‘Avert the plague’: Religious leaders in J’lem say joint prayer against COVID-19
Chief rabbis, along with Muslim and Christian leaders, come together to beseech God to heal the sick and ‘avert the plague from Your world’
By MARCY OSTER23 April 2020,
Spiritual leaders of all faiths in Israel: Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, the Latin Patriarch Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Imam Sheikh Gamal el Ubra, Imam Sheikh Agel Al-Atrash and Druze Spiritual leader Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif attend a united prayer at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on April 22, 2020.(Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
JTA — In unison, Israel’s multifaith leaders prayed Wednesday in Jerusalem for the end of the coronavirus crisis, reciting an appeal composed by the nation’s chief rabbis for the pandemic.
In their own liturgical language — including Hebrew, Arabic and English — the chief rabbis along with Muslim and Christian leaders came together on the balcony of the King David Hotel overlooking the Old City.
“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,” they prayed.
“Please — God, 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.”
The prayer by Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau, the Sephardi and Ashkenazi chief rabbis, respectively, also quoted from Psalm 121.
The three-minute event was livestreamed.
The other participants were Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Theophilos III; the Latin Patriarch His Excellency Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa; Imam Sheikh Gamal el Ubra; Imam Sheikh Agel Al-Atrash; and Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif.
The Joint Global Prayer:
God of the first and of the last, God 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 – God, 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.”
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report