It seems that it has become a universal Jewish custom to ask for blessings from tzadikim/talmidei chachamim. So I'm assuming this practice is allowed.

There seems to be levels in how people treat these blessings

1) Asking another person or persons to pray for you. As per mblochs answer this sounds great.

2) Asking that someone "give a blessing" which sounds like he has the ability decide and give people whatever he wants.

Why is asking for a bracha allowed, isn't it "praying" to someone other than hashem?

  • Re your latest edit, I'm wondering how "asking that someone give a blessing" is "praying to someone other than Hashem". In my experience when you ask for a blessing, the answer is "May Hashem give you X, Y, Z". This is also the language of Birkat Kohanim,
    – mbloch
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 4:06
  • maybe this will help: sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2296341/jewish/…
    – mbloch
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 4:07

2 Answers 2


The gemara in Bava Batra 116a says

Anyone who has a sick person in his home should go to a sage, and the sage will ask for mercy on the sick person’s behalf, as it is stated: “The wrath of a king is as messengers of death; but a wise man will pacify it” (Proverbs 16:14)

You are not praying to a sage. You are asking the sage to ask Hashem for blessings or mercy on your behalf.

  • 1
    We certainly see permission to ask a gadol to pray for someone who is ill directly mentioned in the Torah! When Miriam was afflicted with tzara'at, Aharon asked Moshe to pray to G-d to heal her.
    – DanF
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 14:33
  • You may want to update this in light of changes to the question.
    – msh210
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 3:55
  • @msh210 I wonder if this wouldn't be better as a new question. I'm also wondering how "asking that someone give a blessing" is "praying to someone other than Hashem"
    – mbloch
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 3:59
  • If your answer had upvotes before the question was edited (I haven't checked whether that's that case), then we should revert the edit, per site rules.
    – msh210
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 4:02
  • @msh210 it did have 6 upvotes before the chag
    – mbloch
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 4:02

even when asking a rabbi to give you a blessing, what he is really doing is saying that hashem should bless you.
often he will say " hashem should give you etc. etc."

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