Bikur Cholim By Phone

Q. Can one fulfill the mitzvah of bikur cholim by phone or by Zoom?

A. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (YD 1:223) was asked whether one can fulfill the mitzvah of bikur cholim by calling a sick person and speaking on the phone. He writes that the Tur and Bais Yosef (YD 335) list the benefits that are accomplished by visiting the sick: one is motivated to daven on their behalf; the person who is ill receives moral support; the visitor will see the physical needs and address them. Rav Moshe writes that these goals can be partially accomplished on the phone, but not to the full extent. Therefore, one who can visit the sick in person must do so. However, if this is not possible, it is a mitzvah to call on the phone, and fulfill the mitzvah of bikur cholim to whatever extent possible.


The Gerald & Karin Feldhamer OU Kosher Halacha Yomis is dedicated to the memory of Rav Yisroel Belsky, zt"l, who served as halachic consultant for OU Kosher for more than 28 years; many of the responses in Halacha Yomis are based on the rulings of Rabbi Belsky. Subscribe to the Halacha Yomis daily email here.