Ask the Clergy

Is a response necessary when one receives a verbal ye’shar coch’echa?  Is “thank you” proper?  I’ve heard people utter baruch te’hyeh.  Please explain the meanings, derivations etc

Rabbi Scheim responds...

“Yishar koah” is the traditional way of saying “well done,” after one has an honour.  It translates literally as: “may your strength be firm,” and derives from a time when the Torah reader would hold the scroll upright while reading the text, requiring considerable strength. The classical response to “yishar koah” is “barukh tihiyeh”, meaning “may you [also] be...Read more...

I have noticed that during Shabbat morning services, as the rabbi calls out names for a mi shebeirach the sick person is named as a son or daughter of a mother and never son (daughter) of a father.  What is the custom around this? 

Rabbi Scheim responds...

The custom of using the mother’s name when reciting a prayer for the ill derives from the Hebrew word for mercy “Rahamim.” In prayer, we often refer to God as “E-l Maleh Rahamim,” (God Full of Mercy), or "E-l Hanun v'Rahum” (Compassionate and Merciful God). The Hebrew “Rahamim” or “Rahum” derives from the same Hebrew root as “rehem”, meaning womb. Thus, the connection between appeals to...Read more...

Thu, 30 March 2017 3 Nisan 5777