Culture, Religion

Actually, It's Because God Likes Us Better

According to a recent study at Hebrew University, shulgoers have a longer lifespan than non-shulgoers. Haaretz reports,

Data showed that the death rate was 75 percent higher among the group that did not attend synagogue than it was among the group that attended synagogue regularly.
Litwin said that there is no clear-cut explanation for the synagogue attendance effect, but outlined two main possibilities.
“One explanation is spiritual, that is, the individual faith factor,” he said. “A series of studies that have been conducted in recent years,
especially in the United States, argue that faith helps people deal with psychological pressure. People who believe and pray apparently survive
longer,” said Litwin.
“Another explanation is the connection between attending synagogue and belonging to a supportive community,” he added.
Litwin said that in late old age decreased social activity is a common problem.
“A person who goes to synagogue has a function: He is called to the Torah, and he has a network of social ties in the community.”

It’s fair to note, though, that there is some chance that there’s a chicken-and-egg thing happening in the data reporting, as well. For,

Litwin also noted that since religious Jews do not drive on Shabbat, a person who goes to synagogue regularly must be able to walk, and hence is

In any case, full story here.
(Thanks to Uri for the tip!)

4 thoughts on “Actually, It's Because God Likes Us Better

  1. walking, or any other coincidence. Perhaps religious people are less likely to smoke, or drink too much…. or perhaps they drink more and that’s actually good for your health…there have been studies about red wine that suggest that.
    I am observant (mostly), and I can see how the faith and the support community can certainly be factors in longevity, but it seems to me that they are hardly factors that can stand on their own and influence the study… I’d imagine something like walking has more to do with it. Perhaps shukling?

  2. Without knowing more about the study – it is hard to believe that they have controlled for selection bias. ‘Correlation is not causation!’ The classic example is that trains tend to arrive in the station when lots of people are waiting on the platform – but this doesn’t mean that the crowd causes the train to arrive….

  3. Walking is an obvious factor– a recent study also determined that American city dwellers live longer than the average American– and walking was a primary factor. City dwellers simply get a couple of miles in at least just from doing errands.

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