Jewish Philosophy: Rabbi Akiva Tatz

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Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied medicine at the University of Witwatersrand and graduated with distinction in surgery. He spent a year in St. Louis, Missouri, as an American Field Service Scholar and subsequently returned there for elective work in internal medicine at Washington University.

Dr. Tatz served as medical officer in the South African Defence force and completed a tour of duty on the Namibian border during the conflict there. He subsequently moved to Israel where he practised both in hospital and general medicine in Jerusalem, as well as engaging in Yeshiva study.

After practising medicine and studying in Yeshiva concurrently for some time, Dr. Tatz undertook a number of years of Talmudic study and later teaching in Jewish thought and medical ethics in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Dr. Tatz founded the Jerusalem Medical Ethics Forum, of which he is Director, for the purpose of teaching and promoting knowledge of Jewish medical ethics internationally.

He has written a number of books on the subject of Jewish thought and philosophy: Anatomy of a Search, which documents the process of transition from secular to observant lifestyles among modern Jews, Living InspiredWorldmaskLetters to a Buddhist JewWill, Freedom, and DestinyThe Thinking Jewish Teenager’s Guide to Life and Dangerous Disease and Dangerous Therapy in Jewish Medical Ethics: Principles and Practice.

Dr. Tatz is the co-author of Reb Simcha Speaks. His work has been translated into Spanish, Russian, French and Portuguese.

He currently lectures on Jewish thought and medical ethics at the Jewish Learning Exchange in London and internationally.