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What Does An Appendix Have To Do With Tosaphos?

Last night I pulled a not so delightful all-nighter in Shaare Tzedek hospital as I had to rush my son there for an emergency appendectomy. BICHASDEI HASHEM it looks like it went well but PLEASE daven for him - Shmuel Alexander ben Necha Gittel b'soch shear cholei yisrael [and believe me I can tell you from first hand knowledge that there are a lot of them!].

But I can't end without a little Torah. R' Shlomo Zalman Aurbach pointed out that in Shmoneh Esrei we call Hashem "Rophey cholei AMO YISRAEL" - He heals the Jews. Whereas in Asher Yatzar we conclude with the more universal "Rophe Chol Basar." - He heals everyone. Why the switcheronee?

Firstly I hope youre son has a very quick refuah shelayma!

I thought about the question and I definetely am just taking a guess here. Maybe we say ''Rophey cholei Amo Yisrael'' in Shemona Esrei and ''Rofei Chol Bassar'' in Asher Yatzer for a personal reason. Meaning we all wish for physical health for everyone when we say Asher Yatzar and we know that Asher Yatzar is said after a physical action. But when we are saying the part of Refa'ainu and speaking only of the Jewish people we are asking to bring a complete healing to not just our physical health but emotional health as well. Since we are talking about both our physical and emotional health it is much easier to connect to the Jewish people as opposed to everyone else.

In אשר יצר we marvel at and thank הfor his wonderful creation: the human body. We stand in awe of the intricacies of its workings and the clock-like synchronization of its parts. But it is not just the beauty that astounds, it is the profundity and deep חכמה that went into making man and keeping him running in this world; a wisdom we cannot fathom.

But that wisdom inheres in all humans; ה created all of us with that same wonderful body, that ב"ה continues to work and serve us at every moment. It has worked in the past and, should nothing untoward happen, it will continue to work in the future through the infinite wisdom and Divine foresight with which it is imbued. רופא כל בשר.

שמונה עשרה is uniquely focused on the Jewish people. We begin by relating to the G-d of our forefathers and we end with המברך את עמו בשלום. In the words of Rav Yosha Ber Soloveitchik זצ"ל, though his formulation is infinitely better, we pray on behalf of and as a part of the covenantal community. והמבין יבין. The point is that the middle ברכות are not of a שבח והודאה nature, those types of ברכות comprise the bookends of the תפילה, not the body of it. As such, רפאנו is a תפילה on behalf of בנ"י.

But it is not marvelling at ה's wondrous creation that is the human body in all of its harmonious workings, it is not using as a frame of reference the creation of אדם הראשון, the first person to have such a wonderful body. Rather, it uses as a frame of reference the present and the future. It says that a cardinal belief of Judaism is השגחה and that we hope with all of our being that ה will heal our sick. It is not a ברכה about something that happened in the past and continues into the present and future, it is a ברכה about the present and the future, one about the possibility of change for the better that is axiomatic in a world with a personal G-d, a world whose needs are tended to by an Infinite משגיח.

רפואה שלימה to Shmueli, he should get well במהרה.

Refuah Shleima - I came looking for you today in netiv Arye. No wonder you were not there.

Note to willworkforfood: Nusach sfard changes the language in shma koleinu of shmone esreh to tefilas kol peh. Nusach ashkenaz uses amcha yisrael.

I actually think the reason is more prosaic. The bracha of refaeinu is liturgically dervied from the psukim in yirmiyahu which refer, in the singular, to a member of clal yisrael.

refuah shelayma!

Thank you Rochel, Will, Michael and HaMelech!!

Rochel I love your answer. The Gemara in Megillah can be understood to imply what you are saying [even though I never thought of it before you said it].

Will - you were mechaven to what R' Shlomo Zalman answered!! [He also worked for food].

Michael - Your father shlita was a talmid muvhak of Rov Soloveitchik so you know that nusach sfard wasn't on his radar!! Will answered l'shitas HaRav.
And thanks for "Charlie's Floor".

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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