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Ohr Leyesharim: Advice from an Unskilled Physician Print E-mail
Written by Machberes Avodas Hashem   

Jewish ClassicsThe 5th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Moshe Zorach Eidelitz of Prague, author of Ohr La’yeshorim, Berurei Hamiddos, and Meleches Machsheves, and Ohr LaYeshraim (1780). Orphaned as a  youth and raised by Rav Yonasan Eibeshutz, Rav Zorach grew to become a dayan and darshan in Prague.


“When I would have healed Israel, the iniquity of Ephraim became revealed, along with the evils of Samaria (Hosea 7:1).” This can be compared to a country in which a large segment of the population became ill with an infectious disease. There were a few who did not become sick at all, and some who became ill but healed rather quickly. Practically everyone understood that the disease was caused by the pollution in the air of that country but no one bothered to do anything about it because they had lived like this for so long and there had never been a problem before. They expected that as soon as the air would clear everyone would recover.

There was one Dr., not an expert, nevertheless from the little that he knew of the disease and and of medicine, understood that if the person could keep his heart and his brain clear they would not be vulnerable to the disease carried through the air. If his nature was healthy and strong he would not be susceptible to the disease. He also understood the people who were not healthy, even if they did not experience any open symptoms, the disease could spread through their blood and their body and eventually become mortally ill. The physician understood that he could travel to another place and be safe, but because of his great devotion to his fellow citizens he did not want to leave. He immersed himself in many books until he found that if people would clean the air with all sorts of incense and accept a very strict diet of bitter foods and drink some very unpleasant liquids they would strengthen their constitutions and be able to protect themselves and even recover.

He also understood that because he was not a well-established physician, no one would pay very much attention to him and even those who did would be unwilling to accept a strict diet. All he could do was gather his information and present it to people and have them make the best choice that they could for themselves. He understood his limitations as a doctor, and appreciated the fact that none would have great respect for his opinion. However, he strove to do his best to educate his fellow citizens so that they could save themselves.

We can apply this to our country, the Jewish people, who are suffering from the disease and experience distance from God that their prayers are not an answered and that God does not hear their voices when they cry out to him. All I can do, an unskilled physician of the soul is share a few thoughts as to what can help people heal their being so that they are not susceptible to the spiritual diseases of our times.

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