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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
The Magic of The Flu
When I first came down with the Flu I thought to myself, "Great now I can catch up and some well needed rest".  I quickly realized that I felt far worse "resting" in bed with the flu than conducting a hectic workday on limited sleep.  So why am I so happy suffering at home with the flu that has left me with a racking cough and fever?

The gemara in Shabbos (32a) says that someone who becomes sick should think of himself as if he has been put on trial for charges calling for the death penalty.  What is the logic behind this gemara?  We know that there is no such thing as "nature".  You don't get sick because you were exposed to germs that unfortunately entered your body and got the better of your immune system.  Nonsense!  In reality what happened was there is a "tviya" a charge against you in Shamayim for something you did and you will be punished for it as the Gemara so blatantly declares.  So out of Rachmanus your Father in Heaven makes you sick.  What does that achieve?

The gemara in Brachos (10) says that that Chizkiya HaMelech was destined to marry the daughter of Yeshaya HaNavi.  The only holdup was that the two of them could not get together. Yeshaya HaNavi didn't go to Chizkiya since he felt the king should come to the Navi.  Chizkiya felt that the Navi should respect the Malchus and come to him.  So in His infinite wisdom Hashem made Chizkiya sick.  Now Yeshaya was obligated to visit Chizkiya.

To answer our question on how sickness saves a person we must ask another question.  Why does a person do aveiros?  Simple, because he forgets Hashem.  When he becomes sick and the heavenly court is going to punish him for those sins his only salvation is to turn back to Hashem.  But why would he suddenly change without any impetus?  So Hashem makes him sick.  Now that he is sick, Hashem who until now was waiting endlessly for this person to return to Hashem, has a reason to pay a personal visit to the Choleh.  We know that Hashem does Bikur Cholim.  "Hashem Yis'adenu al Eres Dvai"; Hashem sustains those who are on their sickbed (Tehilim 41).  With the Shechina present on his bed, even he can't avoid thoughts of Tshuva and longing for Hashem.  Problem solved, disaster avoided!

So next time you are sick don't be surprised if you have little interest in the mundane tasks of your normal every day routine.  It is because you have a very special and hard to ignore visitor who has come into your presence.  Take advantage of the opportunity to get reacquainted.  Once you do that you'll probably avoid the impending disaster that was about to come your way. You may dismiss this by saying that I am delirous with fever but the undisputable fact is that I am writing with Shechina next to me. 

As one of our esteemed readers you have a chance to inspire your fellow Revach readers.  Everyone has experiences that either happened to them personally or that they heard from other.  Please share yours with us.  You can send your observations to


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Visitor Comments: 1

LH, Teaneck, 2008-02-12 16:46:55
I agree with you. I also see getting sick as an opportunity but I also don't like it.

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