In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising antisemitism and racism in various parts of the world, Israel’s chief rabbis and religious leaders of all faiths in Israel gathered to offer a newly penned pray yesterday (April 22) in Jerusalem.
“In these turbulent times, we continue to hear growing voices against entire communities. This new dire reality has affected all humanity, regardless of religion, gender and race. Out of true faith in solidarity, we now call on all citizens of the world to join forces and carry a joint prayer to health and unity,” the consortium said in a press statement ahead of the gathering outside the King David Hotel.
The joint prayer, livestreamed to millions of viewers across the globe, was composed by the chief rabbis in Hebrew and translated into English.
Joint Prayer for All Religions
G-d of the first and of the last, G-d of all Creatures, Lord of all generations, He arouses those who sleep and awakens those who slumber, He heals the sick, opens the eyes of the blind and raises those who are bowed down. We come before you with a bowed head, and with bent stature, and plead.
Hundreds of thousands died, millions have fallen sick. Save, we beseech thee, O Lord. We entreat thee, O Lord, send prosperity! Send complete recovery to the sick, avert the plague from Your world.
Please, G-d, You who have nourished us in famine and provided us with plenty, You have removed us from pestilence, and freed us from severe and long-lasting disease – Help us.
Until now, Your mercy has aided us and Your kindness has not abandoned us, therefore we plead and request before You to heal us, Lord and we will be healed, Save us and we will be saved, for You are our glory.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing before you, O Lord, my rock and redeemer.
As in the words of Psalm 121 “A song for ascents: I turn my eyes to the mountains; from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot give way; Your guardian will not slumber; see, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps! The Lord is your guardian; the Lord is your protection at your right hand. By day the sun will not strike you, nor the moon by night. The Lord will guard you from all harm; He will guard your life. The Lord will guard your going and coming now and forever.”
Participants included Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel and president of the Chief Rabbinate Council; Rabbi David Lau, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel and president of the Rabbinical Grand Court; Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III; Latin Patriarch Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Imam Sheikh Gamal el Ubra; Imam Sheikh Agel Al-Atrash; and Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif.
The initiative was a collaboration of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior, with the World Council of Religious Leaders and numerous Jewish and non-Jewish organizations.
‘Care with a Prayer’
The following day, the Israel Public Council of Momentum, previously known as the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, launched “Care with a Prayer,” a global campaign to pray for healthcare workers fighting against the coronavirus.
Click here to request the name of a healthcare worker to pray for or to add your own name if you are a healthcare worker.
The text of the suggested prayer is below:
Dear God, Creator of heaven and earth — we ask you from the depths of our hearts and souls to please protect those on the front lines of this war — all of the courageous doctors, nurses, hospital workers and first responders. Their selfless efforts inspire us to call out to You. I ask you to please protect ________________, who has a special place in my prayers. And when this time passes, may we emerge as better people committed to making a better world. May it be soon.”
“While the majority of the population is sheltering at home, our courageous doctors, nurses, first responders, social workers and other medical staff are on the front lines battling to save the lives of patients infected by the coronavirus,” said Lori Palatnik, Momentum Founding Director.
“Every day when they go to work, they are risking their lives to provide care for us. This campaign is not only a way of showing our care for them, but is built to help inspire action and awaken our souls to the transformative power of prayer.”