Mendy Kaminker
Mendy Kaminker

5 steps towards healing

Did you know that the coming Hebrew month is considered a month of healing?

Here’s why:

The name of the month is Iyar. In Hebrew, the word “Iyar” is spelled with the letters Alef, Yud, Yud and Resh, an acronym of the verse “Ani Hashem Rofe’cha”, “I am G-d your healer.”

And healing is what we all need.

While COVID-19 dominates the news cycle, there are more than 10,000 other diseases (!) that affect countless lives.

One might argue that every human being in the world will encounter a health problem at some point or another.

So here’s my contribution to the month of healing:

Five steps toward healing, derived from the teaching of the Rebbe.

I hope you will find this beneficial!

Who’s who on the healing journey

“So what did the doctor say?”

Physicians play a crucial role in helping patients achieve health. However, we need to remember that:

1. Physicians are empowered by G-d to heal.
2. Physicians are not G-d.

The logical conclusion is that, while we must take the doctor’s instructions seriously, it is okay to doubt a not-so-positive prognosis. The doctor spent years studying medicine, and with the blessing of G-d they lead the patient with the suitable treatment. But they do not predict the future. Only the one above will decide what will be the outcome of the treatment, and even when the prognosis seems bleak, He can perform miracles!

Having a mindset of healing

In a letter to a prominent hospital administrator in Israel, the Rebbe asked to change the name of the institution from “Beit Cholim” (in Hebrew: a house for the sick) to “Beit Refua” (“a house of health”).

Would the name change affect the treatment of patients? No. But it will give them a different attitude. This is no longer a place of illness and disease; it is a place of health and healing.

[It’s fascinating how this idea, written by the Rebbe in the 1970s, is finally getting more and more popular. For example, an article on the Stamford Medicine Websites states, “A growing body of research has shown that people’s mindsets can measurably affect physical healing.

“Social context, including patients’ relationships with their doctors, as well as patients’ expectations about healing can drive these placebo responses.

“Despite this research, the benefits of these psychological and social forces still receive much less attention than drug and device treatments.]

Calibrating the physical and the spiritual

A fundamental idea in Judaism is that our physical life is a reflection of our spiritual life, and a spiritual deficiency could lead to a physical one.

As such, when asked for a blessing for health, the Rebbe often suggested adding Mitzvot to increase spiritual well-being.

One of the recommended Mitzvot was to ensure that the Tefillin and Mezuzot are kosher and that the Mezuzot are properly placed on the doorposts.

Other times the Rebbe recommended other Mitzvots, such as increasing Torah learning, observing family purity, and others.

By adding more Mitzvot, we calibrate our body and soul and put them in sync; the renewed energy of the soul will have a direct effect on the body.

The places we go

In search of healing, people find themselves in unexpected places: they may be in hospitals a few miles away or a few thousand miles away from home.

Addressing a hospitalized patient, the Rebbe commented:

Perhaps the reason you are in the hospital is to inspire those you come into contact with and connect them with G-d; hopefully, once you have fulfilled your mission, you will be released home.

So if the journey of healing takes you to unexpected places, be on the lookout for ways to inspire and uplift others, which will certainly bring more positive energy and healing.

The power of the mind

Finally, as the famous saying says, “think good, it will be good.” Faith in G-d has a strong impact, it can transform a seemingly hopeless situation into a hopeful one.

May G-d bless us all with a long and healthy life!

About the Author
Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the Chabad Rabbi of Hackensack, and an editorial member of Chabad.org.
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