The field of Medicine is a rapidly changing landscape. Many lifesaving procedures and surgeries that are available today did not exist years ago. The same patient who can walk out of the hospital today with a relatively short recuperation period could very possibly have died years ago.
The same is true for medications. Illnesses that had no cure years ago are today cured easily through a particular medication that did not exist previously.
Where do these medical innovations and man’s ingenuity in discovering them come from? In our weekday Shemoneh Esrei, we ask Hashem to bring us healing and salvation, and then we say the phrase “ki s’hilaseinu Atah (for You are our praise).” With that phrase, we affirm and remind ourselves that all healing and salvation come only from Hashem. Of course, we must thank the doctors for their care and efforts, but not for the results. The results come from only One source: “ki s’hilaseinu Atah” – heal us because our praise is all to You.
Our current predicament is a prime example. To date, there is no “cure” or vaccine for COVID-19. People speak and write about all the efforts around the world to discover a cure and a preventive vaccine, and often speculate on how long it will be before we have the cure and the vaccine. The strenuous efforts of those involved are necessary, and should be appreciated by all of us. The speculation, on the other hand, is a lack of emunah. Hashem alone determines precisely when a cure and vaccine will be available. The time wasted in speculation will not bring the cure any closer. On the other hand, tefilah for those who are ill – and tefilah for those are well to stay well – is vital and is our obligation. The Gemara (Shabbos 32a) relates that one should always daven for compassion from Hashem that he (and others) not get sick. Tefilos, while we are well, are much more powerful, since more merits are required once a person is sick. If we are well, we should thank Hashem profusely every day for our health and ask that we continue in good physical and emotional health for a long, productive, and sweet life of serving and loving Hashem.
When the cure does come, im yirtzeh Hashem, we need to remember not to get wrapped up in the “how” and the “who” – “how” it was discovered or “who” discovered it. It will have been discovered because Hashem determined that at that precise moment we should receive it. That is the “how” and the “who.” The rest of the story pertains to the messengers. Let us spend our focus and energies on strengthening our emunah and tefilah, and not on using our precious time on speculation that not only is not relevant but that demonstrates a lack of emunah. May Hashem bring us the cure and the vaccine speedily, heal all who are ill, and keep all of us who are healthy now, in good physical and emotional health for a long, productive, and sweet life of serving and loving Hashem.
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You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.