Friday, June 26, 2015

נחש הנחושת The international symbol of medicine

The symbol of the serpent on a pole is used as the international symbol of medicine. It is used today in modern times as the symbol of medicine and healthcare. Commentators have interpreted the symbol to mean many different things. Some attribute it to the Rod of Asclepius of greek culture or other. However, the origin most likely comes from the נחש הנחושת the Nehushtan that we read in this weeks parshas chukas. Where hashem commands Moshe Rabbeinu to build a "serpent of bronze" that was used to heal those who looked upon it (Numbers 21:4-9).

 The Mishna in Rosh HaShana states, וכי נחש ממית או נחש מחיה ! אלא בזמן שישראל מסתכלין כלפי מעלה ומשעבדים את לבם לאביהם שבשמים היו מתרפאים ואם לא היו נימוקים
that the snakes were not intrinsic to either the plague or the recovery from it, but rather everything depended upon the degree to which the people would be able to  direct their hearts to HaShem.

In these trying times let us lift our eyes to our father in heaven and daven that he heal all those that are sick, to bring back the kidnapped boys, and bring  רפואות , ברכות, ישועות ובשורות טובות to all of klal yisrael.

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