I begin with prayers and wishes for all who are suffering because of the COVID-19 epidemic: those who are ill, those who are mourning people who have died, those who face economic hardship, and all who are afraid. May we find ways to support and comfort one another.
This 19th century printed amulet against cholera, which was widely disseminated through the Jewish community at the time, was written by Moshe Teitelbaum. Part of it has become a common “house blessing” in Jewish homes Several friends, including Rabbi Jay Michaelson and Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, posted the amulet on Facebook when the coronavirus epidemic began to take hold in the US. I immediately recognized it because I had been to Paris with my family and gone to a wonderful amulet exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Art and History, and this amulet was prominently displayed. In a time of 21st century plague, as we seek shelter, protection, and mutual care, the amulet seems newly and profoundly relevant. Continue reading “A Jewish Amulet against Plague by Jill Hammer”