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I've seen the following versions (and slight variants thereof) of a portion of the eighth b'racha of the weekday sh'mone esre:

  • וְהַעֲלֵה אֲרוּכָה וּמַרְפֵּא לְכָל תַּחֲלוּאֵינוּ וּלְכָל מַכְאוֹבֵינוּ וּלְכָל מַכּוֹתֵינוּ
  • וְהַעֲלֵה אֲרוּכָה וּמַרְפֵּא לְכָל תַּחֲלוּאֵינוּ וּלְכָל מַכְאוֹבֵינוּ רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה לְכָל מַכּוֹתֵינוּ
  • וְהַעֲלֵה אֲרוּכָה וּמַרְפֵּא לְכָל תַּחֲלוּאֵינוּ וּלְכָל מַכְאוֹבֵינוּ וּלְכָל מַכּוֹתֵינוּ רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה לְכָל מַכּוֹתֵינוּ
  • וְהַעֲלֵה רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה לְכָל מַכּוֹתֵינוּ
  • וְהַעֲלֵה רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה לְכָל תַּחֲלוּאֵינוּ

(There may be others, too.) Are there any reasons (besides "that's the way our fathers did it") given for any of the various versions, or explanations of the differences among them?

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I don't know if it will be so, but perhaps if you include which rites have which versions someone might be able to deduce a pattern. –  Double AA Jan 15 '13 at 5:41
    
@DoubleAA Actually, I was thinking of asking that as a separate question, and may yet. It's hard to know which traditions have which versions when most of the sidurim I see are not community-specific but, rather, generically "nusach S'farad" or the like. –  msh210 Jan 15 '13 at 14:46

1 Answer 1

There is a long discussion of the various versions of r'fa-einu compiled by Abe Katz at the following link: http://beureihatefila.com/files/2006_08_04_TefilaNewsletter.pdf

The two main issues seem to be:

  1. If, how, and when may the words of a posuk be changed? This prayer is based on a posuk from Yermiyahu 17:14 but diverges from the wording there to various degrees in the various nuscha'ot. This link references a discussion in the Rishonim about it.

  2. What should be the proper number of words in the prayer? Nusach Ashkenaz has 27 words and Nusach S'fard has 31. The Roke'ach (quoted in this link in Hebrew and English) argues strongly in favor of 27 because the number corresponds to a bunch of other related p'sukim.

As to why Nusach S'fard diverged even further from the posuk than Nusach Ashkenaz, that would be a question about the innovations of Nusach S'fard. The answer I usually hear is "for kabbalistic reasons," which, admittedly, is a less than satisfying answer. Still, this link to Be'urei haTefila will give you the background to the quasi-halachic issues surrounding the various versions.

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Hello shemmy, and welcome to Judaism.SE! I look forward to seeing you around the site. –  not-allowed to change my name Jan 16 '13 at 0:44
    
Is this you? judaism.stackexchange.com/users/1313/shemmy –  Double AA Jan 16 '13 at 1:01
    
@DoubleAA -- Yes, it is I, one and the same. I have experienced great difficulties logging in to this site. I was forced to log in as a new user in order to post this answer. –  Shemmy Jan 16 '13 at 23:56
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@shemmy I've merged your accounts. Please consider registering your account so you don't lose access to it again. It's free and very easy to do. –  Double AA Jan 16 '13 at 23:59

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