21 Apr Milah on the Eighth Day
In Meseches Megilla 17b the gemara explains why Chazal were mesaken to ask for refuah in the eighth bracha of shemoneh esrei. Rav Acha explains that since milah, which requires a refuah, was given on the eighth day, Chazal established the bracha of Refainu as the eighth bracha. The Tur in Orach Chaim 116 says that there are twenty seven words in the bracha of refainu which corresponds to twenty seven pesukim in the parsha of milah. It also corresponds to the twentyseven words in the posuk that say if we listen to Hashem he will not bring any sicknesses of Mitzrayim upon us, because Hashem is our doctor. Why were Chazal mesaken davka a bracha of Refainu for milah when there are plenty of other sicknesses that require refuah? There are a number of answers to this question. The first answer could be based upon the following message from Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. In Moshiach’s times the Yidden will no longer do any aveiros. By default, there will be no more sicknesses since sickness comes as a result of a person sinning and being punished. There will therefore be no other sickness that will require a refuah except for milah. That is why Chazal established Refainu as the eighth bracha since in Moshiach’s times milah will be the only reason there will be a need for refuah. The second answer is that milah is the only mitzvah the Torah commands us to do despite the fact that there is a sakana and a possibility of sickness. This would seem to be the only sickness that comes by default. On occasion we find that as a result of milah people even died, as the gemara in Gittin 57b quotes Dovid Hamelech saying, “For you we kill ourselves every day.” With the exception of the three big aveiros, we don’t find that one has to kill himself for a mitzvah. On the contrary, the gemara in Sukka 32a wanted to say that the lulav is from the tree called kufra. The kufra tree is very thorny. The gemara then rejects it because we know that the path of Torah is darkei noam and thorns would cause difficulty to the mitzvah, it therefore can’t be this type of tree. Milah is the only mitzvah that is done with the knowledge that it will cause pain, therefore Chazal established Refainu for the mitzvah of milah. The Sefer Sifsei Chaim explains the above question in a third way. Any sickness comes as a result of a person’s sin. Chazal tell us in Shabbos 55a that there are no yesurim without a sin. Therefore, doing teshuva can alleviate any sickness. The Ramban 26:11 writes that in the times of the Neviim when Yidden would be punished with a sickness, they would not go to doctors, but would rather go to the Neviim to learn for what sins they need to do teshuva. Therefore, Chazal did not establish the bracha of Refainu on sicknesses that come as a result of sins, but rather on Milah which does not result from sins. May we be zocheh to be healed quickly and be zocheh to Moshiach, Amen.