Happy 2021: Prayers, poems for a coronavirus-free year

Words of gratitude and lifting one's spirits with the end of the pandemic in sight.

Getting vaccinated in Jerusalem (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Getting vaccinated in Jerusalem
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
As Israel led the world in inoculating its citizens against COVID-19 – earning the new title, “Vaccination Nation” – I got my first shot on December 23 at Jerusalem’s Pais Arena. The process was superefficient, taking under half an hour. I recalled the prayer of gratitude by Rabbi Naomi Levy I had read a day earlier on Scribe:
A Prayer for Receiving the Covid Vaccine
I have been praying for this day and now it is here!
With great excitement, a touch of trepidation
And with deep gratitude
I give thanks
To all the scientists who toiled day and night
So that I might receive this tiny vaccination
That will protect me and all souls around this world.
With the pandemic still raging
I am blessed to do my part to defeat it.
Let this be the beginning of a new day,
A new time of hope, of joy, of freedom
And most of all, of health.
I thank You, God, for blessing me with life
For sustaining my life
And for enabling me to reach this awe-filled moment.
This in turn reminded of a prayerful poem I had promised to publish sent in by Dr. Sidney Golden from Toronto:
On a wing and a prayer
My favorite dream
When I was still young
To be an eagle
So high in the sky
All the world at peace
And me flying by.
Just floating along
With my wings spread wide
Dancing on the wind
Enjoying the view
Feeling the freedom
So thankful to YOU.
If I flew today
Way up in that sky
A nightmare I’d see
Burning down below
My world all aflame
Covid hell aglow.
My dream now a prayer
My one prayer for YOU
Please stop this madness
Please make it all end
Give us back our lives
That’s the prayer I send.
A Facebook post by my friend, Neichu Mayer, drove the point home: “The year 2020 has taught us some very important lessons in life – that caring is the best profession, that family and community are all you have when everything else in life turns upside down, that the world is connected far beyond borders, that suffering and pain and collective desires for health and healing unite us more than our common economic interests and most importantly, when we care enough and share enough, we can triumph over our biggest and darkest fears, together!”
What really lifted my spirits, though, was a letter I received on December 31 from Steve Rapoport in Telz Stone, near Jerusalem. After he and his wife got the coronavirus shot at the Arena, they wandered over to the Malcha Mall, where they found a copy of The Jerusalem Report in the bookstore. “WOW!!! Full of fantastic articles,” he wrote. “Gave me a real lift. The level of writing is superb. I am planning on continuing my readership. Thank you very much.”
An attitude of gratitude is a powerful antidote to our current woes.