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Prayer for Workers in a Time of Pandemic, by Rabbi Michael Rothbaum (New England Jewish Labor Committee 2020)

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Our God, and God of all Life,
 
We call you Oséh — Maker[1]Job 25:2.
Yotsér — Crafter[2]Genesis 2:7.
Poél — Worker.[3]Exodus 15:17.
You, Who labored to build this world in which we live
Who calls us to be Po’alei Tsedek, workers of justice[4]Psalms 15:2.
We call to you.

Be with all those who labor in the midst of this global pandemic.
Shelter those who grow our food in the field.
Guard those who bring healing in lab and clinic, in hospital and pharmacy.
Guide in peace those who deliver basic needs by road, track, and air.
Uplift those bent low bearing loads in manufacturing and sanitation.
Send love to those who connect us through wire, wave, and cable.

Provide companionship to those who work in solitude,
ease to those who work in anguish,
safety to those who step into harm’s way,
dignity to all whose labor benefits us.

As they raise up their souls to grant us all life[5]Deuteronomy 24:15.
may we repay them in fairness and righteousness.
May our lawmakers and employers assure them a living wage,
health care and sick leave
education, documentation, citizenship
and the right to organize.

All the rights,
human and Divine
due to all beings
created in Your image.

And let us say:
Amen.

Rabbi Michael Rothbaum’s “Prayer for Workers in a Time of Pandemic” was first published by the New England Jewish Labor Committee. We are grateful to Arieh Lebowitz (Jewish Labor Committee) and Ari Fertig (New England Jewish Labor Committee) for helping to facilitate the sharing of this important prayer.

 

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Job 25:2.
  2. Genesis 2:7.
  3. Exodus 15:17.
  4. Psalms 15:2.
  5. Deuteronomy 24:15.

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