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  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • The Jewish Attitude to Evil

Schizophrenia in Judaism


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Tevet 22, 5782
Shalom. How is Schizophrenia seen as in Judaism? That those are possessed by evil forces, evil spirits?
Judaism believes in the empirical sciences and accordingly, psychological problems should be dealt with via the modern accepted treatment and not as "evil spirits" or the like. Nevertheless, it's important to see a religious psychologist who will be careful not to mix his own beliefs, e.g. deriding religion as "superstitious", as may be the case with secular mental health care. There were some documented cases of "Dybbuks", that were treated as such (by the Chafetz Chaim and Rav Kook, respectively, and successfully!) in past generations, nevertheless, that is not the accepted treatment today (perhaps unless nothing else works, and only by a clearly genuine and accepted kabbalist, which you will find only in Israel…).
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