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We see in this weeks Parsha (Baha'aloscha) that Moshe Rabbeinu prayed for his sister Miriam's Refuah by saying "אל נא רפא נא לה".

The Gemara in Brachos (34a) says that from this passuk we see that one does not have to say the choleh's name when davening for them, as Moshe did not say Miriams name.

However, one could ask that in another gemara (Taanis 23b) it brings a story that one Amora asked another Amora to daven for his wife, the other Amora asked "whats her name".

The question is, based off the gemara in Brachos why did he have to ask her name?

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  • I see the gilyonei hashas asks this question in taanis, but doesnt seem to give an answer. The Ben Ish Chai (Ben Yehoyada Taanis 25a) gives an answer as well Jun 5, 2014 at 9:11

2 Answers 2

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The Magen Avhraham (119:1) quoting Maharil explains that only when in the presence of the sick person may the name of the sick person be omitted. Otherwise, the name should be mentioned.

The Gemara Berachos is where Moshe Rabenu was in Miriam's presence. The Gemara Taanis is when the prayers were not made near the sick person.

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Rav Nachman of Breslov says in Lekutei Morahan 1:174 that in a time of Judgment on a person it is better to omit the name of the one you are davening for and have them in mind.

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