Yitro: Can We Conquer Disease and Death?



Any thinking, sensitive human being is bothered by the presence of disease and death in the world. Are illness and disease – and its ultimate manifestation, death – inherent to the human condition or is it an aberration? Will we see a day when there will no longer be illness and death? And what can we do to help eradicate disease and illness?

The fascinating answer to all these questions can be found in an unusual experience documented in this week’s Torah portion: at Sinai, as the Jews received the Torah, every ailment was cured, every disease remedied, every illness healed, every blemish restored.

What does the revelation at Mount Sinai have to do with curing all illness? And what lesson does this hold for our own lives?

The answers to these questions come down to understanding the root of death, and its henchman, disease: they are not natural to existence, but rather a direct result from Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, creating a schism between man and his purpose, between matter and spirit. At Sinai, the schism between matter and spirit was bridged and the physical and spiritual harmony intended at the beginning became reality once again. Thus, the Jewish people were (spiritually and) physically healed, until this dissonance recurred with the Sin of the Golden Calf.

We are charged with the mission of realigning matter and spirit through our performance of Torah and Mitzvot— so that the physical reflects and manifests its spiritual objective. This is ultimately what will bring healing to ourselves and to the world.




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