South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein has invited all South Africans to join him in prayer for the success of President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of his inauguration on Saturday.
“We all need G-d’s blessings at an historic time like this. Prayer has real power to change the world in the most tangible way through G-d’s blessings. Let us pray together to our Father in Heaven, in a spirit of unity, that He bless President Cyril Ramaphosa with wisdom and abundant success in all his efforts for our country,” says Goldstein in a media statement released today.
He says a prayer, which he composed in honour of the inauguration, will be recited in synagogues at Sabbath services throughout South Africa on Saturday.
“Please feel welcome to use the words of the prayer below, or offer your own prayers on Saturday, for the sake of our President,” he says, in a call on all South Africans to come together as one country.
Goldstein’s prayer reads:
“Master of the Universe,
“We humbly ask you at this critical moment in South Africa’s history to bless President Cyril Ramaphosa with abundant success in his sacred work for our country, and with the wisdom and the courage, to restore morality and integrity to government, and indeed to all of society, to instil within the hearts and minds of every person charged with the holy task of governing the affairs of the noble citizens of this country, a sense of sacred mission, of duty and honesty, which will permeate every decision and action taken in the name of the government of the Republic of South Africa.
“May You, bless the President and all the members of his government with success in unleashing the awesome promise and potential of this country, which has been blessed by You with people of heroism, courage and ability, with magnificent natural beauty and abundant resources and infrastructure, with glorious freedom, democracy and protected human rights, all of which have been waiting for so long for inspired ethical leadership to enable this country to emerge in all of its bountiful possibilities with prosperity and blessing for all. Bless President Cyril Ramaphosa so that he may be the one chosen by You to bring out all these great blessings.
“May You bless the President at this historic moment, that the ancient priestly blessings which were recited in Your holy Temple in Jerusalem, be fulfilled by You, for our President:
“May G-d bless you and protect you. May G-d shine His face towards you and be gracious to you. May G-d turn His face to you and establish peace for you.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
“May this be your will and let us say Amen.”
In September last year Ramaphosa was guest of honour at Rosh Hashanah celebrations at the Gardens Synagogue in Cape Town. Addressing the capacity audience he said he welcomed anticipated assistance from SA Jewish business leaders in creating jobs, and pledged to fight against antisemitism.
On the Middle East, Ramaphosa said SA was “clear and unequivocal” in its support for a Palestinian state, together with the “right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security with its neighbours.”
Speaking at the same event, Goldstein warned against threats to downgrade the SA embassy in Israel to a liaison office.
He said: “To accuse Israel of apartheid is a libellous defamation of the Jewish State and an insult to the victims of the real apartheid.
“To downgrade is to become irrelevant and is to give up on the South African dream of dialogue and discussion.”
But in early April SA International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu confirmed that the government was downgrading the embassy in line with a resolution by the ruling ANC party at its national congress in December 2017.
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) in SA responded by calling on SA Christians to sign a petition opposing the downgrade and calling for the return of SA’s ambassador to Israel. The ICEJ has also urged SA pastors to mobilise support for the petition among their congregants.