As the new administration stands ready to take control, we understand that there will be a moment to pause and remember all those who have died as a result of the pandemic (as I write this 400,000 dead). We remember them and honor their struggle and the impact of this plague on so many families. The country recognizes the amazing work and dedication of health care and essential workers who often put their lives in danger. So, on this day of remembrance and honor, we offer this Prayer for Health Care Workers, based on the text by Rabbi Ayelet Cohen.
May the One who bless our ancestors
Bless all those who put themselves at risk to care for the sick
Physicians and nurses and orderlies
Technicians and home health aids, EMTs and pharmacists
Chaplains, Spiritual Care Workers and mental health professionals,
Who navigate the unfolding dangers of the world each day,
To tend to those they have sworn to help.
Bless them in their coming home and bless them in their going out.
Ease their fear. Sustain them.
Source of all breath, healer of all beings,
Protect them and restore their hope.
Strengthen them, that they may bring strength
Keep them in health, that they may bring healing.
Help them know again a time when they can breathe without fear.
Bless the sacred work of their hands.
May this plague pass from along us, speedily and in our days.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.