Refuah Prayers (cont.)

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Dear Rabbi Simon
At what point should we remove a person’s name from the list of cholim [those in need of healing] that you say over Shabbat in shul? My mother is thank G-d well on her way to recovery, so as a general rule, should that list be reserved for more serious situations?

Hi Danny
This is a “judgment call” which must take account of the minhag in a particular shul, the length of the list, etc. There is also potentially the question of ayin ha-ra, that is to say, by publicly and formally designating someone as ill and in need of healing, is one almost inviting divine scrutiny as to whether s/he is indeed deserving of healing? I know of a woman who was born with health issues and susceptibility to severe illness. Notwithstanding, she lives a full and productive life, school, seminary, university and half way through medical school. From birth, she has been on the cholim list of her shul (actually her grandparents’ shul) every week. She is now in her 30’s. Is this appropriate? Hard to say. As I said, it is a judgment call.
On the other hand, an elderly person may have ongoing and persistent serious health concerns which could warrant his or her inclusion on a cholim list on a long-term basis.
On balance, my feeling is that as your mother is now “well on her way to recovery”, her name does not need to be on the cholim list.
Note, however, that IMO the threshold for inclusion in your private prayers may be a different one [as per the companion Q&A to this exchange, in last week’s KC].
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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