Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can a sick person heal himself with Torah verses ?



The Gemara (rabbinic discussions) in Talmud Tractate Shabbat 67 is discussing whether a sick person may try to heal himself by saying verses from the Torah. The Gemara actually says that one is permitted to do so in order to heal himself from certain ailments. But how can the Gemara permit it when it states the complete opposite in Talmud Shevuot 15b ?

- One is permitted reading verses from the Torah when he is intending to heal himself from a spiritual ailment (Maharsha and the Rambam in Hilchot Kochavim 11:12).

- If the illness may cause death, one may use verses for healing (Tosafot on Shevuot 15b and Pesachim 111a).


  1. In a similar vain chassidus talks about how Avraham Avinu came to know the Torah before it was given - by contemplating his own physical makeup. This is the idea of the 245 aivarim (limbs) corresponding to the 245 positive mitzvos, and the 365 giddim (sinews) corresponding to the 365 negative mitzvos. The Meor Einayim discusses how one could overcome one's illness by locating the physical malady, and then connecting it to the corresponding mitzvah in the Torah, and then work on cultivating that mitzvah.