For the week ending 28 August 2010 / 17 Elul 5770

Sharing News of Illness

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Become a Supporter Library Library
Question: A friend of mine recently revealed to me that he has been diagnosed as suffering from a condition requiring serious medical care. I am torn between sharing this information with others so that they will join me in praying for his health and keeping this matter a secret. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Unless you receive explicit permission from your friend to share this information, you must remain silent. Very often people are reluctant to have others showing pity to them or are concerned that this knowledge may adversely affect an aged relative who will greet it with unwarranted shock.

As regards mobilizing prayers, if it is possible to just publicize your friend's name and that of his mother for prayer purposes without revealing the family name, you certainly should do so.

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