The healthcare debate rages on in the country. The costs are so great and they are beyond what many families can afford and yet costs keep on rising and the price tag to society is skyrocketing. How can we leave families without healthcare coverage? How can healthcare coverage be provided in a fiscally responsible manner? What to do?
So here is a word to the wise from the Bible, the Torah (Exodus 15:26) “…if you will diligently heed the voice of G-d, your G-d, and do what is upright in His eyes and carefully listen to all His commandments and statutes, then all of the illness that I (G-d) brought upon Egypt, I will not bring upon you for I am G-d your healer.”
The two parts of the verse seem to be contradictory. If G-d promises not to bring any illness upon the people why then is G-d referred to as ‘your healer’ since a healer is only necessary after one already has an illness? The answer is that G-d is teaching us two important lessons about health and healing: a) the role of a healer is not primarily to heal after the onset of an illness but rather to prevent illness in the first place by promoting healthy living and b) that physical and spiritual health are two sides of the same coin, each as necessary as the other.
This notion highlights a critical calling to the American medical system. There can be no doubt that modern medical advances are astounding and unequaled to any other time and place in the world. Yet, the system still primarily centers around healing illness and not on the prevention of illness in the first place by promoting healthy living. The ideal solution of course would be to create a partnership between doctors, schools and clergy to promote both healthy and holy living.
Creating a health care system where the incentives for both the individual and the doctor encourage proper healthy physical and spiritual living is really the only way to have an affordable and sustainable health care system for all.
Menachem M Bluming