The Healing of Body and Soul

Kabbalah and Medicine: The Healing of Body and Soul – Part 40 – Mistaken Identity

As an autoimmune disease, Lupus creates a situation in the immune system where it is unable to distinguish the healthy cells of a person's own body from harmful invading particles. The result is that the body produces "self-reacting antibodies"–antibodies that fight against the healthy cells of the body itself.

The property of hod–to acknowledge or to identify–usually serves to identify the presence of a foreign substance in the body. In a person who has Lupus, this ability becomes corrupted to the point that one cannot properly identify anything, including the disease itself (as will be discussed presently). Lupus itself is a disease of mistaken identity where I myself turn into the other. This manifestation of mistaken identity emerges at a number of levels.

For the Jewish people, it can be likened to our generation, whose major dilemma is mistaken identity, where a Jew does not know what it means to be Jewish. The crisis of our time is that not only do we not know who we are as a people but also we have come to regard ourselves as someone we are not. Consequently, in a situation like this, a person can even come to regard his true self as something foreign, to be rejected and fought off.

This phenomenon of mistaken identity can even cause Lupus itself to be misdiagnosed. Lupus often resembles other diseases–it can disguise itself within its symptoms. In Kabbalah, symptoms are considered to be clothing for the disease, acting as garments through which it puts itself on display. For this reason, Lupus can be considered a "Purim" disease, when everything is disguised. This aspect of "dressing up" is also a feminine quality according to Kabbalah, further strengthening the connection of the disease to women. In fact, Lupus strikes women during the years of fertility–from puberty until menopause–thus, relating to the feminine reproductive system, which, according to Kabbalah is yesod tending toward hod (the fear of rape, as explained above). Moreover, Lupus disguises itself in particular as syphilis, another link to sexuality and the fear of some foreign body invading oneself, the fear of rape.

The Inner Dimension web-site is presented by Gal Einai Institute of Israel
Disseminating the teachings of the inner dimension of the Torah  in the Land of Israel
and in the Diaspora as taken from the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

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