Rabbi David Lau
Rabbi David LauNoam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau called for a fast day this coming Thursday in both Israel and the Diaspora in response to the rising coronavirus morbidity rates.

Rabbi Lau's office stated that the Chief Rabbi had consulted this morning with Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the leader of the Lithuanian haredi community in Israel, and had received his approval for declaring a fast day. The office also announced a prayer led by Rabbi Lau will take place on Thursday at Rachel's Tomb, at 4 PM exactly, and will be broadcast live.

In addition, prayer classes will be held in various countries and in across Israel.

In his letter, which calls for a worldwide day of prayer, Rabbi Lau writes: Every day we are faced with terrible disasters. The virus does not discriminate and harms the elderly, young people, fathers and mothers of young children children, and unfortunately many of them die, and many thousands are in a state of trouble and need for prayer and a cry for help."

Rabbi Lau called on those who are able to fast until at least noon.