Friday, 18 Sep 2020 - 29 of Elul, 5780

France: Growing number of people in the Jewish community infected with coronavirus

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The list of people infected with coronavirus is growing in the French Jewish community, causing countless requests to read tehillim on social networks, reported Actualité Juive, the country’s main Jewish media, on its website.

In the group “Jewish Help”, in particular, there is a sad updated list of the sick people. Everyone is asked by all means to intensify prayers (tefillot) to speed up healing, the paper writes.

Among them, the president of the Consistory, Joël Mergui, and his wife Dominique, who have been hospitalized. They reportedly are recovering.

Andre Touboul, a rabbi affiliated with Chabad-Lubavitch movement who led one of France’s most prestigious Jewish high schools, died of the coronavirus in Paris. He was 64.

The Beth Hanna school of some 1,500 students has become a model of excellence, ranked among the two or three best schools in France in all national charts.

Attracted by the teachings of Rabbi Loubavitch and influenced by the personality of the late Rav Chmouël Azimov, Touboul, originally from Marseille, he settled in Paris, got married and quickly became one of the pillars of the Lubavitch movement.

On Tuesday, the rabbi of Levallois Chalom Lellouche sent a solemn message to the faithful. “We are soon approaching the epidemic peak and the virulence of the virus will reach its peak in a few days. I ask your attention. I would like each of you to wonder if anyone in these difficult days needs any assistance.

“It would be terrible if tomorrow, a lonely co-religionist, a too modest neighbor, an elderly person without strength, on the fringes of this health crisis would not pay the price for our collective indifference. I ask you to probe your own building and your own stairwell and inquire about your neighbor who is none other than your neighbor. A phone call, a word in a mailbox … can save your life.”

In France, the latest figures show 20,000 people infected by the COVI-19 and 860 deaths.

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