In several places throughout the Torah (Sh’mos 19:5 and D’varim 7:6, 14:2, 26:18), Hashem refers to the Jewish People as an am s’gulah. In this context, it means that they possess certain traits that supersede the rules of creation. For instance, according to Chazal, if a Jew intends to perform a mitzvah and is prevented from doing so, he receives reward as if he performed it. If, on the other hand, he is prevented from performing a transgression, this same principle will not apply. He is not held accountable (Kiddushin 40a).

This is not how Hashem deals with the other nations of the world. In the case of a non-Jew, he is held accountable for the negative deeds that he intends to perform, but receives no reward for the good deeds that he did not manage to carry out.

In his discourse, the Or HaChayim also puts an emphasis that a Jew’s ability to do t’shuvah does not follow even the spiritual rules of creation; it completely supersedes the whole system.

Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin in his sefer Nefesh HaChayim says that the Jewish People merit such “supernatural” abilities on account of the Torah and mitzvos that they perform, which enable their prayers to be answered in a special way.

Going to a tzadik or a talmud chacham to request a brachah or a t’filah is a well-known, wide-spread custom. It doesn’t matter if the tzadik is alive or has passed on from this world. In fact, according to many sources, a tzadik’s power is greater after death.

While it is forbidden to pray to a tzadik directly and ask him for your needs, you can request that a tzadik be a meilitz yosher and a shaliach to daven to Hashem on your behalf. There are many sources for this practice:

The Gemara states: “If there is someone ill in your house, go to the wise man of the city and ask that he should pray for him.” (Bava Basra 116a)

Aharon HaKohen asked Moshe Rabbeinu to daven for Miriam’s recovery (BaMidbar 12:11-13).

Kaleiv ben Y’funeh went to Chevron, beseeching the Avos to pray on his behalf that he should be saved from the wicked counsel of the spies (Sotah 34b).

(Material was previously published on


List of People Who Need a r’fuah sh’leimah (a complete recovery)


Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.


Yossi Azriel ben Chayah Michal

Aviel ben Ktziyah Batyah

Eliyahu ben Sophia

Mordechai ben Rachel Anba

Nissim ben Devorah

Ezra ben Farida

Yossi ben Vardit

Yaakov ben Mazal

Nissan ben Yael

Yehoshua ben Miriam

Eliyahu ben Miriam

Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon

Moshe ben Rachel

Gavriel ben Imo-Shalom

Marik ben Tamara

Yitzchak ben Chanom Chanah

Yosef ben Leah

Shlomo ben Miriam

Shalom Baruch ben Malkah Freida

Ilay Eliezer ben Rivah Rivkah

Misha Moshe ben Tamara

Meir Yaakov ben Esther

Shlomo Hartzel ben Eka

Chaim Zanvil ben Sarah Dinah

Reuven HaKohen ben Golda

Amram ben Perla

Arkady Avraham ben Mazal

Itai ben Ahuvah

Eliyahu ben Rachel

Pinchas Yitzchak ben Beila

Yosef Gideon Yaakov ben Peninah


Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadasah bas Devorah

Alizah bas Miriam

Shoshanah Shurah bas Zina

Luna bas Rachel

Malkah bas Miriam

Malkah bas Reicha Shifrah

Adele bas Adi

Evon bas Sally

Karen bas Rachel

Chavah bas Sarah

Brachah Chanah bas Sarah

Tovah Chanah bas Sarah Devorah

Rachel bas Edith

Chanah Elianah bas Naomi

Gittel bas Malkah

Mira Gitta bas Beila Mariasha

Gittel bas Malkah

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.