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Special Blessing Recited for Ford After Assassination Attempt Foiled

A special “gomel” blessing was recited for President Ford during Rosh Hashanah services at a Sephardi synagogue in Ramat Gan after the President narrowly escaped a possible assassination attempt in Sacramento, California Friday. The benediction, traditionally offered by a Jew who averts disaster, was given by Moshe Levi, an importer, who has been corresponding with the White House about Israel’s need for American backing.

Ford had a pistol pointed at him by Lynette Fromme, Identified as a member of the Charles Manson “family,” while mingling with crowds in the California capital. A secret service agent disarmed the women before she could fire. Levi said that since Ford is a non-Jew he cannot recite the “gomel” blessing for himself and Levi decided to offer the prayer for him. He said his letters to the White House were answered by a letter which stated that America is committed to ensure the existence of Israel.