(JTA) — An association of Italian rabbis has urged congregants to pray for the well-being of the hundreds of people there and beyond infected with the coronavirus.
“We wish to express our empathy, and that we share the pain for the victims and pray for the healing of the sick, wherever in the world this disease has manifested itself and will strike next,” the Rabbinical Assembly of Italy wrote in a statement about the prayer it published Wednesday.
It ends with the words “Take pity and have mercy and heal all mortal beings for you are good and merciful to all and hear everyone’s prayers.”
The prayers “can be recited publicly in synagogues, where possible, privately, in harmony and in agreed times, or individually,” the association wrote.
Italy is home to the largest outbreak of the virus in Europe, with hundreds infected and at least 12 dead. Synagogue services, along with church and mosque prayers, have been suspended in many parts of the country.
The Milan and Venice regions have been especially hard hit, with some 55,000 people under quarantine, BBC reported Friday. They have been told not to leave for two weeks as authorities try to contain the spread of the virus.