HaRofei lishvurei leiv, u’m’chabeish l’atzvosam

He is the Healer of the broken-hearted, and the One Who binds up their wounds (or sorrows).


There is a basic question we may miss as we recite this pasuk daily. If Hashem has healed us, why do we need a dressing on our wound? If He has already healed the broken-hearted, why do they need bandages?

This pasuk continues where the last one left off. Hashem will gather the dispersed and distanced Jews together in Yerushalayim when He takes us out of this long galus, may it be speedily in our day. At that time, he will heal the broken-hearted Jews, who were in pain, suffering through the galus. He will also dress/bind the wounds/sorrow, removing all the traumatic effects of the galus from His nation. [Rav Schwab on Prayer, ArtScroll / Mesorah Publications]

To elaborate, both the Siach Yitzchak and the Shaarei Chayim explain that the wound/sorrow itself will be the healing. We will see, as we have often seen throughout our history, that what we thought was the tzarah, was actually our salvation. Perhaps we can add that the first phrase means that Hashem has healed us completely; but as is often the case, the figurative scars from the pain and suffering remain. The second phrase means that Hashem will take that residual pain away when he shows us that the very pain and suffering we are remembering and bemoaning was actually our salvation. When our eyes are opened as to how the pain and suffering benefited us and saved us, we will thank and praise Hashem for the actual pain and suffering that we endured. Perhaps this is what Rav Schwab meant when, for the second phrase, he wrote: “HaKadosh Baruch Hu will remove all the traumatic effects of the galus from His nation.”

We have already experienced similar lessons in our history. Yosef HaTzadik and Yaakov Avinu suffered and endured much pain through their 22 years apart. But at the end, the pieces of the puzzle, or at least the pieces we can see, came together. They, and we, understood that Hashem was guiding every step of the way for their benefit. Similarly, Moshe Rabbeinu and B’nei Yisrael came to understand that the long suffering of B’nei Yisrael in Mitzrayim was for their benefit, as well, and was the “training ground” for our long and bitter galus. Purim, too, was the same. What we thought was the end – was the beginning. What we thought was darkness – turned to light.

Chazal state that on Purim one is supposed to reach the point (by drinking or by drinking a little more than usual and napping) that he does not know the difference between “baruch Mordechai” and “arur Haman”: “blessed is Mordechai” and “cursed is Haman.” HaRav Elimelech Biderman quoted the Maharal who explains that we often think that we know what a blessing is and what is a curse. And quite often we are wrong. Wealth is looked at as a blessing, but for many it became a curse. Poverty is viewed as a curse, and for many it is a great blessing. Illness in our eyes is a curse. For some, the illness saved their lives. For some, it will save their eternal life or enhance it beyond our comprehension. For some, it is their mission in the world, and through their emunah and bitachon, as they endure their pain and suffering, they provide the world with great blessing and themselves with a blissful eternity beyond their imagination. On Purim, we remember that we don’t know. Only Hashem knows what is truly a blessing and what is truly a curse. By trusting and relying on Hashem, we turn the perceived curse into true blessing for us and the entire world.

May Hashem bring the healing very soon, and may He remove all the traumatic effects we are living through now and have lived through in the past. May we merit “Az Yimalei s’chok pinu (Then our mouth will be filled with laughter)” when we see just how good all that Hashem has done for us truly was. Simchas Purim to all!


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