I heard that when praying for the sick when in the person’s presence, it is best not to mention their name as it may bring unwanted or additional judgment. Why? What is the source for this? Does this also apply to Aliyot to the Torah? If so, why do we mention names for Aliyot?

Answer:

The Gemara (Berachos 34) writes that one who prays for the sick in their presence, does not have to mention the name. Riaz writes that there is no need to mention the name, yet the name can be mentioned. However, a number of authorities write that the name should not be mentioned in his presence, because this can call upon him the attribute of judgment. However, this applies solely to somebody praying for the sick, who should not mention his name in his presence, and not to calling up a person to shul, where the sickness is not mentioned.

Sources: See Chasam Sofer, Nedarim 40a; Yalkut Yosef, Orach Chaim vol. 5, p. 72; in the absence of the sick person, the name must be mentioned (Magen Avraham 119).

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3 Responses to “Mentioning a Sick Person’s Name”

  1. Yet we see that Moshe Rabeinu prayed for Miryam
    Keil na rafa na la……Bamidbar 12:13…not in her presence and not with her name….?

    • The Gemara (Berachos 34) cites the verse, and Maharil, as cited in Magen Avraham, writes that the prayer of Mosher was in Miriam’s presence, which is why he didn’t mention her name.

  2. Yet we see that Moshe Rabeinu prayed for Miryam
    Keil na rafa na la……Bamidbar 12:13…not in her presence and not with her name….?

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