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Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites has been suggesting in his weekly Dvar Torah that people praying at home because of the Corona virus epidemic should add to the prayers on Shabbat "Shabbat Hi Mlizok Urefua Krova Lavo." This prayer is part of the Mi Shaberach usually recited for the sick after kriyat hatorah on Shabbat. He does not specify if this phrase should be said on its own or as part of the Mi Sheberach.

  1. What are the halachos about reciting the Mi Sheberach for sick when praying alone without Torah Reading? Is this a special addition for the epidemic?
  2. What is the appropriate time to recite this prayer when not performing Torah Reading?

[https://english.thekotel.org/parasha/?itemid=%7BF89191F2-A56B-45AE-BFE0-C2072A4C72FF%7D]

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  • I'd think anyone can recite a misheberach prayer for anything at any time. What possible restrictions could there be? – Double AA Apr 6 '20 at 2:10
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    Perhaps it is considered a bakasha on Shabbat. Reciting it after kriyat Hatorah perhaps has quality of "seder hayom". Or of Bracha and not Tefila. Additionally, surely there is a reason mi sheberach prayers are considered especially fitting for Torah reading – Naftali Tzvi Apr 6 '20 at 2:15
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    Oh I assumed we were talking about requests that can be made on Shabbat and it was just about formulation. Misheberach for sick people on Shabbat is generally only for deathly ill judaism.stackexchange.com/q/88881/759 – Double AA Apr 6 '20 at 2:17
  • Even still we change the wording for Shabbat? (This request also applies to general world population as well as individuals) – Naftali Tzvi Apr 6 '20 at 2:18
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You can say a similar formulation for any sick person at any time on Shabbat as the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (193:4) writes

You should say to the sick man [...] on Shabbos
"This is Shabbos, we are forbidden to wail, healing is soon to come, His mercy is great, rest in peace."
שַׁבָּת הִיא מִלִּזְעֹק, וּרְפוּאָה קְרוֹבָה לָבוֹא, וְרַחֲמָיו מְרֻבִּים, וְשִׁבְתוּ בְּשָלוֹם

This can be said on its own, as the KSA writes earlier in the same seif

If you are not praying in [the presence of the sick person ...] you should pray in the Holy Tongue, and include him among all the sick of Yisrael. For by including him with the others, your prayer will be more readily heard because of the collective merit of the many sick ones.

R Rabinowitz likely meant that it was good to say this during the current pandemic and have in mind the COVID patients.

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The Gemara[1] says:

... One may not visit the sick on the Sabbath.[2] These are the words of Beis Shammal — But Beis Hillel permits these activities on the Shabbath.[3]

Hillel says we should visit the sick because these are acts of kindness (Aruch HaShulchan, Orach Chaim 287:1). Jews are even encouraged to visit and pray for the recovery of non-Jews (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 151:12). Just as G-d, The Holy One, visited Abraham when the patriarch was sick (Chapter 18 Genesis), so, too, we should visit the sick. This is called called “imitatio deo.”

The Holy One, blessed be He, visited the sick ... so should you visit the sick (Midrash Sifrei; Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 14a).

The Gemara cites a Baraisa about visiting the sick on the Shabbath:

The Sages taught in a Baraisa: One who enters to visit a sick person on the Shabbath SHOULD say: "It is the Shabbath now, therefore we are prevented from crying out for your recovery, but recovery will come soon."

This means that we should not pray to G-d on his behalf since this prayer will arouse weeping and sorrow. Rather, we are to offer him hope to lift his spirits (Ran).

And R' Meir says: One should say "[The Sabbath] itself can have mercy and bring your recovery."

This means that if the sick person honors the Shabbat, perhaps he will merit a fast recovery. Thus, the Shabbat does not delay recovery but hastens it unaided by prayer (Maharsha)[4].

R' Yehudah says: One should say: "May the Omnipresent have mercy on you and on the sick of Israel." R' Yose says: "May the Omnipresent have mercy on you among the sick of Israel."[5]

By using Rabbi Yose's formula which groups the sick person together with the sick of Israel, the prayer, offered on the behalf of many, becomes a dual prayer (Rashi). Although R' Yehudah and Yose agree with the Tannaim that this prayer should not be directed to G-d on the Shabbat (Maharsha).

When Shevna, a prominent person in Jerusalem, would enter to visit a sick person on the Shabbat, he would say: "Peace." And when leaving, he would say: "The Shababth prevents us from crying out for your recovery, but recovery will come soon. [G-d's] mercies are many, and rest on the Sabbath in peace."

This means that G-d's mercies are so great that He will heal the sick on the Shabbat even without prayer. The person must observe Shabbat in peace. Shevna suggests one begins and ends their visit with the word shalom (peace), which is a Name of G-d.[6]

The Gemara specifies which of these Tannaic opinions is the source for the following Amoraic statement:

With whom does this teaching states by R' Chanina accord? One who has a sick person in his household must include him together with the sick of Israel when praying on his behalf. With whom does this teaching accord? It accords with R' Yose. (This is the view of R' Yose). the Gemara cites another teaching by R' Chanina on this topic: And R' Chanina said: It was with difficulty that [the Rabbis] permitted one to console mourners and to visit the sick on the Shabbath (because of the distress felt by the visitors (Rashi).

Also, a person requires the assistance of the ministering angels to send his prayers to G-d (Rashi to Sotah 33a, see also Rabbeinu Yonah to Berachos folio 7a).

[1] Talmud Bavli 12a4 (tractate Shabbos, the Artscroll addition)

[2] Because this activity causes anguish (Rashi, see Rif and Ran)

[3] Hillel referred to Isaiah's words "your business" to mean that personal needs are forbidden but not a mitzvah

[4] Although he must ignore his pian

[5] Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 12b1

[6] See 10b (Maharsha)

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