Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2129923
 


 



Halachic Infertility: Rabbis, Doctors, and the Struggle Over Professional Boundaries


Tsipy Ivry


University of Haifa - Department of Sociology & Anthropology

2012

Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
This article analyses a public controversy surrounding the hormonal treatment of infertility associated with observance of rabbinic law to illuminate the reach of rabbi-doctor relations in a local configuration of religion and bio-medicine that I call “kosher medicine.” I combine a historical perspective on the evolution of religious laws governing menstruation, and the rabbi-doctor relations with a contemporary ethnography of these relations and laws to illuminate the interplay of continuities, discontinuities, tradition and modernity and their uses and abuses in the contemporary mode of interpenetration between observant Judaism and bio-medicine. The controversy highlights asymmetric permeations into biomedical and rabbinic professional domains. Collaborations persist as long as doctors who declare their incompetence in rabbinic law accommodate to demands of rabbis who are expert in it and also claim competence to challenge medical decisions. Once a doctor demonstrates competence in rabbinic law to challenge rabbinic directives a crisis develops.

Keywords: assisted conception, biopolitics, Israel, professional authority, religion, halachic infertility

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: August 15, 2012 ; Last revised: September 27, 2012

Suggested Citation

Ivry, Tsipy, Halachic Infertility: Rabbis, Doctors, and the Struggle Over Professional Boundaries (2012). Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2129923

Contact Information

Tsipy Ivry (Contact Author)
University of Haifa - Department of Sociology & Anthropology ( email )
Israel
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