Illness & Healing

For an Ill Parent


The fifth of the ten commandments directs us to honor our father and mother. We do so not in exchange for anything our parents have provided us beyond the gift of life. Honoring parents is the equal of honoring God. If visiting the ill, even one’s enemy, is deemed essential to the healing process (Nedarim 40a) how much more so is the importance of attending to a dying parent.


Scroll down to find resources for this lifecycle moment. 


The blessing for the sick called The Mi-sheh-berakh. (This is also said at the end of the reading of the Torah during many morning services):

“May the One who blessed our mothers and fathers, God of Abraham and Sarah, Issac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel and Leah; and God of Moses and Aaron, Miriam and Solomon, send your blessing and healing to those of us who are ill, the one we pray for silently and the one I now mention by name _______, son or daughter of ______. Comfort them Holy One, and have compassion on them, and restore them to good health and strength. And send them a complete healing from heaven: A healing of the soul and a healing of the body. May healing come speedily to them, and let us say, Amen.”


Psalm 130

A song of ascents. Out of the depths I call You, O LORD.
O Lord, listen to my cry; let Your ears be attentive to my plea for mercy.
If You keep account of sins, O LORD, Lord, who will survive?

Yours is the power to forgive so that You may be held in awe.
I look to the LORD; I look to Him; I await His word.
I am more eager for the Lord than watchmen for the morning, watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, wait for the LORD; for with the LORD is steadfast love and great power to redeem.
It is He who will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

Genesis 48:1 -2

Some time afterward, Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.