On Spirituality

Daily Utah Chronicle - 8/28/2002
New Med School Course Focuses On Spirituality 
   ...The first panel member to speak was Rabbi Benny Zippel, who told students that Jewish mysticism believes there is nothing beside God.
   "This reminds us that there's a divine particle within each and every one of us," he said.
   Zippel says the importance of emotional and spiritual care can't be overstated.
   "People don't think too much about God when things are going well," he said. "But when there's a problem or people are confronting death, a disease or medical need, that ignored God now plays a great role in that person's life."
   Jews believe every human being is a coexistence of two things—body and soul, according to Zippel. This interaction continues from birth to death, when the body dies but the soul lives on.
   According to the Talmud, the best physicians belong in purgatory, says Zippel. This means the physician can't get out of line and think he or she is the ultimate healer. It is up to God to achieve the healing.

Deseret News - Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Medical patients' spiritual needs stressed 
Clerics share insights with doctors-to-be
      ...Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch reminded the students there's a "divine particle inside each and every one of us." He said when treating a patient of the Jewish faith, caregivers should reach out to a rabbi who will help protect a person's religious tenets during medical treatment.
      And he told the students that when they are doctors they must view themselves as the "ax in the hands of the woodchopper." They are a tool of God.

Salt Lake Tribune - 06/19/1993
Reconciliation: a Walk Back to God
   ...``We view God as one who is always ready and prepared for our sins,'' says Rabbi Benny Zippel, director of the Salt Lake City-based Chabad Lubavitch of Utah. ``Repentance is something a person can do at any time of the year.''
   The Jewish notion of repentance is not just atonement.
   ``It also means the return to God,'' he says. ``The desire of the soul to get nearer its creator, the human yearning to get nearer to God.''
   The Lord is understanding, Rabbi Zippel says.
   ``Many times, a person is frightened to pursue repentance because of the immensity of the job,'' he says. ``But Hasidic philosophy says that God wants to see effort; that the good will to get started on the road to repentance counts, too.''

Salt Lake Tribune - 03/13/1999
Religious leaders emphasize using spirituality in counseling
   ...Zippel emphasized that social workers should realize that observant Jews do not leave their Judaism at the synagogue.
   "A Jew is a Jew when he or she is in the hospital, a treatment center, at work or engaging in the most mundane activities," the rabbi said. "As social workers [it is important to know] that for Jews there is a place . . . in their belief system for whatever situation they are in."
   Dietary restrictions, observance of the Sabbath, the extent and circumstances of male-female interaction are just a few areas regulated by Judaism. It can be confusing to someone not raised in the faith to understand, Zippel said.
   "You can always contact me as a clergy person to educate you," he said. "You need to know more and you can act as a bridge to bring instruction and the religious message to people in the community."

Deseret News - Saturday, September 16, 1995
Modern-Day Jews Rekindle Their Ancestors' Clarion Call
    ...Meeting the spiritual needs of Utah's growing Jewish community is a welcome task, said local leaders.
    ``It's important that I provide spiritual services, especially for the children,'' said Rabbi Benjamin Zippel of CHABAD of Utah (Hasidic). ``Many Jews are moving into Utah from large Jewish areas . . . there are challenges, it gives (Utah) Jews a thirst.''