New Review – Jews in Medicine

February 11, 2019

Ben Rothke Jewish Link of New Jersey

The Contributions of Jews in Medicine

There’s an old joke where a Jewish grandmother is watching her two grandchildren. Someone asks her how old the children are. She replies with nachas that the doctor is 4 and the lawyer is 2. The joke underscores how important and pervasive the medical profession is within modern Jewish culture.

In “Jews in Medicine: Contributions to Health and Healing Through the Ages,” Ronald Eisenberg, MD, a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and radiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has written a fascinating work that details the substantial contributions of Jews in the medical field from Talmudic times to the current era.

Read the rest of this entry »
Advertisements

New Review – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

January 14, 2019

Alan Jay Gerber ● The Jewish Star

The Legacy of Yosef

This week’s Torah reading, Vayigash, reflects the narrative of the reconciliation of Yosef and his brothers, and the reunion with his father, Yaakov. There is much to be said of this saga. One very timely book on this biblical legacy is Was Yosef On The Spectrum? Understanding Yosef Through Torah, Midrash, and Classical Jewish Sources [Urim Publications, 2019] by Prof. Samuel Levine.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Review – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

January 10, 2019

Dr. Deena R. Zimmerman ● Jewish Press

When I first saw the title of the book, I admit I did a double-take. What could be the connection between the biblical character about whom the Torah gives us so much personal information and a developmental condition that is currently on the rise? As a pediatrician, I certainly have heard a lot about “the spectrum” and at no point, before reading this book, did the idea cross my mind.

However, that is exactly the beauty of this book. It takes a story that we have heard/read/taught multiple times and makes one look at it in a new light. Chapter by chapter the author analyses the interactions of Yosef through the prism of autistic spectrum disorder. Some of the examples are rather convincing. The author’s argument helps understand why Yosef often seems so incredibly self-centered and why much of his family found him annoying. Others are somewhat less so, but nevertheless give one pause to think through the story again.

Some readers might feel uncomfortable assigning one of our great leaders a diagnosis that would render him less than perfect. However, throughout the book the author weaves in information about high functioning autism that shows that people with this diagnosis can achieve great heights. This is yet another important contribution of this book.

In summary, I found the book interesting and thought provoking and I would recommend it to all.


New Review – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

January 10, 2019

Justice Elyakim Rubinstein Deputy President (Ret.) The Supreme Court of Israel

Professor Levine has masterfully challenged us with a completely new reading of Joseph’s saga. While intuitively one may be surprised by the original idea of Joseph being on the spectrum, so different from what we would usually contemplate, the richness of varied sources and the deep psychological analysis are rather compelling. The book provokes much thought, and Sam Levine should be commended for a fresh contribution to the study of Genesis-Bereishit.


New Review – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

December 24, 2018

Israel Drazin ● The Times of Israel

Was the Biblical Joseph Autistic?

While the idea presented in Samuel J. Levine’s book Was Yosef on the Spectrum, that the biblical Joseph, son of Jacob, was autistic, having Asperger’s Syndrome, may bother some people who prefer to think that Israel’s ancient leaders had no imperfection,[ they will still find much to learn and much to appreciate in this book. Readers will discover that Levine’s analysis explains numerous seemingly strange behaviors by Joseph, who is called by his Hebrew name in this book, behaviors that stymied many scholars for generations. We can now better understand his strengths and weaknesses.

Levine shows more than a dozen examples how Joseph closely resembles many behaviors common among individuals with forms of high-functioning autism called Asperger’s Syndrome.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Review – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

December 17, 2018

The Disability and Faith Forum

Author Samuel J. Levine appeared as a guest speaker at the the Disability and Faith Forum.

The story of Joseph (the title of my book uses the Hebrew “Yosef”) presents a fascinating and memorable narrative, which has been both the focus of careful study for countless generations of readers and scholars of the Bible, as well the subject of a wide range of art and literature, from the visual arts to novels to Broadway.  Much of this interest, among both religious adherents and broader culture, likely stems in large part from the challenging questions that arise in the course of the story.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Review – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

December 13, 2018

Ben Rothke ● Jewish Link of New Jersey

Understanding Yosef

In his paper “Is There Science in the Bible? An Assessment of Biblical Concordism,” Rabbi Dr. David Shatz writes that “some distinguished scientists, for some reason mostly physicists, push for concordist readings. Other intellectuals, for example those immersed in the humanities, are as a rule wary of, or put off by, such interpretations.” Concordism is a system of textual interpretation that is meant to establish a fusion between biblical texts and scientific data.

Read the rest of this entry »