web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Praying For The Sick

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha

Question: During Kriat HaTorah, many congregations recite a general prayer for ill people. What is the source of this custom? Also, in many congregations, instead of the gabbai announcing each name, all of the shul’s members are asked to silently say the name of the ill person to themselves while the gabbai remains quiet for several moments. Is this proper?

Answer: Recently, someone showed me the following from Berachot 55b: “When Rava would take ill, he would not say anything. [If his illness persisted], he would say to his servant, ‘Go out and announce that Rava is ill. He who likes me, let him pray to G-d for mercy on my behalf. And he who hates me, let him take joy over [my predicament]’ … G-d will then have compassion on me and transfer my illness to him.”

This Gemara teaches us that when someone is ill, the community should be made aware of the person’s name so that it will pray for his recovery. As such, it seems that simply saying the ill person’s name silently to oneself is improper since the rest of the congregation has no knowledge for whom they should be praying.

Interestingly, Rava only requested that an announcement be publicly made that he was not well. Thus, it seems that any public listing of ill people who need a refuah sheleimah is sufficient. Actually saying a special Mi She’beirach would be unnecessary.

To explain the practices of saying a Mi She’beirach for the sick and having people say the names of ill people silently to themselves, we may suggest the following: The Mi She’beirach for the sick is not a communal prayers based on the story of Rava in the Gemara. Rather, they are personal prayers for the sick, which are recited in synagogue because of the presence of the Sefer Torah.

I recall learning, although I cannot recall the source, that prayers said in the presence of a Sefer Torah have a greater efficacy than other prayers.

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of several books on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer The Right Way: Resolving Halachic Dilemmas” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com.

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Praying For The Sick”

  1. The Zohar to Vayakhel says that when sifre torah are removed from the ark, the shaarei shamayim are opened, and thus recommends that the Brich Shmei be said then, as divine mercy is awakened. The sefer torah is thus associated with a heightened level of kedusha and is seen as a auspicious time for tefillot to be answered.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Car Smashed in A-Tur
4 Women Survive Near Lynch on Mount of Olives
Latest Judaism Stories
Lessons-in-Emunah-new

Throughout the war, Akiva had several brief furloughs home, and each time exchanged whichever mishnayos volume he had finished for the next in the series.

The-Shmuz

Imagine a man who, after having a few too many drinks, gets into his car and begins driving. It takes a while before he is pulled over, but finally the police arrest him, and he stands trial for driving while intoxicated.

Business-Halacha-logo

Mr. Fisher contacted Rabbi Dayan. “Am I allowed to use money of ma’aser kesafim to pay the shul for an aliyah that I bought?” he asked.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

In addition to Yom Kippur, there is at least one other instance when a person may fast on Shabbat – the case of a ta’anit chalom, in which a person wishes to fast to prevent an ominous dream from becoming reality.

Others suggest that one cannot separate Shabbos from Yom Kippur by accepting Shabbos early.

The call of the shofar is eternal. It is not musical. Its magnetic allurement cannot be explained.

Ba’al Shem Tov: “Hashem, too, is crying; as much as He is looking for us, we rarely look for Him.”

When we cry from the heart, someone listens; When we cry on Yom Kippur, God hears us.

Contrary to popular belief, the Talmud never explicitly limits the ban on footwear to leather shoes.

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-080814-Sign

Is God apologizing for taking away my Father? Is God telling me that He is sorry?

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Question: At Birkat Kohanim, who says the phrase, “Am k’doshecha ka’amur”?

Question: How can one determine whether someone is a true disciple of a rav, Rebbe, or rosh yeshiva?

Question: Does halacha agree with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade permitting women to have abortions?

Question: When someone puts on a talit to lead services, should he recite a berachah?

Question: A number of synagogues feature bar mitzvah celebrations for elderly Jews. Is this proper?

Hashem understood their complaint and therefore selected the ritual mitzvah of sukkah to test them.

Question: Why is Shavuot celebrated as a two-day Yom Tov?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/praying-for-the-sick/2012/04/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: