Israelis pray for well-being of Syrian civilians

Shivi Froman spearheads campaign for Israeli Jews to pray for the well-being of Syrian civilians on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

Gary Willig ,

Shivi Froman
Shivi Froman

This Yom Kippur, when Jews around the world pray to God for well-being and forgiveness during the coming year, a special project will take place in Israel.

Shivi Froman, son of the late Rabbi Menachem Froman, the Rabbi of Tekoa who also served as a peace activist seeking to bring Israelis and Palestinian Arabs together, will be starting a prayer service for the civilians of Syria, who are caught in the middle of their country's civil war.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Froman explained, "We will gather in seven locations around the country to pray for mercy from heaven for the terrible suffering that is happening just across the border. For years a bloody war has been raging and in recent weeks it has gotten worse. Every day hundreds of people are dying, men, women, and children."

Froman continued, "We mean to pray, to shout, to find some way to arouse God's mercy so he will have pity on those who are suffering just next door to us as well."

Froman said that the idea for these prayer sessions for Syria came to him during the Rosh Hashanah prayers at the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman. "As I prayed I thought about it and suddenly my heart opened and I had this great feeling that something must be done. When I got back to Israel I saw that it bothered a lot of other people too, and I started to spread the idea on Facebook."

Although Syria is an enemy of Israel, Froman believes that it behooves the Jewish people to pray for all mankind. "When we pray our prayers are divided between things we pray for ourselves, things we pray for our family, things we pray for our people,and things we pray for the entire world, for all the creatures of God."

On Yom Kippur Jews read from the book of Jonah, in which God teaches the Biblical Prophet to look after the well-being of the Assyrian nation even though it was an enemy of the nation of Israel.