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Sunday, 14 December 2014

G-d conceals His miracles

Daf Yomi Yevamos 71

Bill was in terrible pain.  Finally, Jill convinced him to go to the hospital.  Sure enough, he had gallstones. 
“We’re going to have to keep you here for a few days,” the doctor told him.
“Seriously?” said Bill, “I don’t have time for this.  They need me at work!”
But he had no choice.  It was stay in hospital or try to live with the pain until the stones passed themselves and there was no way Bill was going to do that.

As part of the tests at the hospital, they scanned the entire area.  Following this routine procedure, Bill’s doctor came into his room.
“Bill, I have bad news and good news.  The bad news is while we were doing the tests, we happened to discover what appears to be a potentially cancerous growth.  The good news is it seems to be at an early enough stage that we can remove it with very little difficulty.”
“That’s bad news?” cried Bill, “that’s a miracle!  Had I not had the gallstones, we would never have discovered the cancer in time!” 

Concerning the mitzvah to offer the Passover sacrifice on 14th Nisan and eat it on the eve of 15th, the Torah declares, “Every servant-man who has been acquired, you shall circumcise him, then he may eat of it . . . he shall circumcise for himself every male and then he may come close to offer it.”

The Beraisa teaches:  I would prima facie only understand that one’s sons must be circumcised at the time of offering and one’s servants at the time of eating.  How do I know that it is also the case vice versa?  The words ‘then’ and ‘then’ provide a link between the two laws.

The Gemara asks: It makes sense that you could have a situation whereby servants were not uncircumcised at the time of offering but were uncircumcised at the time of eating, such as when one purchased them in between.   But where do you find a case of sons who were uncircumcised at the time of eating and were not around at the time of offering?

Rabbi Sharabi answers:  For example where the baby stuck its head out of the womb of the mother on 7th Nisan and emerged completely on 14th Nisan in the afternoon, after the Passover sacrifice had already been offered. 
The Gemara asks: Can such a child survive?  Did we not learn the following?  Once a baby has exited into the air of the world, that which was closed is opened and that which was open is closed, for if that were not the case, he would not live for a moment.
The Gemara answers: What are we dealing with here?  Where he was sustained by a fever.
Rashi explains: A fever sustains an ill person. 

Most people get upset when they get ill and are running a temperature.  But what if I were to tell you that the fever is actually a sign that your body is fighting off illness!  The Gemara here is suggesting that fever is not a bad thing; it’s a little sign from the Almighty that your body needs healing!  Without running a fever, we might never know that we were ill and you would get sicker and sicker until it would be too late to find a cure.  It’s just like Bill’s gallstones that saved him from life-threatening cancer!

All too often we get upset at the Almighty for inflicting us but maybe He’s actually protecting you from something worse!  Friends of ours, Kathy and Bob’s son Jake always struggled at school.   They were devastated, thinking that his learning disability would leave him struggling throughout his life.  Today, Jake runs a successful plumbing company with a dozen people working for him.  Who knows?  Had learning come a little easier to him, maybe he’d be an unemployed Arts graduate today!

You have to trust the Almighty.  It may seem like He’s not treating you with kindness, but only He sees the big picture.  He loves you and wants the best for you.  He wants to shower you with His blessings.  When things don’t go your way, hang in there, don’t lose your faith.  The Almighty is setting you up to bestow incredible blessings upon your head!  

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