Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch (1704-1772) said, “When a person is suffering, he should never say, ‘I have it bad,’ because from the Creator no evil comes. He can express himself and say, ‘Things are bitter,’ because sometimes the cure can (actually) be bitter.”
When a person brands an event as evil, he places an inevitable reality and stigma on the event that it should become one without virtue, forced within the parameters of the one looking at the experience as being no good or perhaps even bad.
A woman once came to Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor of Kovno (1817-1896) and cried bitter tears, for the doctor had given her husband only three days to live!
Let me divert a moment from the story.
In our morning prayers and praises, we say, “#1, God creates cures (healing), #2, He is awesome in praise, #3, master of wonders….”
First, we mention the cures God created and has allowed doctors to discover. When a person is not well, Torah instructs us to go to a doctor to be cured and follow his advice.
Secondly, suppose the sickness does not go away after professional consultations. In that case, we should intensify our prayers to God and mention His praise, specifically those in the book of Psalms, for “He is awesome in praise.” Reciting the prayer book of Psalms is a powerful way to draw blessings of healing from Heaven.
Thirdly, if matters have not improved, we must never give up hope, for He is the “Master of wonders.” This morning prayer reminds us to strengthen our faith, wait, and expect a wonder or a miracle, “for [He is] the (ultimate) healer.”
Back to our story.
The Rabbi was bewildered and asked the frantic wife, “Is that so? Did he say three more days? I am not sure I will live out the rest of the day because nobody knows his time (when it will end), and he told you, your husband has three more days to live?”
Now that is some lesson.
The doctor cannot guarantee three days or limit how long the patient will live. No one guarantees even the next breath; thus, the doctor has no right to guarantee nor limit the person’s lifespan. Our attitudes toward events that take place in our lives, have a very significant impact on those events. If we see them as limiting and evil, we help make that a reality. If we see them as a bitter cure necessary for improvement, then with God’s help, it becomes so.
The healthy way to live for all people is in gratitude and appreciation for the gift of every breath we take. As King David expresses in his Book of Psalms, “For every breath I praise and thank God.” No one knows his time, and therefore the healthy attitude for everyone is to never take the next moment for granted and value every second we have.
Once, Rebbetzin Rivkah (1833–1914), wife of Rebbe Shmuel, contracted a pulmonary disease, and the professor overlooking her case gave up on finding a cure. Her father-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, told her, “The Torah (God’s word) is the one that grants a doctor “permission to cure” and to be God’s messenger in the field of healing, ultimately it is God who sends health and cures the sick.”
From these words, it is clear that the permission granted to the doctor in the field of medicine ends with being able to cure. A doctor does not represent his profession or mandate when he expresses despair for the patient.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in God” because when he does so, God reciprocates and places His continued trust in allowing us to fulfill our mission.
CHAPTER 288 www.aspiritualsoulbook.com