The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 28 January 2006 / 28 Tevet 5766

A Blessing for the Dog

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

“Rabbi, my pet dog is very sick and needs your blessing.”

This was the heartfelt plea of a secular Jew who had come to the distinguished Torah scholar who had a reputation for invoking Heavenly mercy for sick people through his blessings and prayers.

Rather than rebuke this fellow for making such an outlandish request, the rabbi listened carefully and even expressed empathy for the dog owner’s agony. He then turned to him and said:

“It is customary that when we pray for someone we mention the name of that person’s mother as well. If you can supply me with the name of your sick dog’s mother we will then consider the question of giving you the blessing you request.”

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