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By putting someone on a cholim list you are asking the tzibur to daven/ say tehillim on their behalf. How sick does someone need to be for it to be appropriate to put them on such a list?

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This is surely not a halacha question, is it? You want to know about societal norms, correct? –  HodofHod May 16 '12 at 19:45
@HodofHod - It may be a halachic problem to suggest that someone else is afflicted with some problem they don't actually have, lest the suggestion activate a judgment against that person (see Moed Katan 18a). –  Fred May 16 '12 at 22:52
Besides praying for the sick, a person who is not sick can pray not to get sick.I have seen people make a Mi Sheberach for a person with fever. –  Gershon Gold May 17 '12 at 22:22
@HodofHod, I found this question when searching before asking essentially the same thing. I wonder whether praying for someone who's "not sick enough" is (a) a bracha made in vain, (b) theft of the community's time, (c) an offense against that person (who people now think is much sicker) -- choose all that apply. –  Monica Cellio Aug 24 '12 at 13:00

2 Answers 2

My late Rav, Rabbi Gedaliah Anemer, zt'l, founder and Rosh HaYeshiva of The Yeshiva of Greater Washington D.C., held that mishaberachs should not be said for those with chronic illnesses that are not life threatening at present. He said we don't want to "drey G-d's kup" (i.e. bother Him) with prayers for people who are going to have their illness for years to come. For example, he cited diseases such as MS and Parkinson's. I'm sure he was also concerned about tircha l'tzibur (a strain upon the congregation) by making them wait through a long list of names on the mishaberach list. I generally limit my contributions to my shul's mishaberach list to friends and relatives with life-threatening cancer or other life-threatening diseases such as a severe stroke.

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Could the guiding principle be Hillel's "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour"?

If you would be happy to use your precious time to daven/ say tehillim for someone with that level of illness, then it's reasonable to be put on the "the cholim list" for it.

But take care, making the Community wait (eg for a MiSheberach) is not a minor matter.

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I take it that this is speculation, but I like it! –  Double AA May 20 '12 at 16:11
But people may have different standards for what they would be happy to do and what they think is a burden on the tzibbur. –  Monica Cellio Aug 24 '12 at 12:57
@MonicaCellio Part of the mitzva of "Veohavto le-reacho komocho" as expressed by Hillel is to know what the other's standards and wishes are. (Heard from a shiur by Rabbi R Leuchter). So to apply the principle, your comment implies that I would have to work from a judgement of the standards of the community in which I was praying. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Aug 25 '12 at 22:57

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