Jerusalem (CNN)There was barely any time to pause.
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.
A picture of the two men snapped by a co-worker quickly went viral, garnering thousands of likes on social media and appearing in international media coverage. One user responded on Instagram: “I’m proud of all of the rescue services, it doesn’t matter from what community or religion.” On Twitter, another user said: “One fight! One victory! Let’s unite.”
“The fact that it is so simple makes it so powerful. I believe that Zoher and I and most of the world understand that we have to raise our heads and pray. That’s all that’s left,” Mintz told CNN. A father of nine who lives in Be’er Sheva, the 42-year-old is a full-time MDA worker who trains volunteers.