When someone is sick, I mean very sick, not with the flu or a cold or some ailment that can be treated with antibiotics, what do you do?
In our own community of Highland Park, we have been praying for a baby who needs to undergo chemotherapy. And for a friend of my daughter’s who has also been receiving treatments. Oh, Cancer, when will you stop?!!!
In our Sephardi synagogue of Etz Ahaim, there are 4 sets of misheberach prayers – one for deceased men, one for deceased women, one for sick men, and one for sick women. When you say the name to the rabbi of the person who is sick, it is preferable to say their Hebrew name followed by ben (son of) or bat (daughter of) and then their mother’s name. But if you don’t know it, you can just say their English name.
Years ago someone I know well said in a cynical manner, what is the point of getting together to say tehillim (Psalms) when a person is so deathly ill that you know (how do you know? when my mother was dying, my father’s cousin told me she had certain body signs – but do you know???) they are not going to recover? I didn’t respond at the time, but isn’t it better to have a hope and a prayer than nothing? One can also feel a part of a group praying and hoping and not alone in one’s fear. But the rationalist may have problems with so much prayer, I will at least grant the person that.
Praying for RivkA bat Teirtzel.