JERUSALEM (JTA) – An Orthodox Jewish outreach group is calling for a Jewish Day of Unity in which Jews from around the world are being asked to unite and pray.
The Jewish Day of Unity is “a call to action to pray for peace and stability in light of the dangerous circumstances we are facing in the world both domestically and internationally,” according to a statement.
The day will be marked on Friday with recitations of specific prayers in synagogues and schools and at the Western Wall.
The call for a Day of Jewish Unity is sponsored by Acheinu, based in Lakewood, New Jersey. Acheinu is the outreach arm of Dirshu, which says it is the largest Torah organization in the world. The event coincides with the date of death of the Chofetz Chaim, an Eastern European rabbi of the late 19th and early 20th centuries best known for his works about the dangers of gossip.
The group has held two previous unity days. One was centred on opposing the Iran nuclear deal and last year’s, prior to the presidential election, which aimed to counter the “polarizing political climate.”
This year, the group cited the threat of a nuclear war, the surge of racism and anti-Semitism, and the threats of terrorism occurring in the United States and around the world, as well as the recent damaging hurricanes in the United States, as examples of the need for prayer.
“Jews have historically turned to prayer to bring positive changes to the world,” the group said in its statement, which asks Jews worldwide to recite Chapters 20 and 130 in the book of Psalms and to refrain from gossip.
Some 15,000 people have already committed to visiting the Western Wall to say the prayers on that day by signing up on the Day of Jewish Unity website, according to the organization.
Videos on the Day of Jewish Unity website feature topics like “Hurricane Irma and Why Your Prayers Are Needed” and “Global Threats and The Need For Prayer.”