Friday, December 1, 2023



הלוחש על המכה וקורא פסוק מן התורה, וכן הקורא
על התינוק שלא יבעת, והמניח ספר תורה או
תפילין על הקטן בשביל שיישן - לא די להם
שהם בכלל מנחשים וחוברים,

אלא שהן בכלל הכופרים בתורה,
שהן עושין דברי תורה רפואת גוף ואינן אלא
רפואת נפשות,
שנאמר (משלי ג כב): "ויהיו חיים לנפשך".
אבל הבריא, שקרא פסוקין ומזמור מתהילים
כדי שתגן עליו זכות קריאתן וינצל מצרות
ומנזקים, הרי זה מותר 

רמב"ם הל' ע"ז פי"א הל' י"ב*


According to the רמב"ם one may not say תהלים for sick people to be healed.
The רמב"ם even considers it כפירה for using words of Torah (Tehillim) as a remedy for physical health.

The Minhag today in all of כלל ישראל, when there is ח"ו an עת צרה or a חולה the first thing we do is recite תהליםAll of כלל ישראל ignores this Halacha, even though no one argues or disagrees with the Rambam.

There are those who attempt to answer the מנהג העולם by claiming different reasons why the Rambam wasn't referring to our way of saying Tehillim for the sick.

All of the attempted answers are flawed because it seems the Rambam could only come up with one exception when Tehillim for health is allowed and that is only for healthy people to prevent them from becoming sick.
It seems that for sick people the Rambam would not make any exception as to when it would be allowed

The Rambam probably meant not to use  specific Pesukim as a 
לחש (spell/ Segulah) to heal the sick. 

However, saying Tehillim as a תפילה ותהילה (praise- -prayer) the way it's done today  by all of כלל ישראל, not only is it OK but it is a 
מצות עשה דאורייתא לזעוק.

The question we had,  if this were true why didn't the Rambam 
mention this exception?

Perhaps the answer is,

During the Rambam's lifetime  & before, there was no such concept of אמירת תהלים. The Sefer Tehillim was used like all the other 23 ספרי תנ"ך strictly for learning purposes. 

The המון עם (masses) non-Talmidei Chachamim had no Sefer Tehillim in their possession. The only  Davening done were
the ג' תפילות & perhaps adding on a few more בקשות.

The Rambam didn't mention that one may Daven for the sick
with a Sefer Tehillim because in his days, it wasn't done.

At a later stage, perhaps, when תורת הנסתר (Kaballah) became popular and the invention of the printing press (availability) אמירת תהלים became acceptable as a תפילה ותהילה.

Saying Tehillim as a תפילה ותהילה for 'רפואות וישועות וכו is definitely the right thing to do and is praiseworthy. 
 ויהי רצון שתתקבל תפילתינו אכי"ר




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