Yom Kippur 5781: Yizkor For COVID-19 Victims

Yad Vashem, Copyright ©2011 Steve Lubetkin. All rights reserved.

Like Moses whose pleas went to ears that would not listen:

“Let my people go,” Moses cried out,
But too many suffered from plagues when Pharaoh would not listen.

Like our scientists, clergy, and humanitarians all …

They, too, cried out,
Be careful in your laboratories,
Take only the good in you when you travel,
Bring back only memories,
Be compassionate and kind to all,

They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now.”  — “Vincent,” by Don McLean

Three-quarters of a million deaths from COVID-19 worldwide,
as we approached Yom Kippur 5781.

… deaths of those many in years, deaths of those young in years
….deaths of our teachers, and deaths of their students
…deaths of parents, grandparents, children, and treasured friends
…deaths of those trying to save those suffering from the pandemic
…deaths of those dying of loneliness because COVID-19 isolated them
…and the list goes on.

May we now dedicate ourselves to

…treasure the blessings they gave us
…honor their memories
…ask G-d to elevate their souls through our communal Yom Kippur Yizkor. 

Yizkor E-lohim …

May G-d remember the souls of all our departed who were taken from us in the past year though the COVID-19 pandemic or its side effects, especially loneliness, isolation. and despair.

We pledge to perform acts of charity and goodness with their names in our hearts.  May our deeds,  prayers, and teshuvah help to keep their souls bound up in the bond of life everlasting.


About Chaplain Barry Pitegoff, BCC 31 Articles
Barry Pitegoff is a Staff Chaplain at Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, New York. Barry enjoyed thousands of hours of volunteer chaplaincy at hospitals, hospices, and prisons while he was vice president of market research for Visit Florida, the state’s tourism board. After retirement, Barry transformed into professional chaplaincy by taking a second Master’s Degree and two years’ of hospital internships. Barry was awarded the title of BCC, Board Certified Chaplain at the May 2019 conference of the NAJC (Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains). In 2020, Chaplain Barry was elected to the Board of NAJC, serves on Chaplain Review Committees, and facilitates a monthly national video call of Jewish hospital chaplains.

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