A student once asked his teacher, “Is there anything a person can do to lessen his desire for revenge, since the Torah forbids acting vengefully?” The teacher thought for a moment and answered, “Do something to improve yourself. When you become a better person, it will torment your enemies to no end.”
It is well known that a sick person’s attitude can have a major effect on the course of their illness. Optimism improves recovery, whereas depression contributes to a decline in health. So many times have people recovered from very serious illnesses by just having a positive attitude and cheerful disposition.
The holy Noda B’Yehudah (Rabbi Yechezkel Landau) knew this well. He did not believe in the popular belief of curing sickness with amulets. Other tzaddikim (holy rabbis) would write amulets whose mystical contents were considered healing, he would not accept the practice.
One time a father pleaded with him to give his daughter an amulet because she had been diagnosed as having a very serious and incurable disease. He was not able to refuse the request of the worried father. So Rabbi Landau took a blank piece of parchment, sealed it in a leather container, and told the father that his daughter should wear the amulet continually for one week and then open it. If the letters had disappeared, that would be a sign that she would recover.
How thrilled everyone was to see the parchment blank at the end of the week! Convinced that she would recover, the young woman indeed did.