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About 50 rabbis and Jewish mystics have flown over Israel for an airborne prayer meeting in the belief it may stop the spread of swine flu. They chanted prayers and blew ceremonial trumpets as their plane circled. One of the rabbis says he is certain the danger to Israel has now passed because of the prayer flight. So far 2,000 Israelis have caught swine flu and five have died, but Israel's health ministry says once winter sets in hundreds could die.
A group of rabbis and Jewish mystics have taken to the skies over Israel, praying and blowing ceremonial horns in a plane to ward off swine flu. About 50 religious leaders circled over the country on Monday, chanting prayers and blowing horns, called shofars.
The flight's aim was "to stop the pandemic so people will stop dying from it," Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri was quoted as saying in Yedioth Aharanot newspaper. The flu is often called simply "H1N1" in Israel, as pigs are seen as unclean.
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Q&A: What is swine flu? Eating pork is banned under Jewish dietary laws.
According to Israel's health ministry, there have been more than 2,000 cases of swine flu in the country, with five fatalities so far. "We are certain that, thanks to the prayer, the danger is already behind us," added Mr Batzri was quoted as saying.