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D’var Torah - Ki Tisa

From our Hebrew School Director Liora Ramati

As the war in Israel continues and we are all hearting and feeling the pain of our brothers and sisters, I wrote this week about the power of healing during time of war. Any war, even the ones we fight inside of us.
Hachlama O Lehima: Recovery or Fight or the fight for recovery!
I remember the first time I spoke to G-d. I needed him to save my Mama.

I was 15 years old when my beloved grandmother got ill with cancer. My mother moved her closer to us from her apt in another city not too far from where we lived and as she got worse, we were lucky enough to find her an apartment across the street from us and finally when she could no longer be on her own, she moved to our house and became my roommate. During the night she would turn, toss, and moan in pain, trying her hardest not to make too much noise to wake me up and at the same time, I felt her pain and was crying into my pillow hoping she wouldn’t hear me.

I was praying to G-d: אל נא רפא נא לה just as Moses asked G-d to heal his sister Miriam when she got ill with Tzarahat (Numbers 12:13).
G-d tells us that he is our healer (Exodus 15:27):” Ani Adonai Rofecha”. This is one of the sources when we learn that G-d is the ultimate source of all healing.
אלי רפאני ואתרפא is a poem that supports that notion. It was written by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi – a Sephardic poet, a physician and Philosopher that lived in the 11th century.

My G-d Heal me and I will be healed.
Let not my heart burn and gather me.
Sami and merkehi for you
Between good and bad and between strong and weak
You are the one who chooses, not me, according to your good and bad opinion.
Not on my healing I trust but only on your healing.
I am a spectator.

In the Torah portion of Hukat in the book of Numbers, the Israelites are bitten by snakes, get ill and some even die. They ask to be saved and Moses prays to G-d on their behalf. In verse 21: 8 – G-d says to Moses, “make a seraph figure and mount it high (Al Nes), and if anyone who is bitten looks at it, he shall recover.”
The saying Lehahalot Al Nes in direct translation to English is “to raise up a miracle”. God didn’t mention the word snake or that it should be made of copper, like Moses did, for the Israelites to look at. This verse shows how G-d instructed the ones in need of healing to look up and elevate their belief to win the miracle of healing. G-d chose the same figure of a snake that bit them, the animal who crawls on his stomach and gets its motion as an outcome of friction between its belly and the ground. The same animal that is at the lower place possible, to represent the people that were dying and were physically and emotionally at the bare bottom. This can mean that when we seek healing, we need to elevate ourselves from the ground and look up for miracles.
Every day while we eat, sleep, work, and play, battles are being fought throughout our body. We rarely feel it. But bacteria, viruses, and other microbes are constantly invading us from the outside world. Our body has a defense system for such invaders. This magical system is called the immune system. Hamaharechet hachisunit.
Immune – Hisun – חיסון

The root of the word Hisun can create the word Hasson – strong!
But all this fighting is not controlled by us, it happens automatically. It’s the magical way G-d made us. And then there is the other part that is in our control when we get sick, how we confront it with our spirit and mind?
Do we stay on the ground as snakes and move by friction or do we try to elevate ourselves as much as possible as a Saraf, for complete healing.
Last year my friend got ill with cancer and created a WhatsApp group titled: “My illness Story”. She wanted to have a way to keep all the people who love and care for her in the known.
I felt that the title she chose was like the name of the snake instead of the Saraf. As an Orthodox woman who strongly believed in G-d she said she had fate G-d would heal her. But the big question was if she had fate in herself and in her powers. To prove she did, she changed the chat name to “My recovery story”. I believe the title we give our stories can change the outcome of how they end. Thank G-d she won that war!

We never want to lose any of our loved ones, and we want to be there, to care and support them in their journey. But there are things that must come from within themselves. The Israelites wanted to get better after the snake bit them, they prayed, and Moses pleaded with G-d to save them and then followed G-d instruction to build the tall, winged snake image, but all these efforts would not have helped unless they raised their heads and looked up straight to get the power to be healed.

We are at G-d’s mercy and are faced with the fact that He is in charge of our fate, but it shouldn’t leave us to be only spectators and we should take an active role in our journey toward healing.

Our attitude should always be holding to hope and faith so we can win the Milchama – war – and get our Hachlama – healing.
I pray for our victory every day!
May we know better days, passed this horrible war, after we win the fight against evil and can start working on our recovery, of mind, body, and soul.
Amem! Ken yehi Ratzon!

Beth Moshe Congregation is filled with generations of South Florida families with roots and traditional values. 

2225 NE 121 Street, North Miami, Florida 33181

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