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Prayer in a Time of Serious Illness by Rabbi Gilah Langner

Traditional Judaism offers a confessional prayer, or vidui, to be recited during a time of serious illness or near death.  If the patient is unable to recite the prayer, others may do so on his or her behalf.  This modern adaptation [of vidui] places less emphasis on atonement for sins, and more on the bonds connecting the patient to his or her loved ones.  It can be recited by a friend, family member, or chaplain on behalf of a person who is very ill, especially when life and death are hanging in the balance. 
    –In memory of Dr. Paul Woolf z”l

Hebrew English

Our God and God of our ancestors, we acknowledge that all of life is in Your hands.

We pray for healing for this beloved (woman/man). 
May (she/he) be filled and embraced by a complete and healing love and forgiveness. 
May (she/he) always know how precious his life is to those who love (her/him).

Protect ___________’s beloved family: ___________________________.
Their souls are woven together for all time.

Grant hope and strength to _____________’s family and caregivers, guiding their hands and hearts and decisions with wisdom, loving care, and skill.

כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה לָּךְ לִשְׁמָרְךָ בְּכָל דְּרָכֶיךָ׃
May angels be appointed for (her/him), to guard (her/him) in all (her/his) paths.[1] Psalms 91:11 

Ki malakhav yetzaveh lakh, lishmorkha b’khol d’rakheh-kha.

In Your hand lies (her/his) spirit. In Your Great Name, You hold the life and memories of each soul on earth. You redeem us, Adonai, God of Truth. 

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְיָ אֶחָד׃
Hear O Israel: [YHVH | Adonai] is our God, [YHVH | Adonai] is One.[2] Deuteronomy 6:4 

Shma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.




1 Psalms 91:11
2 Deuteronomy 6:4

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