Simcha's Torah Stories - Lech Lecha
Parshat Lech Lecha
THE VISIT THAT HEALS
"Chaim, time to get up. You don't want to be late for school."
"Mom, I don't feel so good today."
"Maybe you'll feel better if you get out of bed, Chaim."
"Okay Mom. I'll try."
"Well, Chaim, do you feel any better?"
"No, Mom. My stomach hurts, I have a headache, and I feel achy."
"You might have the flu, Chaim. Let me take your temperature."
Chaim's mother brings the thermometer.
"Yes, Chaim dear. Just as I suspected. You have 103° fever. No school for you, today. You get to stay home with Mommy all day today. We'll nurse you back to health."
"Mom, being sick is no fun, but the best part is being with you all day."
Chaim stays in bed, sleeping most of the morning. Shortly after 3:00, the phone rings.
"Chaim, it's for you."
"Chaim, are you okay? We missed you in school today."
"Thanks so much for calling, Avi. I'm sick in bed with the flu."
"Refuah shelayma (have a complete recovery)."
"Are you up to having a visitor?"
"That would be wonderful, Avi."
"Great. I'll be right over."
Chaim splashes some water on his face and gets himself ready for Avi's visit.
"Chaim, you look good."
"Avi, it is so good to see you. It's no fun being sick."
"Chaim, the pleasure is all mine. You've given me the opportunity to do a big mitzvah."
"Is visiting sick people such a big mitzvah?"
"It certainly is. G-d Himself performed this mitzvah."
"The very first verse in this week's parsha tells about Hashem's visit to Avraham Avinu. 'Hashem appeared to him in the plains of Mamre . . .' (Bereshis 18:1). Avraham Avinu was ill, recuperating from his bris milah. Rashi explains that Hashem was mevaker choleh (visiting the sick)."
"Chaim, listen to what our sages say about the mitzvah of bikur cholim. The Mishna states that bikur cholim is one of the mitzvos for which a person receives reward both in this world and the next. What is that reward? Hashem will guard him from the yetzer hara (evil inclination), protect him from suffering, bestow honor upon him, and give him beloved friends. Visiting a sick person removes 1/60 of his suffering. The visitor prolongs the person's life. There is no limit to the number of times that one can visit a sick person - even 100 times a day! The Shechina (Divine Presence) rests above the head of a sick person."
"Avi, I feel better already."
"Our sages were so wise. They know us better than we know ourselves. Do you feel up to doing a little homework?"
"Yes, sure Avi. Can we learn that Mishna about bikur cholim?"
"With pleasure Chaim. You look 1/60 better already. We might even be privileged to see the Shechina here soon."
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