THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) SEEING A DOCTOR
Is it preferable for a sick person to rely exclusively on Hashem for his
healing, or to seek the help of a doctor?
(a) Abaye teaches that a person should not say that it is not good to go to
doctors and one should only pray to Hashem. Rather, Hashem wants us to go
to doctors, and therefore He gave them permission to heal, as the Beraisa
QUESTION: How did the Ramban learn our Gemara that says that we *are*
supposed to go to doctors?
(b) The RAMBAN (Vayikra 26:11) writes that in the time of the Beis
ha'Mikdash, it was looked down upon to go to a doctor. That is why the
verse speaks negatively about Asa for going to a doctor (Divrei Ha'Yamim II
16:12). This is also what the Gemara means on 64a when it says that Rav
Yosef, who was very righteous, never called a doctor to his house -- he did
not see doctors (Rashi there gives an entirely different explanation: out
of his humility, *he* went to the doctor and did not require that the
doctor come to him). The RAMBAN concludes that this is the way it should
be, and that a person on a high enough level will not turn to doctors. It
is only because we are not on such a high level, that we are not able to
rely exclusively on Hashem, but we have to turn to doctors for help.
ANSWER: Apparently, the Ramban's Gemara had the text of the Paris
Manuscript, in which Rav Acha's statement ends at "Rofeh Ne'eman Atah," and
then Abaye's statement is interjected, followed by the words, "L'fi sh'Ein
Darkan... Ela she'Nahagu." Consequently, it is Rav Acha who implies that it
is good to go to a doctor, and Abaye who is saying that it is *not good* to
go to a doctor, because it is only *permitted* for a doctor to heal, but
not obligatory for a person to go to one. On the contrary, it is best to
put one's faith only in Hashem. (See Insights 10:2)
2) HASHEM DOES WONDERS -- "MAFLI LA'ASOS"
OPINIONS: In the blessing that one recites after going to the bathroom, one
concludes, "Baruch Atah Hashem, Rofei Kol Basar u'Mafli la'Asos" --
"Blessed are you Hashem, the Healer of all flesh Who does so wondrously."
What is this wondrous element?
(a) RASHI explains that the fact that the body -- which is like a flask
that is full of air while, at the same time, it is full of holes -- can
survive is wondrous.
(b) The AVUDARAHAM explains that it is wondrous how the body separates the
nutrients from the byproducts in food, and absorbs the nutrients into the
body and expels the waste.
(c) The REMA adds that it is wondrous how the soul of man is contained
within his body, when the soul is a spiritual entity and the body is
physical (and the two should repel each other).