With each day, the fear of the coronavirus spreads. More and more people falling ill because of the virus, and more deaths. News from China is not good at all, and we do not even know whether we can trust the information allowed to be leaked from communist China that has a tight control on all news and information.
In times of trouble, besides taking action to help, Jews pray to the one above. And that is what we did today in Jerusalem, at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount.
In a special prayer service held at the Western Wall today, many prayed for the entire world, and China in particular, to overcome the spread of the Coronavirus, and for a speedy recovery to all those who are ill.
The Rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, said: “The Western Wall of the Temple Mount is a prayer site for Jews and non-Jews. We pray that China will overcome the Coronavirus and that it will not spread in China or elsewhere around the world.”
Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu organized this mass prayer at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. This special prayer was cosponsored by the OU in Israel and additional rabbis.
Rabbi Uri Shenkin explained in English before the prayer service:
“The People of Israel are in the heart of the world, and when there is one organ that is sick, our rabbis say that the whole world is also sick.
“So when we feel the suffering of the Chinese people and [thus] the whole world we pray for them; we pray because we are part of humanity and they are part of us.
“We want them, we beg them to pray also to the Creator of the world together with us when we pray for them, so they will pray also for the welfare of China and also all humanity.
“Also we are thinking about our sins, and China should make a reflection considering the importance of human life, and … on the sanctity and holiness of human life.
“And together with this thinking, and also with your prayer in China, and our prayer here in the center of the world, we will pray to the Creator of the world to bring peace, love and health to the whole mankind,” Rabbi Shenkin said.
Rabbi Avi Berman, Executive Director of the Orthodox Union (OU) in Israel, added:
“There are many doctors and many physicians and many medical experts in the world trying to find a cure for this corona virus. What we know how to do well is we know how to pray, we know how to talk to God.
“We’re going to pray that the doctors are going to be successful, those that are looking for a cure are going to be successful.
“We’re going to stand right here under where the Temple was. In every Sukkot they used to come from all over the world and they used to pray for the success of the world in the Temple.
“Now that we don’t have the Temple – we’re standing right under it – and we’re praying to God, please; allow the doctors to find a cure as soon as possible. Allow this coronavirus to disappear from the world as fast.
“It came to the world, it should disappear as soon as possible — and may we see only prosperity and really, only success for the world, Rabbi Berman concluded.”