Nedarim 40 - Curing the sick

The mitzvah of visiting the sick has no limit. How so? Does it mean that the reward for it is limitless? - Why, all mitzvot are that way! Rather, even a person of great importance should visit people of smaller stature. Or it could mean that there is no limit to how many times one may visit a sick person, provided that it does not tire the sick one.

Rabbi Akiva noticed that one of his students did not show up for the classes. He went to visit the student and found him sick and in a dirty dusty room. Rabbi Akiva cleaned the room, cared for the student - and some say that because of this visit the innkeeper started caring for the student more - and the student recovered. The student told Rabbi Akiva, "Teacher, you brought me back to life!" Rabbi Akiva then taught that one who does not visit the sick is as if he spills blood.

When Rava would get sick, he at first told no one - so that his luck would not turn to the worst through the people wishing him ill. But after three days he would announce it, saying "Whoever does not like me will rejoice, and then God will have mercy on me, just as He does for anyone over whom enemies rejoice, and my friends will pray for me."

Art: The Sick Woman  by Jan Steen