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Friday, July 28, 2006

Salt Lake rabbi invites public to prayer rally Sunday

Deseret Morning News

Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah — a local Orthodox Jewish synagogue — announced that his congregants will host a prayer rally at 8 p.m. Sunday at the synagogue, 1760 S. 1100 East.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is expected to attend, as is an Israeli army veteran who lost both his arms during Israel's Six-Day War in 1967.

"We're worried about our brothers and sisters in Israel, so we're getting together for the welfare of people in Israel as terrorists attack innocent citizens," Rabbi Zippel said in a press release.

When contacted by the Deseret Morning News, the rabbi said he recently returned from a nine-day trip to Israel, and he knows people whose homes or relatives have been hit by the fighting. He was still abroad when the fighting broke out. Many of those in his congregation also have relatives there, he said.

As for the rally, Rabbi Zippel said Thursday he had yet to speak with other rabbis along the Wasatch Front but planned to do so. "I don't know if they'll join in. It depends on what they have on their schedules, but we will definitely extend the invitation to them to participate."

He said he wants to make it clear that he's not trying to speak on behalf of the entire Jewish community in Utah but has organized the rally in response to a request from several of his congregants. "So, we're doing it as a Chabad of Utah event. It's not like I'm going out of my way to give the impression that I'm representing the entire community, which I'm definitely not."

The public is invited to the prayer rally.

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