Ahead of Yom Kippur, President Reuven Rivlin called Sunday on Jews in Israel and around the world to light an additional memorial candle in memory of the more than 1,400 Israelis who died of the coronavirus.
Many Jews light such a candle during Yom Kippur in memory of a late parent.
Rivlin also published a special prayer in memory of the victims, in which he said that not enough had been done to save them.
“The coronavirus pandemic and its victims have caused me to think about those who have lost their lives, about the invisible angel of death that does its terrible work of taking lives in isolated emergency rooms, without families there to part from them with a last touch, holding hands, stroking faces,” Rivlin said in a video statement (Hebrew).
“To those dear ones, over one thousand victims, I decided to dedicate a prayer and to light a candle in their memory,” Rivlin said.
The president published the full text of the prayer:
May God remember, and may the People of Israel remember, the souls of those Israelis who have lost their lives this year because of the coronavirus. May we remember those pioneers and founders, Holocaust survivors, veteran immigrants, fighters and creators, students of Torah and worshipers of the Lord, Jews and Arabs, old and young.
They were all loved, all known, all had names and faces. Fathers and sons, grandmothers and grandfathers, friends and acquaintances, neighbors and colleagues. An inseparable part of the fabric of our lives. May we be forgiven for the sin of weakness and inability, for not doing enough, for not managing to save them. Because of that, lives were lost.
Our Father, our King, prevent the spread of the disease and give our leaders the understanding and the strength to lead us to peace, and to guide us to peace, and lead us, Lord, to better days, to life, happiness and peace. May it be Your will, King of the universe, that health, prosperity, peace and unity will reign in our borders.
May the souls of our brothers and sisters, the victims of the pandemic, be bound in the bond of life, and may we say Amen.