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Fight erupts on Jewish Twitter about prayers for Trump

Donald Trump says he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus.

Should we be sympathetic?

That’s the question that some Jews are debating on Twitter, still only hours out from news breaking overnight about the positive test result, which has thrown a wrench of historic proportions into the final month of the presidential election.

Orthodox Jews, who by and large support Trump, are circulating calls to recite the Jewish prayer of healing, the misheberach, for the president. The messages include Trump’s full name and the name of his mother, so people can follow the Jewish custom of using the Hebrew construction of a person’s name when praying for their recovery — in this case, Donald son of Mary.

Liberal Jews, however, appear to be split on whether Trump is deserving of prayer for a refuah shlemah, a full recovery.

Many are arguing that the president has repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus. They note that even after his aide Hope Hicks tested positive on Thursday, he stuck to his schedule, putting others in danger.

Others are finding the idea of wishing an illness on another distasteful.

Some simply believe Trump is lying.

Leaders of major American Jewish organizations, however — even those who are critical of Trump — are making the standard wishes for a speedy recovery.

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