Jewish community in UAE sends video blessing to country, leadership

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A Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates released a video on Monday blessing the country’s leadership and armed forces.

The blessing, sung in Hebrew, is set to footage of the UAE’s major landmarks, artwork of UAE leaders, and men in the traditional black and white Jewish prayer shawl known as the tallit.

Titled “Prayer for the welfare of the government and UAE armed forces,” the three-minute video was posted in two clips to the Twitter account “Jewish Community of the UAE” on Monday evening and has since been viewed over 60,000 times.

The account is run by a member of the Jewish community, Solly Wolf, who has been living in the country since 2002 and is the president of the Jewish Community Center of Dubai (JCC).

The JCC community is led by Dubai-based Rabbi Levi Duchman, originally from the United States.

“Our video of the blessing is to show the world our appreciation and pride to be living in the UAE, and how gracious the leadership is,” said Rabbi Duchman in an interview with Al Arabiya English.

“We pray this prayer every Saturday,” he added, referring to the Jewish Sabbath.

A shot from the video "Prayer for the welfare of the government and UAE armed forces." (Screengrab)
A shot from the video "Prayer for the welfare of the government and UAE armed forces." (Screengrab)

The video, which has English and Arabic subtitles, blesses rulers of the UAE, specifically mentioning UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“Bless and protect, guard and help…the President of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Deputy the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” the video says.

“Grant them life and deliver them from all manner of danger…and protect the soldiers of the United Arab Emirates.”

The video ends with a shot of a man in a Jewish prayer shawl overlooking the Dubai skyline.

The UAE’s Ambassador to London Mansoor Abulhoul shared the blessing on his personal Twitter account, calling it “a beautiful video.”

Rabbi Duchman moved to the UAE from New York in 2015 and has since been serving as rabbi and providing religious services to the Jewish community.

Since the UAE’s Year of Tolerance last year, a member of the Jewish community has launched the country’s first Jewish kosher food service. The UAE also announced the construction of an interfaith complex in the capital Abu Dhabi that will house a Jewish synagogue, Christian church, and Islamic mosque.

There are over 1,000 Jewish people in the UAE, according to Rabbi Duchman.

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