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Madeleine In Our Prayers

Original Source: TOTALLY JEWISH: 17 MAY 2007
by Marc Shoffman - Thursday 17th May 2007

Synagogues across the UK will pray for the safe return of missing 4-year-old Madeleine McCann this Shabbat.

It is now a fortnight since the little girl was abducted from her parent's villa in the Algarve, Portugal, and the Jewish community has joined the nation's anguish for her to be found.


While Portuguese police were continuing their investigation after questioning three people and searching a nearby villa this week, TJ has been working with orthodox, reform and liberal rabbis to compose special prayers for congregations to recite this weekend.

Chief Rabbi Cabinet member Rabbi Yitzhak Schochet wrote and distributed a prayer across the Orthodox community. It reads:
'May it be your will, O Lord our G-d and G-d of our fathers, to lead Madeleine McCann safely back to her parents along with other missing children wherever they may be. May you grant strength and fortitude to her parents in this difficult time and may they find the solace they seek in the speedy return of their daughter in good health. May you banish all evil and iniquity from off the face of the earth and restore harmony and stability amongst all mankind. May this be Your will and let us say, Amen.'

The UK
's 34 Liberal Synagogues will recite a prayer written by Rabbi Pete Tobias of the Liberal Synagogue Elstree, which reads: "Let us hold in our hearts the thought of a terrified little girl, far away from her grief-stricken parents...may God guide those who search for her and give strength and courage to those who wait for her."

The Jewish community in the Algarve, where Kate and Gerry McCann were staying with Maddy and their two-year-old twins, has also shown concern.

Senior community figure Ralf Pinto said:
'Everyone is taking about it. It is very sad, our thoughts are with the family. My son once disappeared for ten minutes and even from that I know the sick feeling you get. I don't think there's anything worse than losing a child.'

Meanwhile, the local Jewish community in the McCann
's home town of Leicestershire, has already been praying for Madeleine's return.

Leicestershire Hebrew Congregation Rabbi Shmuli Pink told TJ:
'We said prayers just after she went missing. People were very moved and touched. People are following the news and are very concerned.'

He said the 125 families in the community would continue praying for her this weekend.

Jewish community members have also helped contribute to the legal case. TopShop tycoon Sir Philip Green has donated to a
'fighting fund' set up by the McCann's lawyers yesterday to help pay their legal bills.

A spokesman for the Chief Rabbi
's Office said: 'We share the concerns of the country over the fate and welfare of Madeleine McCann and pray for her safe return.''

The community support has been welcomed by the McCann family. Kate and Gerry McCann told TJ: "We have taken huge strength from the prayers and support from people of all faiths


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