Removing the Sickness

The Dubna Maggid once sought a donation from a miserly individual who never gave charity from his great wealth.

When he came to the man’s house, the miser asked him what he wanted to which he responded: “I heard that you were sick and wished to fulfil the mitzvah of visiting the sick.”

The man angrily said: “who told you I was sick?”

“Shomo HaMelech, the wisest of all men said so in his statement (Kohelet 6:2) ‘A man whom G-d gives riches and property and honor, and his soul lacks nothing of all he desires, and God gives him no power to eat of it…this is vanity and a grievous sickness.”

When the man saw that the maggid was not leaving he told him: “even if you are correct that I am sick, you already fulfilled the mitzvah, so you can leave.”

The maggid responded: “The Talmud (Nedarim 39b) states: ‘He who visits an invalid takes away a sixtieth of his sickness.’ Therefore, I wish to take a sixtieth of your sickness.”

The miser was impressed with the maggid’s clever rejoinders and acquiesced to giving him a large donation.

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