Contemporary Jewish healing services began in the 1980s. For many people struggling with illness, these rituals provide community, inspiration, and a place where the focus is on healing the spirit rather than curing the body. Services vary widely, but standard elements often include meditation, chanting, music, prayer, guided visualization and teaching from traditional and contemporary Jewish texts.
The first time I participated in a prayer service in a circle I felt awkward and uncomfortable. It felt exposed—everyone could see me. For me, prayer is a private matter. Indeed, one of...