For the last ten months I’ve been in awe of the heath-care, food-chain, and other necessary workers, who have put their lives on the line to protect and help me continue a semblance of normal life. Meanwhile, except for an occasional supportive phone call or cake, doing my best to follow the health guidelines, and praying a lot, I felt I wasn’t doing much to improve the situation. That changed this week when I went for my Corona vaccine. Finally, I was doing something pro-active to aid in ending the pandemic.
Truthfully, I didn’t go without any mixed feelings. It’s not like the smallpox vaccine which has been tried and true for over two-hundred years. Nor is it like the polio inoculation in which the decision for me to receive it was made by my parents, not me. The Pfizer vaccine is new and therefore rather scary and some caution, quite vocally, not to take it. Perhaps they are correct, but I decided to trust the medical system and the rabbis who support it. There are those who cannot receive the inoculation due to allergies or other medical conditions. All the more reason that I, being reasonably healthy for my age, need to step up to the bat, so to speak, and help protect others, along with myself.
It is with these emotions that I recited the prayer composed by Rabbi Shmuel Eliayhu, chief rabbi of Safed, and a man I highly respect. The words were very comforting. Here is the Hebrew text and a loosely translated English version. I believe it says all that needs to be said.
מודִים אֲנַחְנוּ לָךְ ה' אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלהֵי אֲבותֵינוּ אֱלהֵי כָל בָּשָׂר. בּוֹרֵא רְפוּאוֹת. שאַתָּה חונֵן לְאָדָם דַּעַת וּמְלַמֵּד לֶאֱנושׁ בִּינָה לִמְצֹא וּלְהַמְצִיא חִסּוּן לַמַּגֵּפָה. יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ שֶׁהַחִסּוּן הַזֶּה יִמְנַע אֶת הִתְפַּשְּׁטוּת הַמַּגֵּפָה וְיַצִּיל חַיִּים שֶׁל אַלְפֵי רְבָבוֹת בָּעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ.
אָנָּא ה' שְׁלַח רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה לְכָל חולֵי עַמֶּךָ. הִצִּילָנוּ מִכָּל תּוֹפְעוֹת הַלְּוַאי, רְפָאֵנוּ ה' וְנֵרָפֵא הושִׁיעֵנוּ וְנִוָּשֵׁעָה כִּי תְהִלָּתֵנוּ אָתָּה. וְהַעֲלֶה אֲרוּכָה וּמַרְפֵּא לְכָל תַּחֲלוּאֵינוּ. וּלְכָל מַכְאובֵינוּ וּלְכָל מַכּותֵינוּ. כִּי אֵל רופֵא רַחְמָן וְנֶאֱמָן אָתָּה. יִהְיוּ לְרָצון אִמְרֵי פִי וְהֶגְיון לִבִּי לְפָנֶיךָ. ה' צוּרִי וְגאֲלִי.
We give thanks HaShem, our G-d, and G-d of our fathers, and G-d of all mankind, Creator of healing. You bestowed favor on man, knowledge and wisdom to human beings to discover and develop this vaccine against the pandemic. May it be Your will before You that this vaccine ends the spread of the plague and save the lives of the myriads of thousands all over the world.
Please HaShem, send full healing to all the sick of Your people. Save us from all manifestations. Heal us HaShem and we’ll be healed, save us and we’ll be saved, for You are our Healer. Heal all the ill and all the pain and troubles because You are a faithful G-d of healing and mercy. May the words of my mouth and thoughts of my heart be accepted by You, HaShem, my Rock and Redeemer.