The Healing of Body and Soul

Kabbalah and Healing: The Healing of Body and Soul – Part 43 – Learning from Experience

The innate wisdom of the immune system lies in its adaptability to be able to experiment through a process of trial and error until it detects and wards off threats to the body. The means of accomplishing this comes from the creation of antibodies, which come in contact with foreign substances and create cells to eradicate them. The expression of the sages that, "There is no wise person like one who possesses experience" reflects this learning ability in the immune system. When something invades the body, the immune system picks up on it and learns to react. This is alluded to in the term hod, which also means "to echo"–that is, to react.

The problem with Lupus is that the person does not know how to react to it. Such a person, on some level, does not learn from experience. For instance, a person stumbles due to his unfamiliarity with some new experience. By trial and error, he learns how to walk straight (through this experience) without stumbling.

Stumbling relates to the left leg, the limb of the body identified with the sefirah of hod in Kabbalah. Here, one learns how to walk by trial and error. In Sefer Yetzirah, the "sense of walking" is controlled by the sefirah of hod, the left leg in particular.

Moreover, the word in Hebrew for the laws of the Torah–halachah–literally means "walking." Our sages say that "a person does not properly appreciate the laws until he has stumbled in them." Even of the righteous it is written, "Seven times a righteous man [stumbles,] falls, and rises up." The righteous one is someone who, despite the stumbling, will always rise back up having learned from the experience. The legs–one's continual contact with the ground–"meet" or "touch" outer experience. The legs are the physical extension of the body that connects with outer reality.


Recent developments in the medical world for the treatment of Lupus have seemingly taken us back to our distant past. Plasmapheresis, which is a variation on one of the oldest medical practices, has reemerged as a viable option for dealing with Lupus. Resembling the ancient process of bloodletting, this technique involves getting rid of the bad blood in the body. As reflected in the fact that the physician was initially a bloodletter in the Torah, bloodletting has always been understood as a method of healing. The numerous statements of the sages on the subject of bloodletting lend evidence to the complexity of this practice.

Bloodletting is also a hod property, which, like menstruation, aims at removing the bad blood as part of the health process. Since the period when Lupus affects the female is during the years of her fertility, it can be suggested that if a women properly menstruates and thereby releases her bad blood she will not contract Lupus.

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