Issuing calls for Tehillim when it’s (almost) too late.

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  • #1828652

    Haimy
    Participant

    Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zt’zl wouldn’t join Tehilim betzibbur for a person who had no medical chance of recovery. He said that this weakens people’s belief in the koach of tefilah since it requires a nes for the person to recover. Every few days YWN issues a call for Tehillim for an choshever Talmud Chochom or rebitzen & a few days later they are gone, & we are told that they were suffering from a serious illness for a while. Obviously, these people were already medically beyond a refuah biderech hatevah & by issuing such a call to daven for such an ill person we are weakening the whole concept of Tefila which is already so weak for us. I call upon the YWN editor to ask a moreh Horoah whether it’s proper to issue a public call for tefilah for a person who has no medical chance to recover. Please publish what you were told.

    #1828791

    Joseph
    Participant

    As long as the person is breathing, it is NEVER too late.

    #1828798

    Health
    Participant

    Funny; I was just thinking the same thing about the last case.
    How about having articles that prolong life – instead of asking Hashem for a Nais? Eg. – the dangers of Smoking & Vaping!

    #1828817

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    It is well know that R Moshe Feinstein and the Talmidim of MTJ were davening for R Aharon Kotler in the final stages of his illness, even on the day of his petirah. A bochur came in with besurah rah that R’ Aharon was niftar, R’ Moshe asked him if it was over and he was told yes. It would seem from this that R’ Moshe disagreed with R’ Shlomo Zalman.

    #1828813

    Haimy: This Story was Printed in the ArtScroll Biography of R’ Moshe Feinstein RE Reb Moshe’s sister Rebbitzen Chana Small.

    When Rebbetzin Small was suffering for five years with a lingering, very painful illness, Reb
    Moshe made a point of calling her regularly. During one of these calls, a grandchild overheard her
    say, “Moshe, daven for me.” She listened to his response and then said, “Moshe, since we were young we all knew that the One Above listens to your prayers.” Toward the end of her life, Rebbetzin Small slipped into a coma. When she had been comatose for four days, her doctors suggested to the family that they “pull the plug.” There was virtually no hope that she would ever be conscious again, they argued, and even if she were to come out of the coma briefly, her brain could no longer function. The Small children asked Reb David and Reb Reuven to consult Reb Moshe on what they should do.Reb Moshe was in very delicate health and his sons felt that it would be dangerous to give him such tragic news, but they told the Small family that he had never permitted such a procedure. Soon after that call, Reb Moshe was reminiscing about his siblings and he mentioned the names of those who were no longer living; “Uber Chana leibt nach” (“But Chana is still alive”), he said.That very day, she awoke from her coma and became completely lucid. Her children and grandchildren visited and carried on conversations with her. For the first time she was able to meet a grandson’s new bride. For the next seven days she was completely conscious, and then she passed away.

    One never knows the power of tefilla and Hashems help comes Keref Ayin. Even if the sword is against ones next.

    #1828825

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The gemora in maseches Taanis says that we should not be matriach (ask to do something from) Hashem when tefila is unnecessary but the Ran in Nedorim 30, says that we can daven that someone should be taken away early without suffering.

    #1828831

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Thanks Joseph you reminded me of a gemora:

    תלמוד בבלי מסכת ברכות דף י עמוד א
    כך מקובלני מבית אבי אבא – אפילו חרב חדה מונחת על צוארו של אדם אל ימנע עצמו מן הרחמים

    I have accepted from my grandfather that even if a sharp sword lies on ones neck, he should not turn away from asking for mercy.

    #1828860

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Ohr Hachaim in Chafetz Hashem there explains even when the angel of death has a sword on his neck, don’t give up on mercy.

    #1828885

    kollelman
    Participant

    My Rov, who is a talmid of R’ Moshe told us that when it gets to the point that the person is suffering tremendously and there’s really no hope, one should daven for the person to be niftar with quickly with rachamim. Maybe it depends on the sickness and situation.

    #1828898

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Kollelman: I heard the same thing from the Naroler Rebbe (R Beirish Shapiro Shlita) when a member of my family was placed on a respirator. I can remember his words verbatim “The Ran says that there comes a time when one is allowed to start davening for the other way”

    #1828986

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Sometimes, tefillah can be more for the family of a choleh and provides a mechanism of support. It would be cruel to deny tefillah when the family seeks such support from the tzibur.

    #1829110

    Health
    Participant

    My point isn’t that people shouldn’t daven even when told it’s useless. My point is that either the family or the news outlets, start asking people to Daven at the last minute! If there is a possibilty that it would beneficial for e/o to Daven, then ask ASAP, Not at the last Minute!

    #1829159

    sariray
    Participant

    I always wondered the same thing. I am
    On multiple whatsapp chats for Cholim and unfortunately some of them take a turn for the worse and then when they are already on hospice and the family is told it’s the end, the chats start to go crazy begging people to read more and more Tehillim . I understand no prayer goes to waste I just don’t know why we expect an open miracle for someone who the doctors have already closed their files on and given weeks or days. Some of these chats were running for a long time already and I could understand a person seeing a yeshuah After a terrible diagnosis , but not usually once they are past the point of being helped medically.

    #1829214

    Haimy
    Participant

    I don’t know if we can bring a rayah from a personal story with Rav Moshe. It’s very possible that Rav Shlomo Zalmen davened privately for a refuah. His opinion was that public calls for tefilah when there is no possible derech hateva way to recover is not right because it weaken peoples emunah in the koach of tefilah. I can tell you that every time YWN issues a call for tefilah I sadly assume that this is a last minute thing & the person is more on the olom Haemes than on this world. Usually within 48 hours they are announcing the petirah R”L. I think this deserves a shealas rav whether this is appropriate. I know that there are people who feel discouraged from davening after seeing that it’s not working time & again.

    #1829249

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Did anyone see the Ohr Hachaim on Maseches Brochos I mentioned before in reply # 1828860?

    #1829258

    gav
    Participant

    yes but when a person is brain dead he doesent feel any pain anymore

    #1829433

    catch yourself
    Participant

    I haven’t had a chance to see the חפץ השם yet, but I do plan to check it up.

    I think your קושיא is really interesting. How are we to reconcile the גמרא of אפילו חרב חדה וכו with the מנשה of תפלת שוא?

    In addition to the מעשה רב from Rav Shlomo Zalman ZT”L, I would like to point out that רבי עקיבא איגר in הגהותיו לשלחן ערוך או”ח סימן ר”ל says that in a case where there is no medical chance of survival, one should not Daven for it, and that it is forbidden to ask Hashem to perform a miracle (his specific case is a בן ח’ חדשים which the Gemara says can not survive and it is אסור לחלל שבת עליו. Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, such cases routinely survive and thrive nowadays).

    I’ve only had time to do precursory research as of right now, and I haven’t found any sources on this yet. A thought which occurred to me is that perhaps the מחלה of חזקיהו wasn’t [yet] at a terminal stage. The image of חרב חדה is perhaps different from illness because of the element of בחירה.

    #1829445

    DrYidd
    Participant

    to all the illustrious talmidei hakhamim . the rules depend on circumstance and the halakhic status of brain death AS IT CAN BE DETERMINED TODAY. Your stories from the past are interesting but not always the psak that would be given today

    #1829469

    Haimy: I remember that in 1978 in Mesivta Chaim Berlin we said tehillim b’rabim every day as a zechus for the refuah of R’ Boruch Sorotzkin TZATZAL (Telshe) until his petirah.

    #1829707

    Haimy
    Participant

    Rav Boruch Sorotzkin was one of the gedolei Hador & it’s possible you said Tehillim because every moment an Odom Gadol is with us is meigin & mekayem the world. In addition, Hashem is noheig lemaalah miderech hateva with tzadikim muflogim. I concede that in special situations we daven despite the odds. It’s when this kind of call is happening on a regular basis here on YWN that I think requires a Sheaylas Rav. Is it correct to ask the tzibbur to begin davening for someone who is just barely alive with no medical way to recover. I can tell you that this is demoralizing, especially to young people.

    #1829747

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    חשוקי חמד שבת דף יב עמוד ב
    וכאן המקום להעיר נגד האומרים את האמת לאמיתה לחולה מבלי להשאיר כל נצוץ של תקוה. וזוהי נגד דעת תורה, כי אפילו חרב חדה מונחת על צוארו של האדם אל יתייאש מהרחמים.

    These are the words of the Ohr Hachaim Hakadash:

    חפץ ה’ מסכת ברכות דף י עמוד א
    ואמר חרב חדה דרמז על חרבו של מלאך המות שהיא תמיד חדה וכפי זה שפיר קאמר חזקיה דהנה אפילו נגזרה גזירה ונתנה ביד המלאך המות והרים ידו והניח על צוארו החרב אל ימנע עצמו מן הרחמים. הכא נמי הכא לא ימנע עצמו מהרחמים וזהו שתקן רש”י ז”ל בד”ה מקובלנא: ופשוט.

    רש”י מסכת ברכות דף י עמוד א
    מקובלני מבית אבי אבא – דוד, שראה את המלאך וחרבו שלופה בידו בסוף ספר שמואל (ב’ כ”ד), ולא מנע עצמו מן הרחמים.

    #1829751

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    רבי עקיבא איגר אורח חיים סימן רל
    המתפלל. אל יתפלל אדם לבקש דבר שאינו כפי הטבע ואף שהיכולת ביד הקדוש ברוך הוא כגון הפילה אשתו לח’ חדשים אין מתפללים עליו שיחיה ואסור להתפלל שיעשה לו הקדוש ברוך הוא נס בשינוי עולם כגון שיוציא אילן זה פירות קודם זמנו ס”ח סי’ תשצ”ה:

    #1829762

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I think the above of giving birth at eight months does not apply as they put the babies in an incubator.

    #1829785

    Haimy: I know of a recent case where the public was notified through YWN on the need for tefilos where the brother of the niftar told me that when his brother left for the hospital it was for a routine treatment and then something happened that turned into an unexpected crisis and by the end of the day his brother was niftar. Although he was sick it was not expected at that time.

    #1831186

    esunzaud7
    Participant

    It is never too late to say tehillim!

    #1831333

    catch yourself
    Participant

    esunzaud7,

    Emotionally, I want to agree with you. However, the Halacha seems not to be so clear as you say. From R’ Akiva Eiger it seems that in a case where recovery would be considered miraculous, one does not Daven for it.

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