If you have a friend who wants to succeed at a task, or needs healing, and he asks you to pray for him even though he can pray himself, is he using you as an intermediary, like shitoof? Am I confused on the definition of praying for someone and shitoof?

  • 1
    They aren't praying to their friend. They are asking him for a favor. Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 23:19
  • So it seems that shitoof translated as "intermediary" or "arbitrator" is either not a correct translation, or it's not bad. Yet, I thought bnei Yisrael is forbidden from shitoof.
    – EhevuTov
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 23:33
  • The question could be asked better, but +1 for clearly explaining in what way you may be confused and open to being told that you misunderstand the concept.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


שיתוף does not mean "intermediary." In fact, it is a common Jewish practice to ask an intermediary who one sees as more worthy of having his prayers answered to daven for something. This is one of the roles of a chasidic rebbe, for example.

The concept of shituf is ascribing partnership to God. The word literally means "grouping." It is forbidden to claim that there is another deity that has the same level of power as God or who works with God.

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    This practice originated long before chassidus -- see Bava Basra 116a.
    – Kordovero
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 1:41
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    @Kordovero I didn't say that only chasidic rebbes do this. Just that it is one of the things that chasidic rebbes do.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 1:42
  • Shittuf actually means swearing in God's name with someone else's name even without thinking they are equal, as it is still offensive/dishonorable to God to be even remotely on the same level as something else.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 3:11

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