The bracha of Asher Yatzar acknowledges the creation of man and his inner workings. It begins by blessing Hashem as the one who formed man and put in him all the things that allow man to operate. It then points out that if these organs and functions don't work we won't be able to serve God. But the blessing then closes referring to Hashem as the one who "heals all flesh".

No where in the body is there any mention of healing, but I was under the impression that the closing statement should reflect the major themes of the body of the blessing-paragraph.

Why does the last sentence (from Sefaria: "healer of all flesh who performs wonders.") introduce a new concept (healing) and ignore the central motif of forming man?

1 Answer 1


Shulchan Aruch and the Ramah on Orach Chaim 6:1 bring different explanations to the ending of this Bracha (see there for different explanations for the blessing itself).

The Shulchan Aruch explains רופא כל בשר:

רופא חולי כל בשר ע"ש הנקבים שברא בו והוציא פסולת מאכלו כי אם יתעפש בבטן ימות והוצאתו הוא רפואה.

[The phrase] "The healer of the sickness of all flesh" refers to the holes that G-d created in him to take out the waste of his food, because if it spoils while inside his stomach he will die, and taking [the waste] out of him is the remedy.

For completion I will bring the explanations for the rest of the sentence, מפליא לעשות:


ומפליא לעשות מפני שהאדם דומה לנוד מלא רוח ואם יעשה אדם בנוד נקב כחודה של מחט הרוח יוצא והאדם מלא נקבים ורוחו משתמרת בתוכו הרי זה פלא

"And does miraculous things" [is in the text] because man is compared to a sack full of air, and if man makes a hole in the sack as small as the tip of a needle, air will escape, and the fact that man has many holes in him and his spirit is still kept inside him, this is a miracle.

ועוד יש לפרש על שם שבורר טוב המאכל ודוחה הפסולת

And furthermore, some explain it as referring to [how the body] selects the good parts of food and pushes out the waste.

הגה ועוד יש לפרש שמפליא לעשות במה ששומר רוח האדם בקרבו וקושר דבר רוחני בדבר גשמי והכל הוא ע"י שהוא רופא כל בשר כי אז האדם בקו הבריאות ונשמתו משתמרת בקרבו (דברי עצמו)

Gloss: And Furthermore, there are those that explain that "does miraculous things" to refer to that [G-d] keeps the spirit of man in his innards and binds something spiritual to something physical, and all this is on account of that He is the healer of all flesh because then man stays on the line of health, and his soul is kept in his innards (Divrei Atzmo).

I personally resonate with the Ramah's explanation. The intricate and complex system of a person is only possible through a spiritual source, one's soul. And we thank Hashem not only for our soul but its connection with our body, which is truly wondrous (physical meeting the divine). Perhaps that is why we say it in the morning next to אלקי נשמה.

  • I am still troubled by "rofeh" as the text indicates that Hashem created the holes and IF they don't work, bad things happen, but it never talks about healing them. cf the bracha of refa'einu -- the text mentions healing and the summary mentions healing.
    – rosends
    Jun 18, 2020 at 1:31
  • @rosends From the source it is clear that before one goes to the bathroom he is considered sick. I think of it kind of like a harmful virus or bacteria ר"ל that cause bad symptoms; one could be called sick because of the not good things in his body, not only due to the unpleasant effects that come through the harmful virus or bacteria. Another way to look at it, a person who ר"ל has a brain tumor in the early developments although he may not have any problem now, he could still be called needed healing in order that it should not have disastrous effects in the future.
    – user6781
    Jun 18, 2020 at 1:58
  • @rosends Perhaps due to your issue some siddurim take out the word חולי-sick and just have רופא כל בשר.
    – user6781
    Jun 18, 2020 at 2:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .