The Mitzvah of Bikur Cholim – Visiting the Sick Part 1

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bikurcholimMany times one hears that a person he knows is not well rl and he wishes to go visit him in the hospital or at home. There is a mitzvah to visit a sick person, but the rules are not well known. What is this mitzvah? When should one visit? Whom should you visit? What should be said? What should not be said? How should he visit the sick person? Can one visit a sick person on Shabbos? Is calling, writing or emailing a sick person a fulfillment of the mitzvah? In the next two issues we will deal with the halachos of bikur cholim in depth. [1]The Taamei Haminhagim page 425 says the reason why it is called “bikur” cholim and not reih (seeing) or halicha (going) is because one is supposed to teach the sick person to look into his ways. … Continue reading

Halachically Speaking
Volume 10 Issue 9
Authored by Moishe Dovid Lebovits
Reviewed by Rabbi Ben-zion Schiffenbauer Shlit”a
Piskei Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlit”a
Reviewed by Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlit”a

Davening Not to Get Sick

One should always daven that he should not get sick, because once he falls ill, he needs a zechus to recover. [2]Meseches Sotah 14a, Levush Y.D. 335:1, Yaavetz 2:page 588:1. Refer to Meseches Shabbos 32a, Bava Metziah 30a, Bava Kama 100a. 

When a person falls ill, it is a mitzvah to visit him; [3]Levush 1. this is known as bikur cholim.

Why the Mitzvah

The Toras Hamincha [4]Parshas Vayeira. gives the following reason for the mitzvah of bikur cholim: Hashem gives a person yesurim in order to atone for his or her sins. This will allow the person to receive the maximum award in Olam Haba. When the visitor observes the patient’s suffering, he is inspired to change his ways, and will not need any yesurim.

The Mitzvah [5]The Chazzon Ish zt”l said that the mitzvah of bikur cholim applies to a sick person as well on himself, to make sure he is taking care of himself (Massei Ish 2:page 162). However, some opine that … Continue reading

As mentioned above, there is a mitzvah to visit the sick. [6]Meseches Nedarim 39b, Bava Metziah 30b, Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4, Shulchan Aruch 335:1, Chochmas Adom 151:1. Refer to Medrash Tanchuma Toldos 12. This mitzvah is for everyone (see below). [7]Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:1. This is for simple people even if one is unsure if their tefillos will be accepted for the sick person to get better. In addition, it applies to … Continue reading There is a discussion in the poskim if this mitzvah is doraisa or rabbinic in nature. [8]Refer to Ran Meseches Berochos 3 who says it is a d’oriasa, Rabbeinu Yonah Meseches Berochos 11b, see Sdei Chemed mareches Bais 116 (1:pages 150-151), Ze Hashulchan 335:1, Teshuvos V’hanhugos … Continue reading The overwhelming opinion is that this is a rabbinic mitzvah. [9]Kol Bo 112, Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:1, Meiri Meseches Nedarim 39b, Tur 335, Levush 1, Beer Moshe 2:104. Refer to Maharitz Chiyas Meseches Nedarim 39b who says it is a halacha Moshe M’Sinai. See … Continue reading The Gemorah [10]Meseches Sotah 14a. Refer to Meseches Bava Metziah 30a. says that we should follow in the middos of Hashem, and one of those middos is to visit the sick, [11]Refer to Toras Haodom shar hameicosh 1, Tur 335, Bais Yosef, Bach, Levush 1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:1, Torah Temimah Bereishis 18:1, Aruch Hashulchan 2. See Beer Mayim Chaim Vayeira 18:1. as we find that Hashem visited Avraham Avinu after he had a bris milah. [12]Vayeira 18:1. Refer to Meseches Bava Metziah 86b, see Meseches Tanchuma Vayeira 1.  Refer to Baal Haturim Vayeira 18:1.   According to some, the mitzvah of bikur cholim is included in the mitzvah of gemilas chasadim. [13]Maharsha Meseches Nedarim 39b “bikur,” Seder Hayom page 90, Yosef Ometz perek bikur cholim page 323, Ahavas Chesed 3:3. For more on this issue see Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 2. Refer to … Continue reading No beracha is recited on this mitzvah. [14]Refer to Miyum Hahalacha 4:56, Yalkut Yosef 7:page 23. First, it is possible to nullify this mitzvah if the sick person does not want visitors. [15]Refer to Rashba 1:18. Second, we do not recite a beracha for an action that is also practiced by other nations. [16]Binyomin Zev 1:169.

The Focus of Visiting the Sick

A number of things are accomplished by visiting the sick. [17]Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 111-120. One of the main purposes is to pray for the sick person; it is like giving him life. [18]Toras Haodom shar hameichosh 1, Kol Bo 112, Bais Yosef, Levush 1, 4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:3, Chochmas Adom 151:3, Yaavetz 2:page 589:15, Aruch Hashulchan 3, Pela Yoetz Choleh page 232, Igros … Continue reading In addition, one should see to it that the sick person has all his needs taken care of (i.e. telling someone [19]There is no need for the one visited to fix or clean himself (Prisha 335:4, see Meiri Meseches Nedarim 40a). to fix his bed, cleaning around the room, etc.), [20]Meseches Nedarim 40a, Bais Yosef 335, Prisha 4, Levush 1, Tocheches Chaim Parshas Vayichei, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:3, Chorev page 408, Aruch Hashulchan 2, Kaf Hachaim O.C. 287:6, Minchas Yitzchok … Continue reading and make sure he has all the necessary medical supplies. [21]Refer to Pela Yoetz Refuah page 540. One is not allowed to give a sick person something which is not good for him even if it will make him happy (Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 274, see Yehuda Yaleh O.C. … Continue reading This includes shopping for the person. [22]Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 223. Some opine that this aspect of the mitzvah may not apply today, since hospitalized patients have medical staff that cares for all their needs. [23]Tzitz Eliezer 5:ramat Rochel 3. Refer to Tzohar 5:pages 345-348 who says based on this people do not go visit if all the needs are taken care of since one can daven for them even when one is not in … Continue reading Making the sick person happy is also included in the focus of the mitzvah. [24]Rambam Toras Haodom shar hameichosh, Bais Yosef 335. Refer to Avnei Yushfei 1:230.  See Michtav M’Eliyahu 4:page 296, Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 268-277 in great depth. Hashem visited Avraham after the bris, but we do not find that He said anything to him. Harav Moshe Feinstein ztl [25]Dorosh Moshe Parshas Vayeira beginning. Refer to Maharsha Meseches Bava Metziah 30b. proves from here that one does not have to say anything to the sick person.

One who visits a sick person has to daven for him, [26] Rambam Hilchos Ovel 14:6, Shulchan Aruch 4. and one who fails to do so has not fulfilled the mitzvah of bikur cholim [27]Bais Yosef 335, Shulchan Aruch ibid, Levush 4, Yosef Ometz perek bikur cholim page 323, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:3, Chochmas Adom 151:3, Aruch Hashulchan 8. in its entirety. [28]However, one has fulfilled some part of the mitzvah (see Ahavas Chesed 3:3, Avnei Yushfei 1:230, V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:page 219:footnote 2). Refer to Pnei Boruch – Bikur Cholim K’hilchoso … Continue reading Based on this, some explain that the term bikur cholim signifies that the point of the mitzvah is to ask what he needs. It is nice to send other visitors to see how a sick person is doing, but the main mitzvah is to go himself and daven for the recovery of the patient. [29]Be’er Mayim Chaim Bereishis 18:page:134.

Who is Considered a Sick Person Regarding This Mitzvah

The mitzvah of bikur cholim certainly applies to anyone who is dangerously ill. [30]Refer to Meseches Nedarim 40a. Also refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 186-192. It also applies to a sick person who is not in danger. [31]Refer to Meseches Nedarim 41a, Meseches Shabbos 12a, Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:263. However, it does not apply to someone who has a minor headache or a slight ailment. Some are of the opinion that it applies to someone who is bedridden and cannot fend for himself and needs people to help him/her. [32]V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:pages 2215-216. Refer to Birchei Yosef 335:2  who is lenient that it can apply to any weakness. It does not only apply to a sick person who is in danger (Shevet Hakehusi … Continue reading The Maharal of Prague [33]Bereishis 18:page 50-50b. See Piskei Teshuva 242. asks why Hashem didn’t visit Avraham until the third day. He answers that until then the operation only affected one organ of Avrahams body, while his entire body was affected on the third day. According to this opinion, one who broke his foot and is not bedridden would not be considered a sick person. [34]Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 331. Others maintain that if the illness has not lasted for three days there is no need to visit him or daven for him. [35]Refer to Biur Halacha O.C. 219 “kegon.” Also see Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim oages 333-335.

It should be noted that the mitzvah of bikur cholim also applies to woman on bed rest [36]Regarding visiting a woman who just gave birth see Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 26:footnote 21. or other people who are home bound. [37]Visiting the Sick page 22 (Glatt). Refer to Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’Bagadah page 28:footnote 18 quoting the opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita. There is a discussion in the poskim if the mitzvah applies to one who is mentally ill. [38]Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 117-118.

Reward

Bikur cholim is one of the mitzvos which gives a reward this world and retains the main reward for the next world. [39]Mishnah Meseches Peah 1:1, Meseches Shabbos 127a (it is included in gemilas chasadim). Refer to Rambam Peirush Hamishnayos Peah 1:1. The Aruch Hashulchan [40]335:2. calls it one of the greater mitzvos. [41]Refer to Levush 1, Menoras Hameor 7:page 550, Tocheches Chaim Parshas Vayichei. The Gemorah [42]Meseches Nedarim 40a. says one who visits a sick person is saved from the din of gehonim. [43]Refer to Ahavas Chesed 3:3. See Maharal Nesivos Olom page 160 who explains the reason why one is saved from gehonim is because when one visits a sick person he wishes to save him from death so one is … Continue reading In addition, Hashem saves you from yesurim, from the yetzer hara, and it makes the sick person live. [44]Meseches Nedarim ibid, Meiri Meseches Nedarim ibid, see Aruch Hashulchan 3. Refer to Maharsha Meseches Nedarim 40a ‘ma.” Because of this some say one should even travel to another city for this … Continue reading Some explain the power of this particular mitzvah is that one merits exposure to the Shechina, which is on top of the sick person.

Being Lax With This Mitzvah

It is unfortunate that today people are lax with the mitzvah of bikur cholim. This is especially true if the patient is a poor person. [45]Ahavas Chesed 3:3, see Sefer Chassidim 361. Refer to Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 6. Many times the poor person will not have money to buy medicine, and coming to his aid will bring you great reward. [46]Ahavas Chesed Ibid, Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:223.   This is also included in the mitzvah of bikur cholim. [47]Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:223.

How Many Times

The mitzvah of bikur cholim has no set limit, [48]For an in depth discussion on this refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 142-150. and one can go even one hundred times. [49]Meseches Nedarim 39b, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:2, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5, Ahavas Chesed 3:3. (This is also applies to how much time is spent visiting the sick person, as long as it is not a bother to the sick person). [50]Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 8. The more one goes, the better it is. [51]Kol Bo 112, Meiri Meseches Nedarim 39b “mitzvahs,” Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:2, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5. Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 134-141 in … Continue reading This is true even if the medical staff takes care of the sick person, as it is still a mitzvah to daven for him. [52]Refer to V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:pages 214-215. Yalkut Yosef Y.D. 335:2, Divrei Sofrim page 3. Nonetheless, one should be careful to avoid antagonizing the staff by visting too many times. [53]Divrei Sofrim 335:footnote 9. It is better to visit two sick people for a small time than to visit one sick person for a long time. [54]Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 54:19:footnote 30.

At Night

It is good to visit frequently even at night (as long as it is during visiting hours and the sick person is awake or willing to accept visitors). [55]Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 52:12:footnote 20, Divrei Sofrim 335:11. Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 132:12. 

Going Alone Many People

The Shiltas [56]93:page 86. See Tzafnas Paneach Vayechei 48:1, Ze Hashulchan 335:1. Refer to Meseches Berochos 28b, 54b, Nedarim 40a. says that one should visit a sick person alone. [57]But one does not have to (Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 338). However, this is not the overwhelming custom. [58]Haemek Sheilah 93:7, Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:51, Yalkut Yosef 7:page 125. Refer to Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 64. In any case, if one wishes to go with a lot of people he should ask the doctor first if this is beneficial for the sick person. [59]Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:51.

What to Say

One should be prepared with the right words to say, if the sick person wants to converse. If one goes without a plan on how to make him feel better he is not fulfilling the mitzvah completely. [60]Gesher Hachaim 1:1:3. As mentioned before one should daven for the sick person, and tell him that everything will be ok. [61]Pela Yoetz Rofeh page 542. One should not show the sick person a sad face or an expression of worry. [62]Gesher Hachaim 1:1:3. One should come with a happy face and say words which will ease his pain. [63]Tocheches Chaim Parshas Vayichei.

Certainly, one should not say that so and so died because of this sickness. [64]Refer to Mavar Yabak page 62 (new). Part of your visit should be to cheer up the sick person. Prepare a joke, or simply have a mental list of neutral topics. Obviously, the content of the conversation must match the personality of the patient. A talmid chacham will appreciate a devar torah, while a simple person might discuss the weather. One should use his intellect when conversing. One should not discuss the sickness unless the patient brings up the topic and wishes to discuss it. [65]Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 273.

Helping the Sick Person With Your Visit [66]For a detailed explanation of this issue see Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 151-167.

The visit removes one sixtieth of the disease. [67]Medrash Rabbah Vayikra 34:1 (only if he loves the sick person), Meseches Nedarim 39b, Bava Metziah 30a, Kol Bo 112, Tur 335, Levush 2, Shach 335:1, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5.  Refer to … Continue reading  Some say that only applies if the visitor was born in the same time [68]Chochmas Adom 151:1. (under the same constellation) [69]Ran Meseches Nedarim 39b “v’ben,” Ben Yehoyada Meseches Nedarim 39b:page 6. Refer to Chelkes Yaakov Y.D. 147:2. as the patient (ben gilo) [70]Today this can be done by anyone who visits a sick person (Shevet Yehuda 335:2, Chasam Sofer Meseches Nedarim 39b). or young or old). [71]Rashi Meseches Nedarim 39b “v’ben gilo.” Why don’t many people line up to visit a sick person and cure the sickness completely? [72]Refer to Meseches Nedarim 39b. See Chasam Sofer Meseches Nedarim 39b. The Meiri [73]Meseches Nedarim 39b mitzvahs. Refer to Chofetz Chaim on Meseches Nedarim 41. explains that the concept of removing a sixtieth of the sickness is that the visitor talks to the patient and strengthens him, thus minimizing the impact of the disease. However, when the visitor leaves the sickness returns in force. Others explain that the disease is only diminished if one really loves the sick person. [74]Divrei Sofrim 335:10. The Ben Yehoyada [75]Meseches Nedarim 39b:page 6. explains that the visitor does not adopt one sixtieth of the sickness, for there is no reason that he should suffer any ill effects. [76]Some do say that the visitor takes it and it is not an issue since it is such a small amount it is botel b’shishim and has no effect on the visitors (Toras Chaim Meseches Bava Metziah 30a). Rather, a sixtieth of the pain is removed from shomayim when he relates to the suffering of the patient. The Keren Orah [77]Meseches Nedarim 40a (page 445 new). explains that he removes some of the sickness from the patient, since he gives him strength.

One who does not visit the sick is like he kills him. [78]Meseches Nedarim 40a, Kol Bo 112, Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:2, Aruch Hashulchan 3. Refer to Maharal Meseches Bava Metziah 40a.

Taking Children

The posuk says that when Yaakov was ill, Yosef came to visit with his two children Ephraim and Menashe. [79]Bereishis 42:1. Based on this, some opine that one should take his child along to be mechanech him. [80]Maver Yabak page 254 (new), Ze Hashulchan 335:1, V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:page 215. Refer to Reishis Chuchma shar gidol bonim 3:page 1003. If he will disturb the sick person then the child should not go. [81]Ze Hashulchan 335:1.

Man Visiting a Woman and Vice Versa

A man may visit a sick woman and a woman may visit a sick man. However, one should be careful of the issur of yichud. [82]Aruch Hashulchan 11, see Beer Moshe 2:107. This is the opinion of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l as quoted in Nishmas Avraham Y.D. page 258 (English), and in Chuko Mamtakim 1:page 70. However, … Continue reading Others are concerned about a lack of tznius (other than relatives for whom yichud is permitted). [83]Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Roche 5:16.  Refer to Miyum Hahalacha 2:27-28. Hospital gowns often do not provide adequate coverage, and one should not visit a woman if there is a breach of tznius. [84]Beer Moshe 2:107.

Visiting a Wicked Person

One should visit a wicked person, since he may be inspired to do teshuva and become a better person. [85]Beer Moshe 5:151. Refer to Miyum Hahalacha 4:56. On the topic of davening for a wicked person see Meseches Berochos 10a, Sefer Chassidim 688, Ahavas Chesed 3:8, Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 315-318.

Chosson and Kallah Visiting the Sick During Sheva Berachos

Although a chosson and kallah are supposed to be happy during sheva berachos, they are permitted to visit a sick person. [86]Opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 119, see Betzel Hachochma 2:44.

Where to Sit

The Shechina hovers over a sick person [87]Meseches Nedarim 40a, Levush 3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:2, Chochmas Adom 151:2. See Aruch Hashulchan 7. Refer to Vayikra Rabbah 34:1. (some say this means through davening). [88]Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 10. Therefore, when the practice was that the sick person lay on the floor, then the visitor should not sit on a chair or bench, since he is higher than the sick person. [89]Meseches Shabbos 12b, Nedarim 40a, Rosh Meseches Shabbos 1:30, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:3 Levush 3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:2. Refer to Meseches Nedarim 40a “lo.”See Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel … Continue reading However, when the sick person is on a bed then the visitor may sit on a chair or bench [90]Tosfas Meseches Shabbos 12b “lo,” Meiri Meseches Shabbos 12b, Rama 335:3, Levush 3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:2, Chochmas Adom 151:2, Aruch Hashulchan 7. Refer to Bais Lechem Yehuda 335. See … Continue reading if it is not much higher than the bed. [91] Opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 75:footnote 5. The Meiri [92]Meseches Nedarim 40a vmekul mokom. explains that the sick person is doing teshuva and asking for mercy. When he sees the visitor sitting on a higher level he despairs of davening. According to the writings of the Zohar, if the patient is an average person then the visitor should not sit at the sick person’s feet, because the angel of death is there, and he should not sit at the head because the Shechina is present. If the sick person is a tzadik gamur then one should only sit at the sick person’s feet since the Shechina is all around except his feet. [93]Aruch Hashulchan 7. If the sick person asks you to sit near his head or feet you should do so. [94]Gesher Hachaim 1:1:5. If he is wicked, then danger can be found all around the body.

One is allowed to stand [95]Tosfas Meseches Nedarim 39a “efsher,”  Ran, Chelkes Yaakov Y.D. 188. or pace back and forth when visiting. [96]Tzitz Eliezer 17:20. Refer to Pnei Boruch – Bikur Cholim K’hilchoso haskama from Harav Fisher zt”l 2.

What to Wear

The visitor should dress in presentable clothing [97]Refer to Rambam Hilchos Ovel 14:6, opinion of Harav Korelitz Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 77:footnote 9. that he would wear when he goes to shul to daven [98]Shevet Yehuda 335:3. since the Shechina hovers over the head of a sick person. [99]Meseches Shabbos 12b, Rashi “m’sateif,” Tur 335, see Bach. Boruch – Bikur Cholim K’hilchoso haskama from Harav Fisher zt”l 2. [1] Refer to Rambam Hilchos Ovel 14:6, opinion of Harav … Continue reading Therefore, one should do so out of fear for Hashem and be humble. [100]Meiri Meseches Shabbos 12b. Refer to opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita (who says the custom is to be lenient) in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah pages 124-125:8. However, on ibid:page … Continue reading  It is the opinion of some that those who wear a hat and jacket when they go to shul to daven should wear them when visiting a sick person. Those who do not should wear what they would wear when visiting an important person. [101]Opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 77:footnote 9. Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita maintains that since the Shechina is above the head of a sick person one should make sure his thoughts are pure when visiting.

When to Visit Days – Relatives Friends and Everyone Else

Relatives and friends (some say this means even a talmid chacham) [102]Opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 62:footnote 12 and page 127:15.  Refer to Ruach Chaim 335:1 in depth. of the sick person can visit him/her right away, while others should wait three days before visiting. One reason is to make sure not to spoil the mazal [103]Refer to Maharsha Meseches Nedarim 40a this is the same idea as not to open ones mouth to the sotton and say he is sick. of the patient by letting everyone know he is sick. [104]Yerushalmi Meseches Peah 3:9, Tur 335, Shulchan Aruch 335:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:1, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5. Refer to Taz 1, Biur Halacha O.C. 219 “kegon.” The Meiri [105]Meseches Nedarim 40a vmekul mokom. explains that we do not want to frighten him into thinking that he is in worse condition than he actually is. If the situation deteriorates, then anyone can enter right away.  [106]Rambam Hilchos Ovel 14:5, Shulchan Aruch YD. 335:1, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5. The Levush [107]335:1. says that relatives and friends may enter right away because the patient knows them and their presence will comfort him and help him feel at ease.

There is an opinion that this only applies for the first two complete days, and all friends can visit at the beginning of the third day. [108]Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 7. Others permit a phone call right away. [109]Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 43:footnote 13.   If the sick person needs people to tend to him, then anyone may visit right away. [110]Divrei Sofrim 335:5.

Older Person Visiting Younger Person

An older or wiser person should go to visit, [111]Meseches Nedarim 39b, Kol Bo 112, Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4, Tur 335, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:2, Levush 2, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5. Refer to V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:pages 207-208 if … Continue reading and should not consider it degrading. [112]Ahavas Chesed 3:3 in footnote, Beer Moshe 2:106, Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 8. See Rashi Meseches Nedarim 39b “v’afilu,” Shita Mekubetzes Meseches Nedarim 39b. This is clear from the fact that Hashem Himself went to visit Avraham. [113]Shevet Yehuda 335:2. This applies even to a talmid chacham visiting one who is less learned. [114]Opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 48:footnote 4. When a talmid chacham goes to visit he should bring people along so that they can take care of any menial tasks. [115]Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:222, opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 124:7.

When to Visit Which Hours

It is not advisable to visit a sick person the first three hours of the day (shaos zemanios – not regular sixty minute hour) [116]Ahavas Chesed 3:3:page 262. There is an uncertainty if these hours start from alos hashachar or netz hachama (Ze Hashulchan 335:4, Al Pi Hatorah Shemos page 375). Refer to Divrei Sofrim 335:footnote … Continue reading because then the sickness eases then, and the visitor will not be concerned enough to daven for him. [117]Shulchan Aruch 4, Levush 4, Chochmas Adom 151:3, Aruch Hashulchan 8. One should not visit the last three hours of the day (also shaos zemanios) [118]Ahavas Chesed 3:3:page 262. because then the sickness is strong and the visitor will despair of davening for him. [119]Meseches Nedarim 40a, Tosfas “b’tlas,” Shita Mekubetzes Meseches Nedarim 39b, Tur 335, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:3.  Refer to Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:5, and Bais … Continue reading The Rambam [120]Hilchos Avel 14:5. See Bach who questions why the Rambam mentions a different reason then the Gemorah. The Meiri in Meseches Nedarim 40a quotes same reason as the Rambam. Refer to Ze Hashulchan 335:4. explains that the sick person is usually tended to at those times, and the visit might interfere with the attendants. The Aruch Hashulchan [121]335:8. Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita holds that if one is not a relative he should not visit within the first or last three hours of the day. says that this is good advice, but it is not forbidden to visit then. Others maintain that it is forbidden by halacha. [122]Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 12. Even according to this view, if there is no other time available, one may visit then. [123]Ahavas Chesed 3:3.

There are a few differences between the Rambams reason and the first reason. [124]Refer to Shevet Yehuda 335:4. If it is a minor illness that does not progress in stages, the first reason would not offer any restrictions, while the Rambam would.  Similarly, if the visitor commits himself to daven for the sick person no matter what, then the first reason would permit the visit, but the Rambam would not. [125]Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah pages 65-66.

It would seem that calling on the phone (see part 2) during these hours would be permitted according to all opinions, since one does not daven then, and the call will not interfere with the medical staff. However, each situation should be assessed beforehand. [126]Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 65:footnote 13.

The Aruch Hashulchan [127]Aruch Hashulchan 8. Refer to opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim Bhalacha Ubagadah page 125:10. (and others) [128]Ze Hashulchan 335:4.   Refer to Salmas Chaim 661 (old). says that today we are not concerned with the above restrictions. According to the Rambam, if we know that the attendants are not busy with the needs of the sick person at those times, [129]Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 12. or if they are not bothered by the presence of visitors, there is no restriction. [130]Birchei Yosef 335:2. Therefore, if there are specific visiting hours in a hospital, the patient and medical staff are prepared to work around the presence of visitors, and there is no need to refrain from visiting.

Asking for Mercy for the Sick Person

One who is asking for mercy from Hashem for the sick person in his presence can daven in any language. [131]Toras Haodom shar hameicosh 1, Tur 335, Shulchan Aruch 5, Levush 5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:4, Chochmas Adom 151:3, Aruch Hashulchan 9, Mishnah Berurah O.C. 101:16. Refer to Shulchan Aruch O.C. … Continue reading The reason is that the Shechina rests above the head of a sick person [132]Meseches Shabbos 12b, Bach, Shach 3, Taz 3. and Hashem knows any language. [133]Rashi Meseches Shabbos 12b “d’Shechina,” Bach, Levush 5, Shach 3, Taz 3, Prisha 10. Refer to Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 13. Refer to Maharil Diskin (Kuntres Achron) 182:page 162 who says to … Continue reading However, if the patient is not present, then one should only say it in lashon kodesh. [134]Shulchan Aruch 5. Refer to Taz 4. See Ahavas Chesed 3:3. If ten people are present, one can daven in any language since Hashem is present [135]Meseches Sanhedrin 39a. (even if the sick person is not there.) [136]Shevet Yehuda 335:5, V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:page 247. When one asks for mercy he should say that, “Hashem should have mercy on you and other sick people in Klal Yisroel,” [137]Tur 335,  Shulchan Aruch 6, Levush 6. since tefillos have a better chance to be heard when they include other members of klal yisroel. [138]Shach 4. Rashi Meseches Rosh Hashanah 16a “keman”. The opinion of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach ztl [139]Halichos Shlomo Tefillah 8:footntoe 63, Shevet HaLevi 5:184. Refer to Toraso Yeheigei 12:3:footnote 11 who quotes poskim who disagree. is that wishing a refuah sheleima is also considered davening for the sick person.

One who is davening in front of the sick person does not mention the person’s name. [140]Meseches Berochos 34a, Magen Avraham O.C. 119:1, Mishnah Berurah 2, Rivevos Ephraim 7:335.  Refer to Chasam Sofer Meseches Nedarim 39b, Pri Temarim 7:pages 73-74:3. Refer to Pri Chadash O.C. 119 who … Continue reading This is how Moshe Rabbeinu acted when davening in front of Miriam on her behalf. [141]Bamidbar 12:13. Based on kabbalah, the reason is that mentioning the name awakens the middas hadin. [142]Chasam Sofer Meseches Nedarim 40a. Refer to Ben Yehoyada  Meseches Berochos 34a. See Yalkut Revuenei Parshas Vayeira 18:1.

If one will not daven with kavana for a sick person, it is better that he does not go. [143]Toras Hamincha parshas vayeira 9:page 50.

If one cannot visit, then davening for him is a fulfillment of the mitzvah of bikur cholim. [144]Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 230-243 in great depth.

Settling Accounts With Others and Doing Teshuva

As mentioned above, one has to be very careful about what he says to a sick person. Halacha states that one should ask him [145]The opinion of some poskim is that this should be done right when the person gets sick and it should not wait until the situation is serious (Shevet Yehuda 335:7). if he in possession of someone else’s belongings, or if his items are held by others, or what he wishes to tell his children. This is by no way a means of scaring the sick person that he will die, [146]Shulchan Aruch 7, Levush 7, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:5, Chochmas Adom 151:5, Aruch Hashulchan 10. since even a healthy person should have his life organized. In the merit of discussing this Hashem will send the sick person a refuah sheleima. [147]Aruch Hashulchan 10. This should be done once the illness lasts three days. [148]Refer to Chuchmas Adom 151:11, Ahavas Chesed 3:3, Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 15.

One should discuss teshuva as well. [149]Yosef Ometz perek bikur cholim page 323, Keren Orah Meseches Nedarim 40a, Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 27. This may be a touchy topic if you are not too friendly with the patient.

When the Visitor Does Not Know You Visited Him

As mentioned above, one of the main points of visiting the sick is to daven for him. Accordingly, one could visit a total stranger, or someone who is unaware of the visit. The same is true for visiting a young baby [150]Avnei Yushfei 1:230, Derech Sicha 1:page 65.Refer to Rivevos Ephraim 8:291:1, V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:pages 211-212. If one visits a child who is sick just to make the parents feel good he has not … Continue reading (i.e. just after his bris milah). [151]Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 184-185:15. Obviously, the other aspects of bikur cholim such as cheering him up would not be fulfilled in this situation. [152]Opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 38:footnote 26.

Asleep

If the sick person is asleep one has still fulfilled the mitzvah since he can daven for him and speak to people to make sure his needs are taken care of. [153]Rosh on Parshas Vayeira 18:1. This is proved from the fact that Hashem came to visit Avraham but did not speak or do anything. [154]Refer to Derech Sicha 1:pages 65-66.

Giving Blood

Since bikur cholim involves making sure that the sick person has what he needs, some poskim maintain that one can fulfill part of the mitzvah of bikur cholim by giving blood to a sick person, even though he does not visit him. [155]Opinion of Harav Ephraim Greenblatt zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 31:footnote 5. See ibid:pages 130- 131:23:footnote 27 and page 131:23.

Endnotes

Endnotes
1The Taamei Haminhagim page 425 says the reason why it is called “bikur” cholim and not reih (seeing) or halicha (going) is because one is supposed to teach the sick person to look into his ways. Also see Medrash Seichel Tov Bereishis 19:34, Mavar Yabak page 219 (new), Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 353-357. 
2Meseches Sotah 14a, Levush Y.D. 335:1, Yaavetz 2:page 588:1. Refer to Meseches Shabbos 32a, Bava Metziah 30a, Bava Kama 100a. 
3Levush 1.
4Parshas Vayeira.
5The Chazzon Ish ztl said that the mitzvah of bikur cholim applies to a sick person as well on himself, to make sure he is taking care of himself (Massei Ish 2:page 162). However, some opine that this is not exactly doing bikur cholim to a sick person. The reason why it is considered bikur cholim on some level is because when one davens for himself he is making the sickness lighter on him (Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 244). In regard to whether there is a mitzvah to visit the sick in place of learning Torah refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 418-429 in depth.
6Meseches Nedarim 39b, Bava Metziah 30b, Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4, Shulchan Aruch 335:1, Chochmas Adom 151:1. Refer to Medrash Tanchuma Toldos 12.
7Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:1. This is for simple people even if one is unsure if their tefillos will be accepted for the sick person to get better. In addition, it applies to those who sin.
8Refer to Ran Meseches Berochos 3 who says it is a d’oriasa, Rabbeinu Yonah Meseches Berochos 11b, see Sdei Chemed mareches Bais 116 (1:pages 150-151), Ze Hashulchan 335:1, Teshuvos V’hanhugos 2:592, Yabea Omer Y.D. 3:22:23, Halichos (journal) 118-120 pages 37-38.
9Kol Bo 112, Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:1, Meiri Meseches Nedarim 39b, Tur 335, Levush 1, Beer Moshe 2:104. Refer to Maharitz Chiyas Meseches Nedarim 39b who says it is a halacha Moshe M’Sinai. See Rambam sefer hamitzvahs shoresh 1 and 2.
10Meseches Sotah 14a. Refer to Meseches Bava Metziah 30a.
11Refer to Toras Haodom shar hameicosh 1, Tur 335, Bais Yosef, Bach, Levush 1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:1, Torah Temimah Bereishis 18:1, Aruch Hashulchan 2. See Beer Mayim Chaim Vayeira 18:1.
12Vayeira 18:1. Refer to Meseches Bava Metziah 86b, see Meseches Tanchuma Vayeira 1.  Refer to Baal Haturim Vayeira 18:1.
13Maharsha Meseches Nedarim 39b “bikur,” Seder Hayom page 90, Yosef Ometz perek bikur cholim page 323, Ahavas Chesed 3:3. For more on this issue see Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 2. Refer to Meseches Bava Metziah 30b. Others say it is included in V’ohavta L’reiacha K’mocha (Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:1).  Since bikur cholim is part of gemilas chasadim we have the following question: Why in the first Mishnah in Meseches Peah does it list gemilas chasadim and bikur cholim if it is the same? The answer is that there are two kinds of gemilas chasadim. One is with ones money, like lending people money feeding people, and clothing people. The other kindness is with one’s body – going to visit a sick person and consoling the bereaved.
14Refer to Miyum Hahalacha 4:56, Yalkut Yosef 7:page 23.
15Refer to Rashba 1:18.
16Binyomin Zev 1:169.
17Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 111-120.
18Toras Haodom shar hameichosh 1, Kol Bo 112, Bais Yosef, Levush 1, 4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:3, Chochmas Adom 151:3, Yaavetz 2:page 589:15, Aruch Hashulchan 3, Pela Yoetz Choleh page 232, Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:51, Yechaveh Daas 3:83.
19There is no need for the one visited to fix or clean himself (Prisha 335:4, see Meiri Meseches Nedarim 40a).
20Meseches Nedarim 40a, Bais Yosef 335, Prisha 4, Levush 1, Tocheches Chaim Parshas Vayichei, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:3, Chorev page 408, Aruch Hashulchan 2, Kaf Hachaim O.C. 287:6, Minchas Yitzchok 2:84:6, see Gesher Hachaim 1:1:2.  This is even in a hospital where they clean, it can happen that a bed needs to be changed or a room is dirty.  The Chazzon Ish zt”l brought food to a sick person (Massei Ish 2:page 133).
21Refer to Pela Yoetz Refuah page 540. One is not allowed to give a sick person something which is not good for him even if it will make him happy (Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 274, see Yehuda Yaleh O.C. 160, Pnei Boruch – Bikur Cholim K’hilchoso 1:32).
22Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 223.
23Tzitz Eliezer 5:ramat Rochel 3. Refer to Tzohar 5:pages 345-348 who says based on this people do not go visit if all the needs are taken care of since one can daven for them even when one is not in front of them (Tzohar ibid).
24Rambam Toras Haodom shar hameichosh, Bais Yosef 335. Refer to Avnei Yushfei 1:230.  See Michtav M’Eliyahu 4:page 296, Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 268-277 in great depth.
25Dorosh Moshe Parshas Vayeira beginning. Refer to Maharsha Meseches Bava Metziah 30b.
26 Rambam Hilchos Ovel 14:6, Shulchan Aruch 4.
27Bais Yosef 335, Shulchan Aruch ibid, Levush 4, Yosef Ometz perek bikur cholim page 323, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:3, Chochmas Adom 151:3, Aruch Hashulchan 8.
28However, one has fulfilled some part of the mitzvah (see Ahavas Chesed 3:3, Avnei Yushfei 1:230, V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:page 219:footnote 2). Refer to Pnei Boruch – Bikur Cholim K’hilchoso haskama from Harav Fisher zt”l 1. See Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 121-133 in great depth.
29Be’er Mayim Chaim Bereishis 18:page:134.
30Refer to Meseches Nedarim 40a. Also refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 186-192.
31Refer to Meseches Nedarim 41a, Meseches Shabbos 12a, Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:263.
32V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:pages 2215-216. Refer to Birchei Yosef 335:2  who is lenient that it can apply to any weakness. It does not only apply to a sick person who is in danger (Shevet Hakehusi 6:394).  See Ohr Hachaim on Vayeira 18:1. Also refer to Asya 67-68:pages 80-92 in great depth. See Meseches Nedarim 41a.
33Bereishis 18:page 50-50b. See Piskei Teshuva 242.
34Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 331.
35Refer to Biur Halacha O.C. 219 “kegon.” Also see Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim oages 333-335.
36Regarding visiting a woman who just gave birth see Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 26:footnote 21.
37Visiting the Sick page 22 (Glatt). Refer to Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’Bagadah page 28:footnote 18 quoting the opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita.
38Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 117-118.
39Mishnah Meseches Peah 1:1, Meseches Shabbos 127a (it is included in gemilas chasadim). Refer to Rambam Peirush Hamishnayos Peah 1:1.
40335:2.
41Refer to Levush 1, Menoras Hameor 7:page 550, Tocheches Chaim Parshas Vayichei.
42Meseches Nedarim 40a.
43Refer to Ahavas Chesed 3:3. See Maharal Nesivos Olom page 160 who explains the reason why one is saved from gehonim is because when one visits a sick person he wishes to save him from death so one is spared gehonim which is death of the soul. Also see Maharal Nedarim 39b, 40a and Tocheches Chaim Parshas Vayichei.
44Meseches Nedarim ibid, Meiri Meseches Nedarim ibid, see Aruch Hashulchan 3. Refer to Maharsha Meseches Nedarim 40a ‘ma.” Because of this some say one should even travel to another city for this mitzvah (Derech Sicha 2:page 25).
45Ahavas Chesed 3:3, see Sefer Chassidim 361. Refer to Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 6.
46Ahavas Chesed Ibid, Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:223.
47Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:223.
48For an in depth discussion on this refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 142-150.
49Meseches Nedarim 39b, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:2, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5, Ahavas Chesed 3:3.
50Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 8.
51Kol Bo 112, Meiri Meseches Nedarim 39b “mitzvahs,” Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:2, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5. Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 134-141 in great depth. Based on this some say this is why you do not generally see people visiting a sick person at home since it is a bother to them (Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 140:9, 225:6). However, in this situation one should call (Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 225).
52Refer to V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:pages 214-215. Yalkut Yosef Y.D. 335:2, Divrei Sofrim page 3.
53Divrei Sofrim 335:footnote 9.
54Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 54:19:footnote 30.
55Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 52:12:footnote 20, Divrei Sofrim 335:11. Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 132:12. 
5693:page 86. See Tzafnas Paneach Vayechei 48:1, Ze Hashulchan 335:1. Refer to Meseches Berochos 28b, 54b, Nedarim 40a.
57But one does not have to (Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 338).
58Haemek Sheilah 93:7, Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:51, Yalkut Yosef 7:page 125. Refer to Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 64.
59Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:51.
60, 62Gesher Hachaim 1:1:3.
61Pela Yoetz Rofeh page 542.
63Tocheches Chaim Parshas Vayichei.
64Refer to Mavar Yabak page 62 (new).
65Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim page 273.
66For a detailed explanation of this issue see Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 151-167.
67Medrash Rabbah Vayikra 34:1 (only if he loves the sick person), Meseches Nedarim 39b, Bava Metziah 30a, Kol Bo 112, Tur 335, Levush 2, Shach 335:1, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5.  Refer to Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4. See Maharal Nedarim 39b. See Rivevos Ephraim 4:page 355:8. The visitor takes it but since it is such a small amount it is botel b’shishim and has no effect on the visitor (Toras Chaim Meseches Bava Metziah 30a).  Some say just going to visit a sick person without saying or doing anything is a mitzvah since one takes 1/60th of his sickness (Refer to Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 39:footnote 28). 
68Chochmas Adom 151:1.
69Ran Meseches Nedarim 39b “v’ben,” Ben Yehoyada Meseches Nedarim 39b:page 6. Refer to Chelkes Yaakov Y.D. 147:2.
70Today this can be done by anyone who visits a sick person (Shevet Yehuda 335:2, Chasam Sofer Meseches Nedarim 39b).
71Rashi Meseches Nedarim 39b “v’ben gilo.”
72Refer to Meseches Nedarim 39b. See Chasam Sofer Meseches Nedarim 39b.
73Meseches Nedarim 39b mitzvahs. Refer to Chofetz Chaim on Meseches Nedarim 41.
74Divrei Sofrim 335:10.
75Meseches Nedarim 39b:page 6.
76Some do say that the visitor takes it and it is not an issue since it is such a small amount it is botel b’shishim and has no effect on the visitors (Toras Chaim Meseches Bava Metziah 30a).
77Meseches Nedarim 40a (page 445 new).
78Meseches Nedarim 40a, Kol Bo 112, Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:2, Aruch Hashulchan 3. Refer to Maharal Meseches Bava Metziah 40a.
79Bereishis 42:1.
80Maver Yabak page 254 (new), Ze Hashulchan 335:1, V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:page 215. Refer to Reishis Chuchma shar gidol bonim 3:page 1003.
81Ze Hashulchan 335:1.
82Aruch Hashulchan 11, see Beer Moshe 2:107. This is the opinion of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l as quoted in Nishmas Avraham Y.D. page 258 (English), and in Chuko Mamtakim 1:page 70. However, one should not stay too long to talk (ibid). Refer to Sdei Tzofim Meseches Nedarim 39b.
83Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Roche 5:16.  Refer to Miyum Hahalacha 2:27-28.
84Beer Moshe 2:107.
85Beer Moshe 5:151. Refer to Miyum Hahalacha 4:56. On the topic of davening for a wicked person see Meseches Berochos 10a, Sefer Chassidim 688, Ahavas Chesed 3:8, Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 315-318.
86Opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 119, see Betzel Hachochma 2:44.
87Meseches Nedarim 40a, Levush 3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:2, Chochmas Adom 151:2. See Aruch Hashulchan 7. Refer to Vayikra Rabbah 34:1.
88Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 10.
89Meseches Shabbos 12b, Nedarim 40a, Rosh Meseches Shabbos 1:30, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:3 Levush 3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:2. Refer to Meseches Nedarim 40a “lo.”See Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 11. Some say one should not sit at his head (Shiurei Beracha 335:1).
90Tosfas Meseches Shabbos 12b “lo,” Meiri Meseches Shabbos 12b, Rama 335:3, Levush 3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:2, Chochmas Adom 151:2, Aruch Hashulchan 7. Refer to Bais Lechem Yehuda 335. See Minhagei Yisroel 6:pages 74-80, Ze Hashulchan 335:3.
91 Opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 75:footnote 5.
92, 105Meseches Nedarim 40a vmekul mokom.
93Aruch Hashulchan 7.
94Gesher Hachaim 1:1:5.
95Tosfas Meseches Nedarim 39a “efsher,”  Ran, Chelkes Yaakov Y.D. 188.
96Tzitz Eliezer 17:20. Refer to Pnei Boruch – Bikur Cholim K’hilchoso haskama from Harav Fisher zt”l 2.
97Refer to Rambam Hilchos Ovel 14:6, opinion of Harav Korelitz Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 77:footnote 9.
98Shevet Yehuda 335:3.
99Meseches Shabbos 12b, Rashi “m’sateif,” Tur 335, see Bach. Boruch – Bikur Cholim K’hilchoso haskama from Harav Fisher zt”l 2.

[1] Refer to Rambam Hilchos Ovel 14:6, opinion of Harav Korelitz Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 77:footnote 9.  See Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 10.
100Meiri Meseches Shabbos 12b. Refer to opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita (who says the custom is to be lenient) in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah pages 124-125:8. However, on ibid:page 130:22 he says the custom is to wear a jacket to visit the sick.
101Opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 77:footnote 9.
102Opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 62:footnote 12 and page 127:15.  Refer to Ruach Chaim 335:1 in depth.
103Refer to Maharsha Meseches Nedarim 40a this is the same idea as not to open ones mouth to the sotton and say he is sick.
104Yerushalmi Meseches Peah 3:9, Tur 335, Shulchan Aruch 335:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:1, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5. Refer to Taz 1, Biur Halacha O.C. 219 “kegon.”
106Rambam Hilchos Ovel 14:5, Shulchan Aruch YD. 335:1, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5.
107335:1.
108Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 7.
109Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 43:footnote 13.
110Divrei Sofrim 335:5.
111Meseches Nedarim 39b, Kol Bo 112, Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:4, Tur 335, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:2, Levush 2, Chochmas Adom 151:1, Aruch Hashulchan 5. Refer to V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:pages 207-208 if this applies to a talmid chacham visiting a simple person. See Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:222. For a reason why this is not an issue of a lowering of honor to the greater person see Shalmei Nedarim 39b:page 33.
112Ahavas Chesed 3:3 in footnote, Beer Moshe 2:106, Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 8. See Rashi Meseches Nedarim 39b “v’afilu,” Shita Mekubetzes Meseches Nedarim 39b.
113Shevet Yehuda 335:2.
114Opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 48:footnote 4.
115Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:222, opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 124:7.
116Ahavas Chesed 3:3:page 262. There is an uncertainty if these hours start from alos hashachar or netz hachama (Ze Hashulchan 335:4, Al Pi Hatorah Shemos page 375). Refer to Divrei Sofrim 335:footnote 36.
117Shulchan Aruch 4, Levush 4, Chochmas Adom 151:3, Aruch Hashulchan 8.
118Ahavas Chesed 3:3:page 262.
119Meseches Nedarim 40a, Tosfas “b’tlas,” Shita Mekubetzes Meseches Nedarim 39b, Tur 335, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 335:4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:3.  Refer to Rambam Hilchos Avel 14:5, and Bais Yosef 335. In regard to whether to tell a sick person how severe his sickness is see Miyum Hahalacha 2:26, Betzel Hachochma 2:55.
120Hilchos Avel 14:5. See Bach who questions why the Rambam mentions a different reason then the Gemorah. The Meiri in Meseches Nedarim 40a quotes same reason as the Rambam. Refer to Ze Hashulchan 335:4.
121335:8. Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita holds that if one is not a relative he should not visit within the first or last three hours of the day.
122Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 12.
123Ahavas Chesed 3:3.
124Refer to Shevet Yehuda 335:4.
125Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah pages 65-66.
126Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 65:footnote 13.
127Aruch Hashulchan 8. Refer to opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Bikur Cholim Bhalacha Ubagadah page 125:10.
128Ze Hashulchan 335:4.   Refer to Salmas Chaim 661 (old).
129Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 12.
130Birchei Yosef 335:2.
131Toras Haodom shar hameicosh 1, Tur 335, Shulchan Aruch 5, Levush 5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:4, Chochmas Adom 151:3, Aruch Hashulchan 9, Mishnah Berurah O.C. 101:16. Refer to Shulchan Aruch O.C. 101:4.
132Meseches Shabbos 12b, Bach, Shach 3, Taz 3.
133Rashi Meseches Shabbos 12b “d’Shechina,” Bach, Levush 5, Shach 3, Taz 3, Prisha 10. Refer to Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 13. Refer to Maharil Diskin (Kuntres Achron) 182:page 162 who says to daven in loshon kodesh even in fron of the sick person.
134Shulchan Aruch 5. Refer to Taz 4. See Ahavas Chesed 3:3.
135Meseches Sanhedrin 39a.
136Shevet Yehuda 335:5, V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:page 247.
137Tur 335,  Shulchan Aruch 6, Levush 6.
138Shach 4. Rashi Meseches Rosh Hashanah 16a “keman”.
139Halichos Shlomo Tefillah 8:footntoe 63, Shevet HaLevi 5:184. Refer to Toraso Yeheigei 12:3:footnote 11 who quotes poskim who disagree.
140Meseches Berochos 34a, Magen Avraham O.C. 119:1, Mishnah Berurah 2, Rivevos Ephraim 7:335.  Refer to Chasam Sofer Meseches Nedarim 39b, Pri Temarim 7:pages 73-74:3. Refer to Pri Chadash O.C. 119 who says one can say the name of the sick person in front of him as well.
141Bamidbar 12:13.
142Chasam Sofer Meseches Nedarim 40a. Refer to Ben Yehoyada  Meseches Berochos 34a. See Yalkut Revuenei Parshas Vayeira 18:1.
143Toras Hamincha parshas vayeira 9:page 50.
144Refer to Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 230-243 in great depth.
145The opinion of some poskim is that this should be done right when the person gets sick and it should not wait until the situation is serious (Shevet Yehuda 335:7).
146Shulchan Aruch 7, Levush 7, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:5, Chochmas Adom 151:5, Aruch Hashulchan 10.
147Aruch Hashulchan 10.
148Refer to Chuchmas Adom 151:11, Ahavas Chesed 3:3, Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 15.
149Yosef Ometz perek bikur cholim page 323, Keren Orah Meseches Nedarim 40a, Tzitz Eliezer 5:Ramat Rochel 27.
150Avnei Yushfei 1:230, Derech Sicha 1:page 65.Refer to Rivevos Ephraim 8:291:1, V’ein Lamo Michshal 6:pages 211-212. If one visits a child who is sick just to make the parents feel good he has not fulfilled the mitzvah of bikur cholim (opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 46:footnote 1).
151Mitzvahs Bikur Cholim pages 184-185:15.
152Opinion of Harav Elyashiv zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 38:footnote 26.
153Rosh on Parshas Vayeira 18:1.
154Refer to Derech Sicha 1:pages 65-66.
155Opinion of Harav Ephraim Greenblatt zt”l quoted in Bikur Cholim B’halacha U’bagadah page 31:footnote 5. See ibid:pages 130- 131:23:footnote 27 and page 131:23.

About Moishe Dovid Lebovits

Rabbi Moshe Dovid Lebovits is a Rabbinical Administrator for Kof-K Kosher Supervision and the author of Halachically Speaking volume 1 and volume 2.

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