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Ask the Rabbi #109

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Ask the Rabbi

15 June 1996; Issue #109

  • Running Prayer
  • Prayer - Wear, Where?
  • Answer to Tricky Yiddle Riddle
  • Subscription Information
  • Back issues are indexed both by issue no. and by subject
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  • Running Prayer

    Michael S. Sultan wrote:

    Dear Rabbi,

    What would be an appropriate prayer to say upon the completion of exercise (i.e. jogging)? The Shehekianu is the only prayer I could think of. Is there one that is more appropriate? [see Ask the Rabbi #53 re: why don't we make a blessing before exercise. ed.]

    Dear Michael S. Sultan,

    The Talmud says that someone who lets blood for health reasons should say a special prayer before and after. Before the procedure he should say "May it be Your will, Hashem my G-d, that this procedure have a healing effect, for You are the free healer." Afterwards he should say, "Blessed are You, Who heals the sick."

    The purpose of this prayer is to remind a person that it is Hashem who heals, not the medicine. So whether 'letting-blood', taking medicine or undergoing any medical treatment, one should say this prayer.

    Similarly, if you jog for health reasons you can say a prayer such as: "It should be the will of Hashem that my exercise help me have good health." But one shouldn't say the version mentioned in the Talmud unless he is actually sick.

    I don't know if the following story is true, but I'll let you decide. Kenya's star soccer player used to offer a prayer for victory before every game. When facing Israel in the World Cup elimination matches, however, he didn't offer his usual prayer. When asked why not, he replied, "Well, I don't suppose it would help much seeing as He's on their team."


    • Tractate Berachot 60a
    • Chayei Adam, Klal 65:1
    • Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 230:4, Mishna Berura 6

    Prayer - Wear, Where?

    Michael Turniansky wrote:

    Dear Rabbi,

    How come one takes off the talit gadol [large talit] when entering the bathroom, but not the talit katan [small talit worn under the shirt]? Is there an essential kedusha [holiness] difference between them? If so, why?

    Dear Michael Turniansky,

    It's improper to enter the bathroom wearing a garment that's designated for prayer. The large talit is such a garment -- it's made to be worn specifically during prayer (hence the term 'prayer shawl'). Therefore, it's improper to go into the bathroom wearing it.

    The talit katan, on the other hand, is worn all day long; during work, play ... some people even sleep wearing one. Since it isn't a garment designated specially for prayer, it may therefore be worn in the bathroom.

    Which reminds me:

    One Shabbat a man spilled grape juice on his talit. The very next day he brought it to the cleaners. When the time came to pick it up, he was stunned see the bill for $50.

    "Fifty dollars!" he shouted. "To clean one little talit?"

    "Do you have any idea how long it took me to get out all those little knots!" the dry-cleaner replied.

    • Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 21:3, Mishna Berura 14

    Answer toTricky Yiddle Riddle

    Last week we asked:
    At the end of Moshe's life, Hashem shows Moshe the entire land of Israel. But where does the Torah indicate that Moshe saw Chevron long before that?

    In Parshat Bamidbar (3:19) the Torah says "And the children of Kehat were ... Amram (he was Moshe's father) and Yitzhar, Chevron and Uziel." Moshe's uncle was named Chevron! Don't you think Moshe saw his uncle!

    Thanks to Efraim Yawitz.

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