TEL AVIV – In a first, a multi-faith gathering of religious leaders including Chief Rabbis, archbishops, patriarchs, imams, and sheikhs joined together in prayer in Jerusalem Wednesday afternoon, in a united call to God to ease the suffering experienced around the world by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Jewish, Christian, and Muslim clerics read a joint prayer composed by the Chief Rabbis of Israel that was translated into respective liturgies.
You can see the full service below:
The spiritual leaders also released a joint statement warning against xenophobia. They said:
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.
Assembled on the terrace of the King David Hotel in the capital overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, the clerics asked for divine mercy over the pandemic and to heal the sick.
The leaders included both chief rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Rishon LeZion, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel and President of the Chief Rabbinate Council, and Rabbi David Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel and President of the Rabbinical Grand Court, alongside the 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.
At the end of the prayer, Rabbi Lau expressed the Biblical notion of Jerusalem as a house of prayer for all peoples.
The event was broadcast live to viewers worldwide over the Internet.
The full prayer can be read here:
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.”