How does this prohibition jive with the universal practice of praying for healing? Should we in fact never pray for our own welfare but only for others? If so, how do we deal with "Heal me Hash-m"Psalm VI and other supplications for healing in Tehillim?
Thank you for your insights
Joseph Neustein, MD, El Paso, Texas USA
Praying is permitted; using verses as a charm is prohibited.
Here is something we wrote on the subject in Shabbos 67.
======= Shabbos 67
1) HEALING WITH VERSES FROM THE TORAH QUESTION: How can the Gemara here permit one to use verses from the Torah for healing? The Gemara (Shevuos 15b) states that it is forbidden to use verses for healing!
ANSWERS: (a) When one's intention is to heal a spiritual ailment with verses, it is permitted. (MAHARSHA, see RAMBAM Avodas Kochavim 11:12) (b) If the illness poses risk of mortal danger, one may use verses for healing. (TOSFOS, Shevuos 15b and Pesachim 111a)