Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, said he tested positive for COVID-19 last Monday, and was hospitalized later in the week on his demand. "There are no lucky people for whom COVID-19 does not pose a threat,” Zelensky said on Twitter.
Praying for his full and fast recovery, rabbis from around the world conducted special healing prayer services and sent recovery videos and written wishes to his office.
"I bless the president and pray that he will get out of his sickbed and return to lead his country,” said Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, in a special video he sent to the president's office on Sunday.
“Judaism teaches 'beloved is man who is created in His image.' Every person is beloved and should be respected – no matter who he is – because he is a person who needs to be cared for," continued the Chief Rabbi. "The president who sanctifies God’s name in practice, in grace and mercy in Ukraine, therefore deserves to rise from his sickbed. May his days and years continue in good health.”
Alongside, rabbis from Belgium, France, Ukraine, and Dubai joined Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef in his recovery prayers.
Belgium’s Rabbi Israel Miller, Head Cantor of the Great Synagogue of Europe, held a special prayer service for the president's recovery, saying that he "joins the people in Ukraine and around the world in praying for the speedy recovery of our friend, President Zelensky."
Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites of Israel, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, recalling Zelensky visit to the Western Wall earlier this year, said "you have been here, you have prayed here, and now we are praying for your recovery and your health… We invite you to come to the Western Wall to thank the Holy One for his miracles and for your health, that with God's help, will soon be strong and unfailing."
Dubai Jewish community leaders Solly Wolf and Rabbi Levi Duchman also sent Zelensky prayers for a speedy recovery, reciting a psalm for his healing.
Ukraine's rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, chose to hold a "Mi Sheberach" prayer at the Brodsky Choral Synagogue in Kiev, mentioning in his prayer the name of the president's mother, Vladimir ben Rima (Vladimir, son of Rima).
Finally, Rabbi of the French Grand Synagogue Rabbi Moshe Sabag sent wishes for Zelensky’s recovery.
Zelensky, 42, is among a number of world leaders who have contracted the virus, including President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.