The main lesson of the article “Battling Bacteria: Back to Square One?” (Features, 22 Shevat) is that the human body is to be compared to an olam katan. Its defenders are the armies of the fantastic auto-immune system, the white blood cells: leucocytes, macrophages, phagocytes, “killer” B and T lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, etc.
If we could witness these tireless protectors of our health in their ceaseless, frightening battles to the death with hordes of invading bacteria, toxins, viruses, protozoa and other lethal antigens, which some maintain are “the myriads of mazikin that surround a man, and which would cause him to expire if he could see them!”& (Brachos 6), then we would never desist from relating the awesome chasdei Hashem: mibesori echezeh Eloka – “from my flesh I can perceive G-d!” (Iyov 19).
May Hashem keep our immune systems potent and spare us a return to the pre-antibiotic and pre-vaccine bacterial and viral pandemic mageifos, which in every century arise to cull huge swathes of humanity, such as the Antonine Plague, the Plague of Justinian, the Black Death, the Spanish flu, cholera, typhus, tuberculosis, measles, mumps, smallpox, polio,& leprosy, yellow fever, lassa fever, SARS, ebola, etc., lo aleinu — “Even seven years of raging plague will not cause a man to die before his time!” (Sanhedrin 29)
Amnon Goldberg, Tzfas