The Jewish contribution to medicine. Part I. Biblical and Talmudic times to the end of the 18th century.S Afr Med J. 1989 Jul 01; 76(1):26-8.SA
Jewish interest in medicine has a religious motivation with the preservation of health and life as religious commandments in the Holy Scriptures. Despite a basic belief that God caused disease and effected cures with physicians as agents, Jews accepted the rational medicine of ancient Greece. They assisted in the spread of these teachings in the Roman and Arab empires but carried them to the rest of Europe in their migrations. Jews were able to bridge the educational gap of a 500-year period of exclusion from universities and medical schools in the Middle Ages through the Talmud, which started as a commentary on the scriptures in the 5th century BC, but developed over the centuries into a comprehensive body of learning incorporating law, art and the sciences.