Hundreds of Jews, undeterred by heavy rains, congregated at the Western Wall on February 16th to pray for an end to the spread of the Corona virus in China and for the welfare of the Chinese people. The event included the blowing of the shofar, prayer readings in Chinese, and the singing of the liturgical petition “tehe hasha’a hazot sh’at rachamim.” Prominent Religious-Zionist Rabbis Uri Cherki and Shmuel Eliyahu initiated the event, the participants of which included representatives of the OU in Israel, the Association of Congregational Rabbis, Chabad emissaries to China, and citizens of China.

Senior Chabad Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, basing himself on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Schneerson,writes that we should not pray for our enemies to die but rather for them to repent and become our friends.

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Religious Zionist Rabbi Uri Chorki writes of Israel’s sin of neglecting the religious needs of gentile nations.

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