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American Jewish Life

Collected Item: “Y'hi Ratzon -- Safe Together Apart”


Y'hi Ratzon -- Safe Together Apart

Narrative or description

I am Cantor at a Conservative synagogue (Jewish) in Columbus, Ohio.

I wrote this song/prayer shortly after the arrival of what was first called Coronavirus, then Covid-19 -- before the word pandemic was being commonly used.

The song/prayer had coalesced by March 20.

It is based on a somewhat obscure passage in the weekday Torah service (the Torah is read every Monday and Thursday) -- a passage theoretically recited between raising the Torah and returning it to the Ark.

The original prayer asks God (our Father) to protect us from desolation and pestilence. I broadened it -- both in Hebrew and in English -- to think of God as both Father and Mother -- and to ask for protection for all of us (not just "b'nei Yisrael" -- the children of Israel) -- brothers and sisters in this country and around the world -- and to keep us Safe Together Apart -- which is the unique challenge to us in these times.

I typically do either the Hebrew or the English (generally not both) between various services -- or in the midst of some services -- probably about 5x per week.

As we still follow our basic traditional rituals, it hasn't altered the prayers that we do. . . it just gets added here and there.

And I share it with other cantors, other Jewish spiritual leaders, and leaders of other faiths, at all appropriate opportunities.




Congregation Tifereth Israel, Columbus OH

Denomination or tradition

Conservative Jewish

State or territory




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