say that the Torah is the blueprint of the world means blueprint in a different sense? I’d just so love to know what is the answer to this question and I didn’t know who to ask or if it’s a really good question.....
Shalom, Thank you for your question. It is a very interesting one. There are several different aspects to take in to account when answering. Firstly, in the oral Torah, the Talmud, there are defiantly discussions about physical healing, and mental wellbeing. Of course, those discussions, like all parts of the Talmud, need deep study, and are open to different interpretations. Also, in the kabalistic sources there are references to these subjects. Secondly, in questions of physical healing, Hashem gave wisdom to mankind to study his world and through our efforts, he wants us to work to make the world a better place. This is true of the entire physical world. Hashem did not write in the Torah atomic theory – but he certainly wants us to study and learn to use the physical world in the best possible way so as bring G-dliness into it. In order to do that, we need to make the best possible use of the world for all mankind. In each age we need to find the best ways to do that. That is to say, that while the Torah is a “blueprint” to the physical world – it does not mean that Hashem wants mankind to merely follow a guide book of rules as robots. He has given us the Torah, and wants us to build, create, grow, and be an active partner with Hashem in creation. I hope this of some help, Blessings.
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