• Rabbi Anthony Knopf

From the Desk - Using the Mother's Name for Mi Shebeirach

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

Shalom Friends, I hope you’re all keeping well. I was chatting to one of our Past Presidents today about how warm and welcoming a community Beth Ora is. The community spirit and sense of togetherness is so important to us. To this end, we are very excited for the Beth Ora trip to Quinn Farm this coming Sunday. We hope you can join us for this – we will meet at 10:30 AM at the farm before enjoying the strawberry and blueberry picking! Looking forward to a wonderful weekend! Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami

What’s the Deal with… Using the mother’s name when praying for someone who is unwell? When we call someone up for an Aliya to the Torah, we refer to them using their father’s name. George Gross asked why it is that, when we pray for someone to recover from an illness, we refer to them using their mother’s name (for example, “Avraham ben (the son of) Devorah” or “Rachel bat (the daughter of) Chaya.” So, what’s the deal? The source for mentioning the name of the individual’s mother is King David’s entreaty in Psalms: “Please, O Lord, for I am Your servant; I am Your servant the son of your maidservant,” wherein he specifies his mother. Some of the reasons given are as follows: We can always be sure who a person’s mother is whereas the father’s identity is never absolutely unquestionable. A Jew’s spiritual essence is inherited via his or her mother as evidenced by the fact that Judaism is passed down matrilineally.

 

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