Bikkur holim by phone…?

    • January 18, 2019 at 7:38 pm #41
      Elliot Dorff

      Question: Do you fulfill the mitzvah of bikkur holim, visiting the sick, by calling the patient on the telephone?”  A parallel issue was addressed by Rabbi Avram Israel Reisner in a responsum for the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, “Wired to the Kadosh Barukh Hu,” available as a PDF for download on the Rabbinical Assembly’s website here:


      In it he asks whether you can be counted as part of a minyan, a prayer quorum, if you connect to the place where the service is being held through the internet.  This is important for people who live in rural areas where a minyan may not be available and for shut-ins (that is, people whose health status does not enable them to leave home or the hospital), but it might also be convenient for people during the work week who want to participate in the daily afternoon prayer with a minyan but not leave their place of work to do so.  Rabbi Reisner rules that a minyan may not be formed through the internet, that we need the presence of ten adult Jews in one room to do that, but if there is such a minyan, then others may log in and join them in prayer, including, for example, saying kaddish for a deceased member of the family on the anniversary of that person’s death (yahrzeit).


      (commentary originally appears in Text Me: Ancient Jewish Wisdom Meets Contemporary Technology)

    • February 1, 2019 at 8:03 pm #123
      Benjamin Barnett

      This is a test of the ability of a not-logged-in forum visitor to post a comment, held for human moderation. I’m making a comment on the bikkur holim via phone topic. Whee!

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