Mi Sheberach is the traditional prayer for healing in Jewish communities. A version of the Mi Shebeirach was popularized by the Jewish folk musician Debbie Friedman, which is embedded below. The prayer’s name is taken from the first two words that are recited. Traditionally in Orthodox communities the Mi Shebeirach was recited in the name of the mother of the ill, yet over time it has come to include either the mother or the father.
Reading of the text emphasizes not simply the healing of the body, but also the healing of the spirit. The value of the spiritual healing cannot be overemphasized for those who have cared for the sick know the toll it takes not simply on the physical form, but the mental and spiritual well being as well. Additionally, the Mi Sheberach can also be viewed as a prayer for the caregivers who toil tirelessly out of love, duty and perhaps as their vocation.
During COVID Reboot convened a weekly Kaddish and Mi Shebeirach call. Over time Jon Rubin felt moved to create an updated version of the Mi Shebeirach which is included below.
Mi Shebeirach Prayer by Jon Rubin
Let’s all now bring our hearts and thoughts together to meditate on our intentions and hopes for the suffering.We bring their names, their faces and the nature of their suffering to mind, and we say in our hearts now prayers for their strength and healing. For anyone with a prayer for yourself, for your strength, for your healing, we ask that you be provided with the blessings you are seeking.
For those who are caring for the ill and the suffering – we ask that we find resilience and understanding and wisdom.And for those of us caring for the dying, we ask that we be able to provide them a time of dignity and nobility, of forgiveness and belonging…a time without fear, a time without pain, a time of insight and acceptance, a time of hope and faith and love.
Traditional Mi Shebeirach (Translated)
May the One who blessed our ancestors —
Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah —
Bless and heal the one who is ill:
______son/daughter of ______.
May the Holy Blessed One
Overflow with compassion upon him/her,
To restore him/her
To heal him/her.
The One will send him/her, speedity,
A complete healing —
Healing of the soul and healing of the body —
Along with all the ill,
Among the people of Israel and all humankind,
And let us all say: Amen!