Chief rabbis worldwide launch unity Shabbat in response to coronavirus


(JTA) — Chief rabbis from around the world have launched the #KeepingItTogether campaign in response to the coronavirus crisis.

#KeepingItTogether calls on world Jewry to make this Shabbat before Passover, known as Shabbat HaGadol, “a Shabbat of kindness, a Shabbat of prayer and a Shabbat of connection to the Divine.”

The campaign is supported by both chief rabbis of Israel — David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef — as well as those from South Africa, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Austria, Rome, Brussels and Argentina.

The chief rabbi of Moscow and president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Pinchas Goldschmidt, also signed the letter in support of the campaign.

The campaign asks world Jewry to commit to these actions this Shabbat: call or message someone you know who is alone or struggling, wish them Shabbat Shalom and offer them words of support and encouragement; pray for each other just before candle-lighting; and to “keep this Shabbat together,” to “connect to light and love and disconnect from the relentless news cycle for a precious 25 hours.”

“The unprecedented nature of the crisis that COVID-19 has caused requires an unprecedented show of unity” Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein of South Africa said. “This is the first time that there has been a joint call of chief rabbis on this level, united in our message for world Jewry to come together in support of one another.”

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