BLOODLETTING


BLOODLETTING
BLOODLETTING, removal of blood in treating diseases. Bloodletting is frequently mentioned in the Talmud. It was performed not by a physician but by a skilled functionary called umman or gara, whose status was less than that of a physician. The bloodletter is mentioned in various passages in the Talmud, both favorably and unfavorably (e.g., Ta'an. 21b; Kid. 82a). Some of the directives about bloodletting in the Talmud relate to specific ailments (e.g., Git. 67b; Av. Zar. 29a), but most are in the realm of preventive medicine based on the belief that the regular removal of blood from the body was of hygienic value. Among the ten indispensable requirements of a town, in the absence of which "no scholar should reside there" (Sanh. 17b), is a bloodletter. According to the Talmud, bloodletting is one of the things which should be applied in moderation (Git. 70a), and, in practice, the amount of blood to be let varies with the subject's age. Maimonides (Yad, De'ot 4:18), though in general agreement, suggests, in addition, consideration of the subject's "blood richness" and physical vigor (Pirkei Moshe, 12). Many instructions are given in the Talmud with respect to diet and precautions to be taken both before and after bloodletting (e.g., Shab. 129a–b; Git. 70a; Ned. 54b; Av. Zar. 29a; et al.). Maimonides advises moderation in blood-letting: "A man should not accustom himself to let blood regularly, nor should he do so unless he is in great need of it" (Yad, loc. cit.). The views of the Talmud and of Maimonides provide a sharp contrast to those of the ancient and medieval world, where the practice of bloodletting was unrestricted. In late Hebrew literature (e.g., the Oẓar ha-Ḥayyim of Jacob Ẓahalon and the Ma'aseh Tuviyyah of tobias b. moses cohn ) directions for bloodletting and cupping are also found. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Preuss, Biblisch-talmudische Medizin (19233), 36–39, 289–300; M. Perlmann, Midrash ha-Refu'ah, 2 (1929), 85–89. (Joshua O. Leibowitz)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bloodletting — (or blood letting, in modern medicine referred to as phlebotomy) was a tremendously popular medical practice from antiquity up to the late 19th century, a time span of almost 2,000 years. Bloodletting involves the withdrawal of often considerable …   Wikipedia

  • bloodletting — blood‧let‧ting [ˈblʌdˌletɪŋ] noun [uncountable] JOURNALISM HUMAN RESOURCES dismissing employees in large numbers: • After two years of layoffs, bloodletting at the company may be over. * * * bloodletting UK US /ˈblʌdˌletɪŋ/ noun [U] ► …   Financial and business terms

  • Bloodletting — Blood let ting, n. (Med.) The act or process of letting blood or bleeding, as by opening a vein or artery, or by cupping or leeches; esp. applied to venesection. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bloodletting — ► NOUN 1) historical the surgical removal of some of a patient s blood for therapeutic purposes. 2) violence during a war or conflict …   English terms dictionary

  • bloodletting — [blud′let΄iŋ] n. [ME blodleting: see BLOOD & LET1] 1. the opening of a vein to remove blood; phlebotomy 2. bloodshed …   English World dictionary

  • bloodletting — blood|let|ting [ˈblʌdˌletıŋ] n [U] 1.) killing people = ↑bloodshed ▪ The movie contains scenes of violence and bloodletting. 2.) a medical treatment used in the past which involved removing some of a person s blood 3.) a reduction in the number… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bloodletting — bloodletter, n. /blud let ing/, n. 1. the act or practice of letting blood by opening a vein; phlebotomy. 2. bloodshed or slaughter. 3. bloodbath. 4. Informal. severe cutbacks or reduction in personnel, appropriations, etc.: The company went… …   Universalium

  • Bloodletting — A period marked by severe investing losses. Bloodletting may occur during a bear market, in which the value of securities in many sectors may decline rapidly and heavily. It is named after an ancient medical practice in which doctors would use… …   Investment dictionary

  • bloodletting — blood|let|ting [ blʌd,letıŋ ] noun 1. ) uncount a situation in which many people are killed and injured in fighting 2. ) singular or uncount a situation in which someone in an organization or company is criticized or forced to leave their job in… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • bloodletting — noun (U) 1 killing people; bloodshed: The violence was a foretaste of the bloodletting to come. 2 the medical practice in former times of treating people who were ill by removing some of their blood 3 the reduction of the number of people working …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.