The highlight of a shabbat morning service in most shuls is the prayer for the sick that takes place between the shi’shi and shevi’i aliyah. I find this most interesting, since alas, on Shabbat we are not supposed to make supplication prayers (bakkashot, requesting for things). But we figured out a way around this with some phrase “Shabbos hee milizok”. It’s sort of like saying “Nisht b’shabbas g’eret” and then start giving investments tips during the kiddush. It’s all about magical words. Say some magical words, and all is OK.
Speaking of magic, let’s get back to the mi sheberach for sick people. We have a new system in place in our shul: first you email a name to some app on the shul website. It complies a list for the gabbai, and he prints it out every week. Then he gives out one page of names to 3 or 4 people. Those people have to read all the names — at the same time. And at the same time a long line of men queue up to give names to the gabbai. And then there are some women who try to get someone’s attention by jumping up and down near the mechizata hoping that someone will walk over and collect a name or two.
All the names are recited and repeated. It’s a cacophony of names — mostly Hebrew, some Russian, Persian, America, and lots of funny Yiddish sounding names. We here the sames ones every week — Christopher ben Shprinza, Kirl ben Sonjia, Meeno bas Fatima, and then some that I bet were thrown in by some of the jokers in the shul — like Sefira bas Avogadro, Uzi ben Pistol, Alexander ben Bella, Italo ben Issimo, and Vulva bas Hymen.
Mi Sheberach for Bernie Madoff.