Bikur Cholim on Shabbos

Bikur Cholim on Shabbos:[1]

It is permitted to visit the sick on Shabbos.[2] Nevertheless [one is not to arrange to visit the sick specifically on Shabbos and is rather to arrange to visit him during the week as] it was with difficulty that the Sages allowed visiting the sick on Shabbos.[3] It is therefore improper to do like those who do not visit the sick throughout the week and visit him on Shabbos alone.[4] [If, however, one simply has no time to go during the week, and going on Shabbos will rejoice the ill person, then one is not to abstain from visiting him.[5]]

How to pray on Shabbos:[6] It is forbidden for one to request physical needs on Shabbos, including the needs of a sick person, for him to become healthy.[7] It is likewise forbidden to bless a sick person on Shabbos.[8] Thus, when visiting a sick person on Shabbos one is to say “Shabbos Hi Milizok Verefua Kerova Lavo.”[9] This applies likewise for the Gabaiy in Shul, that when he performs a Mi Shebeirach for the sick he is not to say “Hamakom Yishlach Refua” but rather “Shabbos Hi Milizok Verefua Kerova Lavo.”[10] If however the sick person is dangerously ill on Shabbos [and may pass away that day] then one may shout and supplicate on his behalf even on Shabbos, even as a congregation.[11] It is likewise permitted to bless an ill person who is dangerously ill on Shabbos.[12] The same would apply to a woman in childbirth who is having difficulty in labor on Shabbos.[13] However, a sick person whose life is not in danger on Shabbos [even though in general his illness is life threatening], it remains forbidden to ask mercy for him, or bless him, on Shabbos being it is possible to do so after Shabbos.[14] If, however, his illness occurred on Shabbos and requires an immediate request of mercy, then an individual may do so even if he is not in danger to die on Shabbos.[15] However, a public prayer may not be held for such a person.[16]

How to pray on Yom Tov: Some Poskim[17] rule that when saying a Mi Shebeirach for the sick on Yom Tov one is to say “Yom Tov Hi Milizok” Others[18] however are accustomed to recite Shabbos Hi Milizok.[19] [The Chabad custom is to recite “Shabbos Hi Milizok” also on Yom Tov.[20]]

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[1] Admur 287:1 and 3

[2] Admur 287:1; Michaber 287:1; Shabbos 12a

[3] Admur 287:3; Shabbos 12b; M”A 287:1; Elya Raba 287:1; Machazik Bracha 287:3; Shaareiy Teshuvah 187:1; Kaf Hachaim 187:6

The reason: As this may lead one to become saddened together with the patient. [Admur ibid]

[4] Admur ibid; M”A 287:1; Machazik Bracha 287:3, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 187:1; Kaf Hachaim 187:1

[5] Shaareiy Teshuvah 187:1; Kaf Hachaim 187:1

[6] Admur 187:1; 188:8-9

[7] Admur 288:8 and 9

[8] Admur 288:9; M”A 288:14; Bach 288; Shach Y.D. 335:10; Mahariv [Rav Yaakov Veil] 115

[9] Admur 287:1; Michaber Y.D. 335:6

The reason: One is not to request mercy for the person as he does during the week by saying “Hamakom Yiracheim..”, as through asking for mercy one ends up arousing crying and pain. Rather one is required to broaden their minds with words of comfort and encouragement, so the ill person does not feel sad on Shabbos. [Admur ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun why Admur ibid does not mention the reason stated above that it is forbidden to request physical matters on Shabbos, irrelevant of the issue of distress.

Segula: The above statement has mystical meaning, as its Roshei Teves represent the name of Hashem that heals the sick. [Chaim Veshalom Seder Kerias Hatorah; See also Toras Levi Yitzchak Gittin 7; Meiri Shabbos 12; Likkutei Sichos 11:296; 16:520 that Shabbos itself brings the Refua]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is permitted to recite “Hamakom Yiracheim Alecha Besoch Shaar Cholei Yisrael” even on Shabbos. [Ramban, brought in M”A 288:14] However, to say more than this is forbidden according to all opinions. [M”A ibid]

Verachamav Merubim Veshabbaso Shalom: Some Poskim rule one is to conclude the above statement with the words “Verachamav Merubim Veshabbaso Shalom.” [1st opinion in Admur ibid; Michaber 287:1; Bach 287; Shach 335:5; Shavna in Shabbos 12a; Shaareiy Ephraim 10:44, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 288:13] Other Poskim however rule it is not needed to be said. [2nd opinion in Admur ibid; Rama 287:1; Rambam Shabbos 24:5; omitted in Michaber Y.D. 335:6; Tana Kama in Shabbos ibid; See Taz 287:1;] Practically, the custom is not to say it. [Admur ibid; Rama ibid]

[10] Admur 287:1; M”A 288:14; Shaareiy Ephraim 10:44

Other opinions: Some communities are accustomed to recite “Hamakom Yishlach Lecha Refua Sheleima Besoch Shaar Cholei Yisrael” even on Shabbos, seemingly relying on the opinion of Ramban ibid. [M”A 288:14] However, to say more than this is forbidden according to all opinions. [M”A ibid]

[11] Admur 288:9; Michaber 288:10; Shach Y.D. 335:10

[12] Admur 288:9; Rama 288:10

[13] Admur 288:9; See M”A ibid and Machatzis Hashekel ibid

[14] Admur 288:9; M”A ibid

[15] Admur 288:9; Kuntrus Acharon 288:2; Based on Maharam 603

[16] Admur ibid

[17] See Mateh Ephraim 584:25; Siddur Yaavetz; Likkutei Maharich p. 29

[18] Shaar Hakolel 26:4-2; Sefer Chamisha Mamaros and Chaim Veshalom Seder Kerias Hatorah of Munkatcher; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 47:22

[19] The reason: As also Yom Tov is called Shabbos. [Shaar Hakolel ibid; Chaim Veshalom ibid] Alternatively, as this statement has mystical meaning, as its Roshei Teves represent the name of Hashem that heals the sick. [Chaim Veshalom ibid; See also Toras Levi Yitzchak Gittin 7; Meiri Shabbos 12; Likkutei Sichos 11:296; 16:520 that Shabbos itself brings the Refua]

[20] See Shaar Hakolel ibid; Received from Rabbi Leibel Groner in written correspondence; And so also ruled to me Rabbi Y.S. Ginzberg and Rav Eli Landau, although they did not receive any explicit tradition in this matter

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