Above the stars
Painless Self-Healing: Part 2, Refa'enu

Painless Self-Healing: Part 1, Asher Yatzar

Before I left Israel on the current speaking tour, I delivered a pep-talk to a group of police officers. When I arrived at the headquarters building, my host - an extremely cordial veteran detective with literally no religious background - greeted me and asked me if I needed anything before I begin my talk. I asked him to show me where the bathroom was.

After the bathroom, I washed my hands three times consecutively with a cup and said slowly with intent the "Asher Yatzar" blessing that one says after visiting the toilet. My host looked at me wide-eyed, as if I'd suddenly sprouted peacock feathers. "Rabbi," he gasped, "you guys even make a blessing after relieving yourselves?"

I smiled and nodded in the affirmative, and asked the detective if he'd ever had constipation or diarrhea. He grimaced and said yes, telling me a story of how his whole platoon in the army once contracted salmonella food poisoning during a training maneuver rendering him utterly out of capacity for a week with his intestines totally askew.

"What would you have given to have normal bowel movements back then, instead of the Intifada in your guts?" I asked.

"A million bucks!" the detective answered.

"You're right," I responded. "I don't have a million bucks, so I bless Hashem and thank Him every time my personal plumbing does its job!"


Our sages teach us that by saying Asher Yatzar blessing after visiting the toilet, one is assured of good health. Earlier today, Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a explained to me why: We praise Hashem at the end of the blessing and call Him, "The physician of all flesh who acts wondrously." Everytime we relieve ourselves, Hashem does a myriad of miracles in maintaining the body's health, casting away dangerous bacteria, microorganisms, and dead body cells in the bodily waste. Even more wondrous is that this heavy maintenance is done in a way that's extremely gratifying to the body.

Taking a few moments to say Asher Yatzar after visiting the toilet is liable to save you hours in down-time, sick-time, doctor visits, and even hospital visits. You'll also save a mint on medical expenses. Better than anything, you'll obtain what no health insurance plan can offer - a guarantee of good health.

As a service to Beams readers that don't yet say the Asher Yatzar blessing on a regular basis, here is the text in English translation and in English transliteration. There's no time to start like the present.

Asher Yatzar

Blessed are You, HaShem, Our God, King of the universe, Who created the human with wisdom and created within him many openings and many cavities, exposed and known before Your Throne of Glory, that if one of them were to be ruptured or one one of them were to be blocked it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You for even one hour. Blessed are You, HaShem, The physician of all flesh who acts wondrously.

Baruch atah Adonoi, Elohainu, melech ha'olam, Asher yatzar et ha'adam b'chochmah, u'vara vo n'kavim n'kavim, chalulim chalulim, galui v'yadua lifnai chisei chvodecha, she'im yipatei'ach echad maihem o yisataim echad maihem, ee efshar l'hitkayeim v'la'amod l'fanecha afilu sha'ah achat. Baruch atah Adonoi, rofeh chol basar u'mafli la'asot.

May Hashem grant you and yours wonderful health always, amen.


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