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In Shemot 23:25, G-d says that he will remove all sicknesses from your midst. In Shemot 15:26, G-d says that all sicknesses that he placed on the Egyptians will not be placed upon Israel.

There might be a conflict with these two verses, (i.e., if a sickness is not placed, there is no need to remove anything.) However, since the verse in 15:26 says refers to the ones placed upon the Egyptians, that may be more specific.

So, what sicknesses are meant in the 15:26 that may be different from the ones in 23:25? Why would the ones in 15:26 not be placed on Israel to begin with, while the others might already occur (whatever those are) such that G-d has to remove them?

  • Moderator, please restore the original question. I was off by 1 chapter. I meant Shemot 15:26. These edits, and the answer refer to a completely different idea and is not my intended question. – DanF Feb 24 '17 at 20:11
  • I was able to roll it back to revision 1 and fix the reference from 16 to 15 – sabbahillel Feb 24 '17 at 21:30
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Rav Hirsch says that Mishpatim 23:25

וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֵת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּבֵרַךְ אֶת לַחְמְךָ וְאֶת מֵימֶיךָ וַהֲסִרֹתִי מַחֲלָה מִקִּרְבֶּךָ:

And you shall worship the Lord, your God, and He will bless your food and your drink, and I will remove illness from your midst.

means that those illnesses which occur through nature will be removed from your society.

The natural illnesses and weaknesses which, under the regime of Nature, are considered indispensable from human life, will, under the regime of My Torah, not manifest themselves in your lives. Illness, childlessness and early deaths will be unknown in your land. Not only the land, the inhabitants themselves will be blessed.

The Pasuk in Beshalach 15:26

וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֵת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּבֵרַךְ אֶת לַחְמְךָ וְאֶת מֵימֶיךָ וַהֲסִרֹתִי מַחֲלָה מִקִּרְבֶּךָ:

And you shall worship the Lord, your God, and He will bless your food and your drink, and I will remove illness from your midst.

speaks of the punishments that were sent upon the Egyptians in the form of the makos and of the associated illnesses. These punishments will never be used to afflict the Bnai Yisrael. This is different from the natural illnesses of human kind which come upon people through the laws of nature rather than as an explicit punishment for a moral degeneration. As Rav Hirsch says

מחלה is used not onoly of bodily illness, but also any hindrancd to well being, of the mind (worry) as ואין חולה מכם עלי (Sam. I. XXI:8), of general existence ובל יאמר שכן חליתי (Is. XXXIII:24), of the land, ואת תחלואיה אשר חלה ה' בה (Deut. XXIX:21), also especially to those which were sent for the purpose of correction, punishment, הכית אותם ולא חלו (Jer. V:3), הכוני בל חליתי (Prov. XXIII:35), Hashem says The keeping of My Laws protects you from such sufferings which otherwise I should have to use to educate you, as I had to inlict on the Egyptions. Hashem does not allow people or states to endure without consideration for משפטים, מצות, and חוקים, without them they go to ruin, and degenerate physically and socially, and so, keeping the divine Law is the most preventative medicine against all physical and social evil.

Rav Hirsch also speaks of the difference between the two types of illness in Aikev 7:15

וְהֵסִיר יְהֹוָה מִמְּךָ כָּל חֹלִי וְכָל מַדְוֵי מִצְרַיִם הָרָעִים אֲשֶׁר יָדַעְתָּ לֹא יְשִׂימָם בָּךְ וּנְתָנָם בְּכָל שׂנְאֶיךָ:

And the Lord will remove from you all illness, and all of the evil diseases of Egypt which you knew, He will not set upon you, but He will lay them upon all your enemies.

Rav Hirsch says that חולי is the physiological effect of a condition of illness while דוי is more a designation of the feelings caused by illness, the suffering

In this case, it is what is put upon those who are being punished by the illness and the associated suffering. This is a reference to the makos of Egypt rather than the normal illnesses which occur through Nature. That is why, even if Bnai Yisrael where to become sick, they would only have this happen as in the דרך הטבע and not as a punishment as would happen to your enemies or as happened in Egypt. Even natural disease will be removed from Bnai Yisrael.

  • Please see my comment above. I was off by a chapter. I meant Shemot 15, not 16. I have asked moderator to revert the edits. Based on the correct verse, please modify your answer, above, if it needs to be modified. It may still be relevant, so I'm not down-voting. Please ask me, next time, before making a major edit. – DanF Feb 24 '17 at 20:13
  • @DanF OK I apologize. I will add what Rav Hirsh says in Beshalach as well. The meaning is basically the same. I was able to roll it back to revision 1 and change the reference from 16 to 15. – sabbahillel Feb 24 '17 at 21:26

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