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Parshas Beshalach (Shabbos Shirah) 5784

כל המחלה אשר שמתי במצרים לא אשים עליך כי אני ה' רפאך ... (טו-כו)

The two halves of this posuk seem to contradict each other. “All the sicknesses that I have visited upon Egypt I will not visit upon you; for I will heal you.” If Hashem says he won’t inflict these sicknesses on the Yidden, what is the need for אני ה' רפאך?

Based on the words of the Ksav Sofer zt”l, perhaps we can say as follows: Hashem brings hardships or tzaros on a person for one of two reasons. Either as punishment for the purpose of retribution or for one’s benefit. Either to serve as an impetus for change, or to atone for their sins. The Mitzriyim received their due justice as payback for all they had subjected the Yidden to. However for us, Hashem promises that those “makkos” will not befall us because the “slap” we may receive is only to propel us to repent, to do teshuvah, or to grant us a kapara, a real atonement for our previous sins.

Another machshava can be as follows. The Gemara in Megilla 13b says that Hashem doesn’t smite His flock - Klal Yisroel - unless He first creates the remedy, contrary to when He punishes the nations. As the posuk in ישעי' says, "ונגף ה' את מצרים" and only after does it say "ורפוא". Hence, says the posuk, Hashem tells us, “I won’t place the type of machlah - sickness - on you as I placed on them because אני ה' רפאך - I am your healer, I already created the refuah.” The logic is based on the above. The purpose of a Yid’s tzaros is only for our good. Thus the “medicine” is already prepared.

In a similar vein, we close the bracha of "רפאנו" in Shemona Esrai with the words "רופא חולי עמו ישראל" - Hashem is the Healer of all the pain and sickness of His Nation, Yisroel. But if Hashem heals everyone, the only difference being when the refuah is created, why then do we say "עמו ישראל"? Based on what we said, the pshat is the healing of a Yid is in a different league than that of a gentile, because it differs in the essence of the makka.

May we be zoche to see only the "אני ה' רפאך" as Hashem, protects and showers us with בשורות טובות, רפואות, ישועות, ונחמות.


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