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Author:  josh
E-mail:  not available
Date:  5/2/2004 10:55:00 AM
Subject:  tehillim (again)
Message:  the gemara in shevuous uses the loshon of lehitrapot, does that not mean to heal oneself, but other people it would be allowed to heal wiht words of torah. also when it uses the word lehitrpot that implies only healing but what about protecting oneslef from danger can you say words of torah for that. also what is the hava aminah of the gemara; it says that rav yehoshua ben levi said the words of yoshev beseter to protect himself from harm so why did teh gemara ask but didn;t rav yehoshua ben levi say it is assur to heal (lehitrapot)oneself with words of torah?

Reply:  If I read you correctly, you are saying that the Gemara only forbids healing yourself, but it would be OK to heal another with words of Torah. That is not the meaning of the Gemara. It is a general meaning, "healing with words of Torah, " which includes healing yourself and healing others.

I would love to know the source of saying Tehillim for the sick. I have not seen it in the Shulchan Aruch, nor in the Gemara, nor any book written prior to 100 years ago. I don't say that it does not exist, but I'd love to know who and where it came from. Clearly the Gemara forbids it and all the Poskim bring that as the Law.

Doing something contrary to the Law in the name of a sick person certainly would not be a good thing. Let people take on Mitzvot in the Zchut (credit) of the sick person. This is a good thing. God often gives us problems as a wake-up call to ourselves and often even more for everyone else around us, to get us to look at our meaningless lives and get a jumpstart to bringing back the meaning to it.

Strangely enough, very often women are saying Tehillim and yet they do not Daven (pray). Let's reverse that. Let's start a push to have women pray three times each day, which incidentally most Poskim hold is a requirement. Tehillim is not necessarily prayer. Prayer is prayer. The Zchut of people accepting a commitment to try to pray three times a day, added to them actually praying and having in mind the sick person, can be the most beneficial thing for a sick person. Those Zchuyot (credits) keep multiplying, because the word spreads quickly and more prayers are said each day, and every prayer is credited to the account of this sick person, who got this going. Just for getting this to happen, the points keep adding up. Long after the person is healed and forgot that he/she was sick, the credits still keep coming in.

Doing the right thing is sometimes not as "in" as doing what people are used to.

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