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Section:  Avodah   Category: Shmoneh Esrei
Part 10 Shmoneh Esrei: Rifa'einu - There is Sick and There is Sick

During the bracha of Rifa'einu one should daven for all the sick in his city and then include all the sick of the Jewish people, and he should join them in their suffering. Because we are all one 'nefesh (soul) and one 'guf' (body). And if one Jew is sick, then part of one of your limbs is sick, and one should not say 'what do I care, he's not my relative or friend'. Rather it is fitting to daven with a simple heart for all sick, as if Hashem forbid, one's son or brother were sick. Wouldn't one daven extensively and pour out 'sicho' (his words) in front of Hashem.

Likewise it is very much proper to daven for every Jew whether because there is no Jew which does not have a portion and a hand in the mitzvos, and 'your soul lives from him' (v'chaysa nafsho biglalo). And if he is a complete rasha (wicked man), it's obvious that one should daven for his health lest he die guilty and have no chance to fix what he corrupted. And if he dies without fixing himself, then one limb will be missing from the great body of Klal Yisroel, and the Shechina does not rest on a blemished body.

There is another reason to daven for a rasha - because when Hakadosh Baruch Hu does justice (din) in Yisroel, even by the wicked, there is fury on High, and during times of fury, chas v'shalom, even on the kosher Jews the trait of justice (midas hadin), can pursue. Because in His wrath, who can stand? Therefore one should daven to diminish the fury.

The ikar is for the sick of Yisroel, for the Jewish people in exile (b'galus) which are 'chole ahava l'HaKadosh Baruch Hu (sick with love for Hashem), and the remedy for this is great awakening (hisorerus) and great teshuva.

Also one should daven for a talmid chacham who has weakened his strength through torah study. It's an obligation (chova) on us to daven for their peace, well-being, and strength because they are the guardians of torah and the recipients of the correct kabala (tradition) of the oral law, and our souls are bound with theirs. If there is no talmid chacham, there is no life for us, therefore it is incumbent on us to daven for them.

This is a short, practical version of Ya'aros Devash 1:1 which Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe zt"l condensed in Alei Shur pg.123. The original contains all kinds of fascinating mystical insights. The interested reader is referred to Ya'aros Devash 1:1, starting about half-way through.

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