Ten Minutes of Torah

Israeli Poems to Get Us Through Times of Fear and Isolation

The modern Hebrew word for quarantine is biddud, from a root that means “being alone.” As we all do our best to maintain connectedness across time and space, perhaps the words of Israeli poets can speak to the moment we're in right now.

by Rabbi Reuven Greenvald

A Prayer for Health Care Workers

May the One who blessed our ancestors
Bless all those who put themselves at risk to care for the sick
Physicians and nurses and orderlies
Technicians and home health aides
EMTs and pharmacists
(And bless especially _______) Who navigate the unfolding dangers of the world each day,
To tend to those they have sworn to help.
Bless them in their coming home and bless them in their going out.
Ease their fear. Sustain them.
Source of all breath, healer of all beings,
Protect them and restore their hope.
Strengthen them, that they may bring strength;
Keep them in health, that they may bring healing.
Help them know again a time when they can breathe without fear.
Bless the sacred work of their hands.
May this plague pass from among us, speedily and in our days.

Rabbi Ayelet Cohen, March 2020