Visiting the Sick
Visiting the sick (Bikur Cholim in Hebrew) is a privilege of Jew to perform. In the Babylonian Talmud book of Shabbat our Sages said: “These are percepts, the fruits of which man enjoys in this world and, while the principal reward remains in the World to come … visiting the sick ..”. The Bible tells us that any ben-adam is created in the image of God and should follow the God’s ways. For example we can see in Genesis (17:26-18:1) how God visits Abraham while he was recovering after the circumcision. This why the Talmud again says to us that “As He visited the sick, so shall you visit the sick…”
Bikur cholim is also an implementation of the primary Biblical value, “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).
What the bikur cholim brings to the sick person and to the related family:
- Feel connected to the community especially when they are ill or homebound. Which lifts the spirit of those who may feel forgotten.
- Many studies have shown that social contact and support positively influences those needing and receiving comfort.
- Visiting and caring activities helps build community and character.
- Because we are fulfilling the all above noted mitzvahs while we are doing the visit.
Bikur Cholim – What do we do?
- Visit a patient in the hospital/nursing home, or visit the homebound and bring the Torah Light in home.
- Call a homebound senior before Shabbos and share the Love of HaShem and the beauty of Shabbos.
- Say psalms together or on behalf of the ill.
- Discuss together the weekly Bible chapter (Prashat Shavua).