Thursday, February 23, 2012

Medicine's First Appearance in Torah

The Torah begins by saying the earth, prior to its formation, was in a state of "Tohu", תהו (verse 2). That is, it was in a state of mixture, or some state of amorphousness. It was, one can say, in a state of being "sick", in the sense that it needed a cure.

This condition had to be addressed and rectified. So G-d said, "Let there be light..." יהי אור (verse 3). This light became the cure for the "sickness".

Verse 3 contains 23 letters. But only 7 of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet make up these 23 letters of the verse. These 7 letters make up the two words, "אור" (= light) and "מילה" (= word), that is, the light of the mouth. The entire verse, in fact, speaks of the emission of light from the mouth; The light of healing.

The word in Hebrew for medicine is "רפואה". This word itself is comprised of letters that constitute the two words "אור פה", which means, "the light of the mouth". That is, the emission of the mouth. Just as G-d's light was the light of healing, there ought to be spiritual light coming out of the mouth of a good doctor.

(Heard during a talk given by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh of

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