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Arends: Life and death from a Jewish perspective
Statesman Journal
Posted Saturday, Oct 26th, 2013

Questions of life and death are the hardest for any of us to face.

When seeking input for ourselves or beloved family members, we are sometimes reluctant to draw others into discussions on our hard choices.

Those needing a Jewish perspective on such issues may find their solutions in a six-week course beginning Tuesday titled “Life in the Balance.” It is subtitled “Jewish Perspectives on Everyday Medical Dilemmas.”

It is sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Center of Salem and will be held at Temple Beth Shalom, 1274 Cunningham Lane S, Salem.

The class was developed by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. The promotional material says, “We want you to walk away surprised, inspired, and knowing more about who we are as Jews, and who you are as an individual.”

Among the questions the course will attempt to answer: “Are we obliged to prolong life even at the cost of terrible suffering? Should we legalize the sale of organs, such as kidneys, to save the lives of transplant patients? When it seems that every option is morally questionable, how do we decide?”

An instructor will lead each class with a slide show and guide textbook exercises done in class. Discussion will be during and at the end of each session.

Continuing education credits are available for such professionals as doctors, lawyers and dentists.

The first session of the course is free. The remaining five sessions are $85, plus $10 for the textbook. Temple members and Chabad donors will receive free textbooks and couples get a 10 percent discount when signing up together.

Registration may be made at www.myjli.com. Information is available by calling (503) 383-9569 or via email at rabbi@chabadsalem.com

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