Pandemic Religion: A Digital Archive

Collected Item: “Y'hi Ratzon -- Safe Together Apart”

Title

Y'hi Ratzon -- Safe Together Apart

Narrative or description

I am Cantor at a Conservative synagogue (Jewish) in Columbus, Ohio.

I wrote this song/prayer shortly after the arrival of what was first called Coronavirus, then Covid-19 -- before the word pandemic was being commonly used.

The song/prayer had coalesced by March 20.

It is based on a somewhat obscure passage in the weekday Torah service (the Torah is read every Monday and Thursday) -- a passage theoretically recited between raising the Torah and returning it to the Ark.

The original prayer asks God (our Father) to protect us from desolation and pestilence. I broadened it -- both in Hebrew and in English -- to think of God as both Father and Mother -- and to ask for protection for all of us (not just "b'nei Yisrael" -- the children of Israel) -- brothers and sisters in this country and around the world -- and to keep us Safe Together Apart -- which is the unique challenge to us in these times.

I typically do either the Hebrew or the English (generally not both) between various services -- or in the midst of some services -- probably about 5x per week.

As we still follow our basic traditional rituals, it hasn't altered the prayers that we do. . . it just gets added here and there.

And I share it with other cantors, other Jewish spiritual leaders, and leaders of other faiths, at all appropriate opportunities.

Date

2020-03-20

Community

Congregation Tifereth Israel, Columbus OH

Denomination or tradition

Conservative Jewish

State or territory

Ohio

Name

[private]

Do you agree?

Yes
Click here to view the corresponding item.