Muslim and Jewish paramedics pause to pray together. One of many inspiring moments in the coronavirus crisis
By Oren Liebermann and Michael Schwartz
March 26, 2020
Avraham Mintz and Zoher Abu Jama just finished responding to a call regarding a 41-year-old woman having respiratory problems in the southern Israeli city of Be'er Sheva.Before that, they were checking on a 77-year-old man. There would be more calls ahead. Of that, there was no doubt.
As the clock neared six in the afternoon, Mintz and Abu Jama realized it may be their only break of the shift. The two members of Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's emergency response service, paused to pray. Mintz, a religious Jew, stood facing Jerusalem, his white and black prayer shawl hanging off his shoulders. Abu Jama, an observant Muslim, knelt facing Mecca, his maroon and white prayer rug unfurled underneath him.
For the two paramedics, who routinely work together two or three times a week, the joint prayer was nothing new. For so many others, it was an inspiring image in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.