Photo: Ahiya Raved
Worshippers pray for Sharon
Photo: Ahiya Raved
Praying for Sharon in Israel, Korea
Ynetnews presents videos of prayer sessions in reform synagogue in northern Israel, U.S. army base in South Korea
The power of prayer: Shabbat prayers across Israel this Saturday included one common feature - a prayer for the wellbeing of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who clings for his life at a Jerusalem hospital.


Prayer session for PM (Video: Ahiya Raved)


While the voices of worshippers mixed in unison, synagogues visitors consoled one another and tried to encourage their community members.


The worshippers at the Yedid Nefesh reform community in the northern town of Karmiel went as far as saying a prayer for the stricken PM and his family and friends over the synagogue's Torah Scroll.


Yedid Nefesh is a small community, and only about 20 people showed up for the Friday night service. Rabbi Adi Cohen, who resides in Kfar Saba and visits the community every weekend, said it was very symbolic that the first action the community has taken with the newly donated scroll was the prayer for Sharon.


"This is a very important mitzvah, a prayer for the wellbeing of the sick," he explained.


Before rising up to say the prayer, Rabbi Cohen took the scroll out of the closet, and a girl who attended the service removed its cover. The rabbi invited all the participants to stand in a circle and started unfolding the scroll, while the worshippers held the parchment.


"Whenever the people of Israel were in trouble, they turned to the Torah Scroll," Rabbi Cohen said. "This is what we are doing here tonight."


After community members mentioned the names of those close to them who were ill and in need of help, the rabbi spoke of Prime Minister Sharon, and said a prayer "for the recovery of the soul and body, for all those ailing among the Israeli people."


Praying in South Korea


Once the prayer was completed, the scroll was passed around the synagogue with worshippers kissing it and saying their individual prayers. Some were even moved to tears by the emotional experience.


After the prayer was over, Rabbi Cohen told Ynet he has instructed his community members to be involved in society, and to say a prayer for all those in need of it.


Praying for Sharon in Korea (Footage: Reuters)


Another prayer for Sharon was held Saturday in a more unusual location. Some forty Jews, foreigners and South Koreans attended a ceremony at a synagogue in an American army base in Seoul, where they prayed for the prime minister's health.


"These are very sad days, and traumatic news for me, but we all say a prayer for his recovery," Irving Gosso, a local university professor said, while 50-years old Sharon Bernstein added that "it was very sad to hear that Sharon was in serious condition."


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