כי לא מחשבותי מחשבותיכם

כִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתַי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם, וְלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם דְּרָכָי

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kiruv Alert: Tefillin as an Ancient Accupuncture Treatment

tefilin I saw this article called “Tefillin: an ancient Acupuncture point Prescription for Mental clarity” years ago when I was still frum. I loved it.

Kiruv professionals would like you to believe that this is proof for TMS.  After all, how could anyone else than God, thousands of years ago, know about acupuncture?

If you ask me, this does not prove anything more than that a religious Jew, who happens to be involved with acupuncture, believes that putting on tefillin may help you concentrate better. But so does coffee and smoking cigarettes.

Last week, someone sent me the article again, so I decided to do a little investigation.

The first thing I realized is that some people do not realize (neither did I) that acupuncture is not a scientific discipline. In fact, a quick glance at Wikipedia already shows that:

According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture points are situated on meridians along which qi (a "life energy"), flows...but there is no evidence to support their existence and they have not been reconciled with contemporary knowledge about biology, physics or chemistry.

Some googling did prove, however, that the article was indeed published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine in October 2002. This is their website and the original article can be purchased here, so that looks kosher. What does not look kosher, however, is the following.

The “About us” section reads as follows:

The Journal of Chinese Medicine was established in 1979 by Peter Deadman, and has been published continuously since then. It has played a vital role in raising the standards of education and practice in Chinese medicine throughout the English-speaking world.

Since 2001 the journal website has been offering the very best Chinese medicine books for sale on our website and in March 2005 greatly expanded the range of online products to include herbs, acupuncture supplies and specialist teas.

Hardly a yichus. Sounds more like a sham to me.

And here is the chinese medicine guru himself, Peter Deadman, publisher of the magazine:

On his personal website, there is no mention of any educational background. Despite this, he endorses his magazine as “Probably the premier English language journal in the field of Chinese medicine”. Medicine my tuches.

Oh yes, he also plays Klezmer for a band called ‘Matzos’, which might explain why he let this tefillin article slip in by accident.

My advise? Stay away from these so-called ‘proofs.

5 comments:

  1. I heard about this awhile back, too - and thought it was pretty interesting (granted, I was still frum). Now, I can file it alongside the stories I heard of tefillin "saving people's lives." It's amazing how many people have been wearing tefillin or carrying it when ejected from vehicles or similar.

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  2. Well this acupuncture joke was a definite Kiruv lie. What you mentioned is funny (never herd it before, just people that got shot and were saved by a Tenach in their breastpocket). But it seems to me more like a segulah or something. We are really an 'am segulah': we believe any crappy segulah or think of things as 'an inyan' because we are afraid of the consequences when one doesn't follow this segulah and it 'schad nisht'.

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  3. I've never heard this one before, but it’s pretty funny. It boils down to proving Judaism by way of Chinese superstitions!

    I mean, really, acupuncture? And chi? And this is being used for kiruv? While they’re at it, they should claim we know Judaism is true because of parallels between some apocalyptic midrashim about the yemai hamoshicah and the Norse myth of Ragnarock.

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  4. "After all, how could anyone else than God, thousands of years ago, know about acupuncture?"

    So how did the Chinese come up with the idea? Did they also receive a revelation from God?

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  5. Tephillin is NOT a "treatment"! In the same way as they have to be made l'Shem Kedushat haTephillin, they have to be worn l'Shem Kedushat ha'Mitzvah - v'haMetzuveh!
    And they are written in Hebrew - not in Chinese, and worn by Jews - not Chinamen.

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