Italian rabbis have published a special prayer for people struck ill with coronavirus and for those in areas where it “will strike next” as much of northern Italy remains in lockdown.
The Rabbinical Assembly of Italy published the prayer late last week, saying it should be recited “publicly in synagogues, where possible, privately, in harmony and in agreed times, or individually”.
The prayer reads: “We wish to express our empathy, and that we share the pain for the victims and pray for the healing of the sick, wherever in the world this disease has manifested itself and will strike next.”
It ends with the words: “Take pity and have mercy and heal all mortal beings for you are good and merciful to all and hear everyone’s prayers.”
By Monday, the number of cases in Italy had leapt to 1,700, doubling over the weekend, with 34 deaths recorded and another 140 in intensive care.
Services in places of worship have been suspended, while 55,000 remain under quarantine in and around Lombardy, the region at the centre of the outbreak.