Visiting the Sick

Three Step Process

Visiting the sick (bikur cholim) is an essential Jewish value, dating back to when angels of God visited our forefather Abraham during his time of illness (Gen. 18:2). Maimonides teaches that the obligation to visit the sick comes from the mitzvah โ€œYou shall love your fellow as yourself.โ€ (Lev. 19:18) Our Sages say that visiting someone who is ill removes 1/60th of their illness!

We fulfill the mitzvah to visit the sick in three ways:

1. With your body: Make a personal visit, bring a gift, take care of the patient’s material needs, improve their physical surroundings, etc. 

2. With your soul: Pray and recite Psalms for the patient’s complete and speedy recovery. 

3. With your money: Provide financial help if needed for medical and other expenses.

This important mitzvah brings rewards in both this world and the next, and there is no limit to it. If youโ€™re blessed to not know anybody who is ill, pay a visit to your local nursing home and chat with the residents. You will make their day!

Image: Abraham Serving the Three Angels by Rembrandt, 1646

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