Every morning, while on my daily walk, I recite my Morning Meditation. One component of my Morning Meditation is sending healing. There is a Jewish prayer for healing that is transliterated something like elnah refah n’lah. It’s a prayer that originates in an old testament story about Miriam being cured of leprosy when her brother Moses speaks the words elnah refah n’lah, beseeching God to heal his sister. In our synagogue it’s traditionally said as a chant when the Torah is out. When I walk each day, I say the elnah refah n’lah words to send healing to those in pain, those who are sick, those who are grieving for the loss of a loved one.
There is a woman in my synagogue community whom I have known for many years. We are not exactly friends, but we are friendly. I will call her Mona for this story. A few months ago, Mona’s son died suddenly in a bizarre accident. He was 40 years old. It was a crazy thing, unpreventable, not his fault; and very hard to accept because he was young, full of life, and in good health. I have included Mona in my elnah refah n’lah prayer every morning, wishing for her to be relieved of her suffering, able to heal and move on from this tragedy that befell her.
A few weeks ago, I saw Mona at synagogue and I told her, “It’s so good to see you in person. I think of you every morning when I walk and I include you in my prayers. Every morning I send you healing energy.” Mona looked stunned. Later in the evening, as I prepared to leave, Mona came up to me and put her arm through mine and said, “It means a lot to me to know that you are keeping me in your thoughts. It is a great comfort. Thank you for telling me about this.”
The other night I saw Mona again. She gave me a hug and a smile and she said something like the following: I have thought a lot about what you said, about how you think of me every day and send me healing. I’m very grateful for that. Since my son died, I have been preoccupied taking care of myself. I don’t have the ability right now to give much energy to caring for others, but you have inspired me to send thoughts for healing to people I know who need it, every morning, like you do. And I have made it a point to tell them that I’m doing it; because it made a difference to me to know that you are thinking of me. I find it comforting. It helps to know that other people remember my loss and my son and that my grief is not invisible. I am noticed and cared for by others. It is more helpful than I can say.
I have not always told people when I was holding them in my heart and sending healing energy to them. It seems such a small thing to do. But after hearing Mona’s words, I think I should let people know when I am praying for them. I now realize, from Mona’s words, that it is good medicine for someone to know that they are cherished, held in another’s daily thoughts, included in prayers. Mona said she feels the healing energy coming to her. I know what she means. When my mother lay dying, I could feel the energy people sent to me. So if you are in need of healing, you just let me know and I will say your name in my daily elnah refah n’lah. I will include you in my virtual embrace.