title.jpg (23972 bytes) subscribe

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues


"If men quarrel and one strikes his fellow with a stone or a fist, and he does not die but falls into bed. If he gets up and goes about outside under his own power, the one who struck is absolved. Only for his lost time shall he pay, and he shall provide for healing" (Mishpatim 21:18-19).

The Sages learned from this passage in the Torah that a doctor was given permission to heal a person. However, we must always remember that a physician is not more than a messenger of Hashem, Who is the real doctor. In times of illness, R.l., no matter what the situation might be, we must place our trust in the Almighty and beg Him to heal us. Sometimes, if our trust in Him is sufficiently strong, He may restore us to health by Himself; without even using the services of His messenger.

The following inspirational story is recorded in Aleynu Lishabeach, by Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein shlita, and should strengthen our belief and trust in Hashem and His Torah.

The eight year old daughter of a Torah scholar began to have strong headaches and feelings of nausea and general discomfort. At first, the parents tried giving her aspirin and other conventional pain killers but when the discomfort increased they took her to the emergency room at Tel Hashomer Hospital. The first tests indicated an infection in the brain membrane which was cause for alarm.

The little girl began to receive the regular treatments for such a problem but the situation did not improve. Further tests showed that the damage might very well be in the brain itself, and each suggestion was scarier than the one before, but the doctors said that they could not positively identify the situation "according to the books." Things were happening that could not be explained according to their experience. The professor who was given her file was stumped at the strange results the tests were showing and he said; "Only G-d knows what is wrong with this child."

After undergoing an MRA, the experts declared that she may have a cancer in the brain R.l. and they scheduled the girl for emergency surgery during which they would remove a part of her brain. Their descriptions of what the unfortunate little girl would be like after the surgery were far from encouraging.

The operation was scheduled for two weeks later but, in the meantime, the distraught parents decided to begin a "berachos campaign" dedicated to the full recovery of their beloved child. After discussing different options, they came up with the following idea. After one has successfully relieved himself of his body wastes in the bathroom, he/she is required to recite the prayer asher yatzar, to thank Hashem that his/her body functions properly. Unfortunately, since we take these things for granted and only pay attention when there is a malfunction, G-d forbid, we do not usually say this berachah with much concentration. The parents decided that they would ask people to recite the prayer in a loud voice, rather than a whisper, and to have in mind that they are asking Hashem that the body of their young child be healed and function properly too.

A strong message of encouragement came from an unexpected source. The parents had come to this conclusion while discussing the situation late at night when their child was in a deep sleep. She had no inkling of what they were planning. Yet, the very next morning she told her parents that before going to sleep she had decided that she would take it upon herself to recite all of her prayers in a loud voice so that Hashem would send her a complete recovery soon. The parents were amazed and took this as a sign that they were moving in the right direction.

One of the three main attributes possessed by the Jewish People is Mercy. Jews feel bad for each other and want to help each other whenever possible. As soon as the parents contacted their friends and asked them to take part in their "berachos campaign" for the benefit of their daughter, they quickly agreed and began to pass the message on to their friends and so on. Before you knew it, hundreds of people were saying asher yatzar out loud and praying for the speedy recovery of the eight year old. Although the parents had only requested that they recite the prayer out loud, people reported that, as a result, they began to focus on the words they were saying and made the berachah with much more concentration. Non-religious friends were also contacted but since they did not usually say asher yatzar, it did not make sense to ask them to say it out loud. Instead, they were asked to recite the 20th psalm every day in which King Dovid pleads with Hashem to answer us whenever we are in a situation of despair. Truthfully, they were quite skeptical about what good the reciting of psalms could do, but what doesn't one do to make a close friend feel better?

Twenty four hours before the scheduled operation, the doctors performed another MRA test and immediately began preparing the girl for surgery. But, to their surprise, they were opposed by the girl's mother who asked them why they were making preparations for the surgery before checking the results of the MRA. They explained to her patiently that the test was merely a matter of routine and that they didn't really expect any major change in such a short time. However, the mother was stubborn and adamantly insisted that they wait to check the results, adding that quite a lot may have changed since the last one.

Not wanting to upset the obviously distraught mother, they agreed to wait awhile. When they examined the slides, though, they gasped as they shouted, "What happened here? The disorder is 75% less than it was last time. If so, it cannot possibly be a cancer in the brain!"

When the professor was called, he was moved to tears and asked the parents emotionally, "Please tell me which chapter of Psalms heals this disease." The young patient spoke up then and replied, "It is not one chapter. It is many hundreds of them!"

At that very moment, the doctors suddenly discovered some bacteria which was causing the disorder. This was not a serious phenomenon and was certainly something they could deal with. Why was this bacteria hidden until now and why did it suddenly become noticeable, nobody knew. But the girl was sent home where she and her parents sang praises to the greatest Doctor of All and thanked Him for his salvation. They immediately shared the good news with all who had prayed for the girl's recovery and everyone thanked Hashem. Only the non-religious friends remained skeptical until the parents pointed out to them that the Professor had asked which psalm heals this disease.

The family said that all the anguish they went through was worth it to be able to sanctify Hashem's Name in such a great way.

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel