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Visiting the Ill: Arguing His Case

Rav Yitzchak, the son of Rav Yehudah taught: A person should always ask for mercy from God that he not become ill, for should he, in fact, become ill, the Heavenly Tribunal says to him, “Bring us a merit, and you will be set free.”

Mar Ukva said, “What is the verse that supports this idea?: “If a fallen one falls from him.” (Deuteronomy 22:8) The verse teaches the Mitzvah to erect a protective fence around his roof to prevent people from falling off. The language of ‘the fallen’ implies he has already fallen; it is up to him to establish that he deserves to live. (Rashi) – Shabbat 32a

When we constantly pray that we not become ill with awareness of the reason that the person who is ill bears the burden of proof before the Heavenly Tribunal, we will certainly be more sensitive to someone who is sick.

The visitor should express what he admires about the sick person, as if he were advocating for him before the Heavenly Tribunal.

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