Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Asking For Health In The Yehi Ratzon On Shabbat Mevorchim

I thought I had a good response to a question on GlobalYeshiva, about why we do not ask Hashem for health in the Yehi Ratzon on Shabbos Mevorchim. And so I'll repeat it here.

My reply:
Great question!

I think the answer may be that we do!

In two places.

1) We say "Chayim shel chilutz atzamos." In Yevamos daf 102, Rabbi Eleazar says this was the best of the blessings (in the perek) and Rava says this refers to the strengthening of the bones. The basis is Yeshaya perek 58:11:

וְנָחֲךָ ה, תָּמִיד, וְהִשְׂבִּיעַ בְּצַחְצָחוֹת נַפְשֶׁךָ, וְעַצְמֹתֶיךָ יַחֲלִיץ; וְהָיִיתָ, כְּגַן רָוֶה, וּכְמוֹצָא מַיִם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יְכַזְּבוּ מֵימָיו
"And the LORD will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make strong thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not."

And strong bones is a symptom, or may be associated with, at least, good health.

2) We also say "Chayim Aruchim." Or perhaps "Chayim Arukkim." These mean different things.

Apparently, Arukkim, with a dagesh chazak in the kaf, it means long life. In and of itself this would indicate good health. Or if there is illness, at least not fatal illness, for the result is long life.

But this is not on par with the rest of the items in the list, which are about *quality* of life rather than quantity of life.

Furthermore, we may draw a parallel to the same perek in Yeshaya, where this "chilutz atzamos" was brought from. That was pasuk 11, but we should look to pasuk 8:

אָז יִבָּקַע כַּשַּׁחַר אוֹרֶךָ, וַאֲרֻכָתְךָ מְהֵרָה תִצְמָח; וְהָלַךְ לְפָנֶיךָ צִדְקֶךָ, כְּבוֹד ה יַאַסְפֶךָ
"Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy healing shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of the LORD shall be thy rearward."

וַאֲרֻכָתְךָ means "your healing." And Rashi says the same.

This would be what it would mean if it was Chayim Aruchim, rather than Chayim Arukkim. And I have heard in shul people saying Chayim Aruchim.

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