The ArtScroll Siddur and many others include a prayer for sick people in the blessing of refaeinu:

יְהִי רָצון מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱלהַי וֵאלהֵי אֲבותַי שֶׁתִּשְׁלַח מְהֵרָה רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם. רְפוּאַת הַנֶּפֶשׁ וּרְפוּאַת הַגּוּף לְחולֶה פב"פ בְּתוךְ שְׁאָר חולֵי יִשרָאֵל

May it be Your will in front of You, O Lord, my God and the God of my forefathers, that You quickly send a complete recovery from the Heavens - a recovery of the soul and a recovery of the body - to the the sick person Ploni ben Ploni among the other sick ones of Israel.

Now the Aruch Hashulchan (1:119 b) writes that one is not allowed to add “fixed additions” to the text of shmonei esrei as they might be seen as changing the nusach of tfila as set by anshei knesset hagdola.

ודע דזה דבר פשוט שלא התירו חכמינו ז"ל להוסיף בשמונה עשרה אלא במקרה כשצריך לזה. אבל להוסיף תפילה קבועה תמידיות בשמונה עשרה – הוא העזה יתירה וחוצפא כלפי אנשי כנסת הגדולה. ועל זה יודה כל תלמיד חכם, וכל אשר יראת ה' בקרבו. ובכן יש לצעוק על המדפיסים שהוסיפו בסידורים ב"שמע קולנו" תפילה קבועה: "אנא ה' חטאתי... אתה הוא הזן ומפרנס...". ורבים מעמי הארץ אומרים זה תמיד ככל תפילת שמונה עשרה, ולבי עלי דוי על המעשה הזה. ושמעתי שכבר הרעיש על זה אחד מגדולי הדור בדור שלפנינו. אלא שבעונותינו הרבים אימסר עלמא בידא דטיפשאי, והמדפיסים עושים כרצונם ואין בידינו למחות. וזה שהביאו מזוהר שטוב לשאול על מזונותיו תמיד אפילו הוא עשיר, או להתודות על חטאיו (מגן אברהם סעיף קטן א') – זהו וודאי כן הוא, אבל לא לעשות נוסחא קבוע בתוך תפילות אנשי כנסת הגדולה. ואם ירצה יכול לומר אותם אחר התפילה, ואחר "יהיו לרצון", ומי ימחה בידו? וכבר אמרו בגמרא דאחר התפילה יכול לומר אפילו כסדר של יום הכיפורים.

I believe the gmara he refers to at the end is in Avoda Zara 8a and it doesn’t have the Aruch Hashulchan limitation

Similarly, Rav Ḥiyya bar Ashi says that Rav says: Although the Sages said that a person requests his own needs in the blessing ending: Who listens to prayer, if he has a sick person in his house he recites a special prayer for him during the blessing of the sick.

Does this Aruch Hashulchan apply to the situation of a patient with a chronic disease for which one wants to pray in every shmonei esrei, possibly for years?

Do other poskim rule differently from Aruch Hashulchan?

  • 2
    According to the Arukh haShulchan, you would just need to omit it every once in a while or choose a different wording every once in a while.
    – Double AA
    Oct 26, 2017 at 20:41
  • It seems that much of your question is answered in the related question that you linked to. But in reading the 1st sentence of Aruch's citing, he says, אלא במקרה כשצריך לזה . That's ambiguous. However, if a person is critically ill, and is that way for a long time, it seems that such a condition meets A.H.'s criteria.
    – DanF
    Oct 26, 2017 at 21:40
  • 1
    Reading his words it seems that his issue is having an addition to the set Tefillah. His example is the prayer for Parnassah for rich and poor alike. Those who say this every day have essentially added to the established Amidah. However, praying for an individual cause, even if it carries on, is not like having added to the Amidah. You know you'll stop as soon as there is no need.
    – HaLeiVi
    Oct 27, 2017 at 6:29
  • 1
    Each time you pray, you're praying that you won't have to pray the same thing the next time. Not sure how that can be considered fixed.
    – msh210
    Oct 27, 2017 at 8:51

2 Answers 2


I was taught in yeshiva (Kerem B'Yavne) a number of years ago to say the yehi ratzon in only two of the three daily prayers, to avoid the issue raised by the Aruch HaShulchan cited in the question. This is still my practice.

  • Was there any suggestion as to which prayer should omit it? If so, why was that one chosen? Also, refer to my comment, above. I think if someone is critically ill, this becomes a necessitated reason to say it, and it should be said constantly, without any concern of repetition. Did the yeshiva address this?
    – DanF
    Oct 27, 2017 at 13:54
  • @DanF As far as I remember there was no preference as to in which prayer it should be omitted. Also, no discussion of whether the rule changes for someone critically ill (lo aleinu).
    – Joel K
    Oct 27, 2017 at 13:58

This seems a difficult one. So I asked two talmidei hahkhamim (both rabbanim in Israel). Both of them answered that the addition to refaenu is meant for urgent/critical cases, e.g., sudden bad news or a hospital operation, and is not meant to be said over long periods of time for chronic cases.

Sources seem hard to come by, the Aruch Hashulchan was the first I saw who directly addresses the issue.

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