Why we must not cry out/make petitions in Shabbat? (Shabbat 12a)

Our Rabbis taught: If one enters [a house] to visit a sick person [on the Sabbath], he should say, 'It is the Sabbath, when one must not cry out, and recovery will soon come.'

Shabbat 12a - Soncino version


2 Answers 2


The Rashba to Shabbos 113a writes that it is a violation of Yeshaya 58:13

וכבדתו מעשות דרכיך ממצוא חפצך ודבר דבר

You shall honor it (the Shabbos) by not doing your own ways, pursuing your own desires, or speaking of matters.

On another level, Shabbos is the 7th day of the week, corresponding to the 7th of the sefiros, Malchus. The sefira of Malchus is the faculty of actualizing the potential of the other sefiros. Malchus acts upon the other sefiros, but does not have its own input. (R' Pinkus discusses this idea at length in שבת מלכתא.) Shabbos is the gate through which the blessing that was accrued during the week enters the world, but Shabbos itself is devoid of personal requests because it is only a conduit for generating the blessings of the other 6 days.


Rashi says there:

שבת היא מלזעוק. צריך להרחיב דעתם בתנחומים שלא יצטערו:‏

[One says more than the usual Refu'a Sheleima] in order for them to feel good so as to alleviate their sorrow.

On the next folio when the Gemara mentions that it's barely permissible to visit the sick on Shabbat, Rashi again says it's because of the sorrow caused.

ואמר רבי חנינא בקושי התירו לנחם אבלים ולבקר חולים בשבת
בקושי התירו. מפני שמצטער

This makes it sound like we're alleviating the sorrow of the person visiting the sick.

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