Why did Jews pray for the nations of the world at the Western Wall?

Rabbi Avi Berman, chief of OU Israel, explains why Jews prayed Western Wallfor the well-being of coronavirus patients around the world.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Rabbi Avi Berman at the Western Wall
Rabbi Avi Berman at the Western Wall
Arutz Sheva

Rabbi Avi Berman, who leads the Orthodox Union Israel explained in an interview with Arutz Sheva Sunday why his organization helped organize a special prayer gathering at the Western Wall Sunday on behalf of those suffering from the coronavirus.

“This is the place that during Sukkot we used to come to pray for all nations around the world. So we chose this place, along with Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, along with Rabbanei Hakehilot [community rabbis], along with the rabbis of Chabad from China that were standing here together with us, and pray for the speedy recovery of all those who are already sick with the coronavirus and that… we should see the medical professional come with a cure for this corona virus,” said Rabbi Berman.

“Our goal is to do what we know how to do well. Doctors know how to find cures, we know how to pray to God. We know how to talk to God and say, ‘Please, bring a speedy recovery to all those who are sick.’”

“We are used to stand here in the Kotel [Western Wall] praying for rain for Israel, praying for those in captivity…for many other needs that the Jewish people have. But we stood here in the footsteps of Abraham, who plead in front of God on behalf of Sodom and Gemorrah.”

“We pleaded to God and asked ‘Please, could you enable the doctors to find a cure as fast as possible? As fast as the coronavirus came into this world, may it leave the world just as fast.”

"Many of our products that have the OU [Orthodox Union] kashrut symbol on them come from China. We know the owners of the factories, we know the people who are standing behind the products coming out of there."

"We have a personal relationship with the people working there."

Hundreds joined the prayer service, including Rabbi Uri Sherki, chairman of the Brit Olam – Noahide World Center; Rabbi Avi Berman, chief of the Orthodox Union’s Israel branch; Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu, chairman of the Assocation of Community Rabbis; Chabad emissaries from China; officials from the Chinese embassy in Israel, and dozens of Chinese citizens.

The service, which spanned both mincha (the traditional Jewish afternoon prayer) and maariv (the traditional Jewish evening prayer) included a special prayer on behalf of the people of China, a prayer read in Chinese, and the blowing of a shofar.

Nearly 69,300 people have thus far been diagnosed with the coronavirus, the vast majority of them (over 68,500) in China.

One-thousand-six-hundred-and-seventy-one people have died as a result of the coronavirus according to the official count, while 9,883 people have recovered thus far.