Q: The Rav said that when someone gets sick or hurt, he shouldn’t blame Hashem, but he should look to blame himself for not taking care of himself properly. But shouldn’t we be looking back to see which sins we did to cause Hashem to punish us with the cold or the virus or whatever it is?
A: Absolutely. Absolutely! יפשפש במעשיו. He must search out his deeds. אם רואה אדם שיסורין באין עליו יפשפש במעשיו – “If a person sees that troubles are coming upon him, he should search out his ways and his deeds” (Brachos 5a). But among the פשפוש that he searches should be, “What did I do to neglect my health? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I dressed warmly? Am I eating properly? Am I careful when I cross the street?” You shouldn’t neglect that either. A person is responsible to take care of himself. Hashem says, “I gave you a body, and you have no right to neglect it.” So while you’re searching out your deeds, remember that this as well is a very important subject to look for. Because often you are the cause of your sickness because you don’t take care of yourself. And that’s also a sin against Hashem.
TAPE # E-172 (May 1999)
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