The prayers for the final moments of life have been recorded and uploaded to Chabad's website for medical staff to play for isolated coronavirus patients, a sad but needed solution for those who enter their final moments of life alone, without loved ones by their side.
Leading up to the death of Jewish person, a rabbi or someone close to the nearly deceased would read them "final prayers" before they pass away. However due to the coronavirus's high rate of contagion, many hospitals do not allow anyone other than patients or medical staff into coronavirus departments. This leaves many coronavirus patients to be accompanied into death by medical staff, or sometimes even alone, and Jewish patients with no one to read them the final prayer. The reading of the final prayers consists of medley of psalms, Viduy, a confession of sins and verses affirming faith in God, according to Chabad.
The idea to record final prayers came about when Liza, a New York City hospital nurse who took note of the problem, and reached out the to Chabad's "Ask the Rabbi" team with an urgent request: would it be possible for them to record the prayers so that she could play it for the Jewish patients during their final moments leading up to their death?
The "Ask the Rabbi" team immediately reached out to Rabbi Chayim B. Alevsky, a Manahttan rabbi who had made previous recordings for Chabad in the past. Despite working in a borough densely infected with coronavirus just three days before Passover, Rabbi Alevsky came through with the recording.
According to Chabad, the recorded prayer, fewer than ten minutes long, has since been played in a number of hospital rooms, allowing for patients, even those in isolation, to have the prayer read to them.