Today, May 20, 2020, Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, our New York director of government relations, was asked to give the opening prayer at the Bruderhof Virtual Garden Brunch. Here is a video and transcript of his prayer:

Our Father in Heaven,

As we prepare to enjoy this virtual brunch with our friends at the Bruderhof, elected officials and other colleagues, we must take stock of the kindness You have shown us even in these very trying times.


In ordinary times, we would be getting together at the beautiful gardens enjoying each other’s company. But these are no ordinary times. The pandemic has totally changed our world. We have lost over 90,000 Americans including over 22,000 fellow New Yorkers, among them the spiritual guide and leader of the organization that I work for and many other dear friends and acquaintances.


Merciful Father, we ask you to comfort those who mourn their loved ones.


Millions of Americans are suddenly out of work and business owners hope they will still have a business to return to when this is over. Yet through these troubled times, mankind has shown its amazing strength and has exhibited such kindness.


Not all heroes wear capes. Those on the front lines of fighting this epidemic – our doctors, nurses, and other health care workers. Our brave first responders, police officers, firefighters, EMT’s and others. They are all our heroes.


G-d please watch over and protect them as they risk their own lives to save others.


And to our social service agencies and food banks – all of whom have been stretched to the limit but have operated with a singular purpose to help those in need during these trying times.


Hashem, Dear L-rd, shower your blessings on those in need and on those individuals and organizations who have taken care of those struggling to get by.  


Our dedicated elected officials and other public servants have stepped up to the plate guiding us through these trying times and providing the resources needed to fight this pandemic.


Master of the Universe, please give them wisdom, guide them in their deliberations, and put in to their heart compassion to do good with all mankind.

Father, as we gather here we beseech you to continue to give the strength to all of them to endure, may all our efforts be crowned with success and may G-d bring a speedy end to this plague and allow us to be back next year together in Albany at the beautiful gardens we are accustomed to. And let us say, Amen.