Israel’s senior rabbis prayed for U.S. President Donald Trump to recover from COVID-19 on Monday, invoking his name at the Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) ceremony for Sukkot at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
Support for Trump, who recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy to the city, is strong among Israelis, who mark the Jewish High Holidays this year while under a second coronavirus lockdown.
“May He who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon send healing to Donald John, son of Fred,” intoned Shmuel Rabinovitch, rabbi of the Western Wall, a remnant of the Second Temple and one of Judaism’s holiest sites.
“May the Holy Blessed One overflow with compassion for him, restore him, cure him, strengthen him, enliven him,” he said, reciting the traditional prayer for those in ill health, to amens from Israel’s two chief rabbis and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman.
They were attending a ceremony, coinciding with the Sukkot festival, in which members of Judaism’s priestly Kohanim caste bless the public in a chant at the Western Wall.
With Israel struggling against a surge in coronavirus cases, attendance was drastically pared down this year.
Heading to the event as an invited guest, Friedman tweeted that it was “normally attended by thousands, today just 20.”
“I will pray for God’s mercy and healing upon all those throughout the world afflicted with Covid-19,” he said.