Chayim Aruchim Offers L.A. Rabbis Guidance on Medical Halachah
On February 6th, over 30 leading local rabbonim gathered at Cedars-Sinai to participate in a very sophisticated and important half-day work shop on medical issues and halachah. The program was presented in coordination with Chayim Aruchim, a project of Agudas Yisroel, and in conjunction with the Rabbinical Council of California, Ateres Avigail of Los Angeles, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Spiritual Care Department.
Chayim Aruchim is Agudas Yisroel of America’s center for culturally sensitive health advocacy and counseling. They receive over 350 calls a month to assist with complicated medical situations, ensure Jewish patients are treated in accordance with halachah, and answer complex shaylos. Chayim Aruchim sent one of their senior poskim and counselors, Rav Eliezer Gewirtzman of Lakewood, New Jersey, to provide in-depth training to the local rabbonim.
In addition to covering common medical shaylos and strategies for navigating hospitals and the healthcare system, the five-hour session covered thorough presentations and discussions of dementia, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, kidney failure, strokes, septic shock, and end-stage cancer. The rabbonim in attendance had the opportunity to learn all of the relevant medical details, what the common shaylos are, strategies for navigating them, and the approaches of the leading poskim.
In addition to Rav Gewirtzman’s PowerPoint presentation, the rabbonim engaged in lively discussion of real-life scenarios and case studies. Rabbi Jason Weiner, Cedars-Sinai’s senior rabbi, welcomed everyone to the conference and explained its importance and relevance. The attendees unanimously had very high praise for this important and engaging gathering and are already actively discussing follow-up and further similar learning sessions.