Cornell University

This is a past event. Its details are archived for historical purposes.

The contact information may no longer be valid.

Please visit our current events listings to look for similar events by title, location, or venue.

Medicine in the Talmud: Natural and Supernatural Remedies between Magic and Science

Thursday, September 8, 2022 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Olin Library, 107
Olin Library, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Although medicine is not the first topic that most people expect to encounter when studying Talmud, this corpus is in fact the richest collection of medical remedies in ancient Judaism before the rise of Islam. The Talmud contains dozens of complex therapies for over a hundred afflictions, ranging from toothaches and headaches to more serious conditions like pleurisy or strangury. Many of these therapies rely on natural ingredients such as plants or animal products, while others are superstitious spells or amulets.


During this live Chats in the Stacks talk on his recent book Medicine in the Talmud, author Jason Sion Mokhtarian reveals the unexpected depth of the rabbis’ medical knowledge and describes the ways in which the rabbis adopted and adapted the scientific knowledge of their time in order to address the health needs of their community.  


Mokhtarian is Herbert and Stephanie Neuman Associate Professor in Hebrew and Jewish Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University, where he is also the director of the Jewish Studies Program. Trained in Jewish and Iranian Studies, his research interests include the Talmud in its Sasanian context, ancient Iranian religions and languages, Jewish magic and medicine, Judeo-Persian literature, and the history of the Jews of Persia. He is the author of two books, The Culture of the Talmud in Ancient and Medicine in the Talmud, and is co-editor of the Olamot book series at Indiana University Press which translates cutting-edge scholarship of Israeli academics from Hebrew into English.


This book talk is sponsored by Olin Library. Light refreshments will be served.

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type

Author Appearance, Lecture, Presentation


Near Eastern Studies, Medieval Studies, Jewish Studies Program, Cornell University Library, Olin Library


Cornell University Library, book talk, olin library, Near Eastern Studies, Medieval studies, Jewish Studies Program, nescal, jwstcal

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Jenny Leijonhufvud


Jason Sion Mokhtarian

Speaker Affiliation

Near Eastern Studies

Open To

Free and open to the public

Recent Activity