A Note from Rabbi Raina Siroty
Are we ready for another round of Coronavirus? Is it already here? Usually, those who deny the reality of things come in two flavors: either they sincerely believe their point of view based on the real data or, two, they are being iconoclastic and acting out against authority regardless of what the authority says.
Since there is ‘nothing new under the sun’ as Ecclesiastes once said, you shouldn’t be surprised that denial and willful ignorance is reflected in the Bible, as well. Though the prophet Isaiah is speaking about the willful ignorance of the Jewish people’s disregard of the covenant, the essence of the verse applies equally to those who walk among us, possibly carrying infection, disregarding their needs of others, and putting themselves in danger. We read this verse and it speaks to us today. Talk about biblical relevancy. Here’s the verse:
9 Act stupid and be stupefied!
Act blind and be blinded!
(They are drunk, but not from wine,
They stagger, but not from liquor.)
10 For the Lord has spread over you
A spirit of deep sleep,
And has shut your eyes, the prophets,
And covered your heads, the seers;
11 So that all prophecy has been to you
Like the words of a sealed document.
If it is handed to one who can read and he is asked to read it, he will say, “I can’t, because it is sealed”;
12 and if the document is handed to one who cannot read and he is asked to read it, he will say, “I can’t read.”
Obviously Isaiah is speaking about the covenant and the disregard and ignorance of the words of the other prophets and the seers, the wise and the discerning. But the message is exactly the same for us. Sooner or later the truth is revealed.
That being said, our first service back in our sanctuary will be June 26
- Our main goal is to be physically present together for our normal Shabbat evening services.
- We will enter and exit through the back doors on Beech Street, where there will be someone to check your temperature.
- An automatic hand sanitizer station will be located at the door for your use.
- A mask will be required for all congregants and visitors to our synagogue. If you forget a mask, we will provide one for you.
- We will ask everyone to honor social distancing while in the sanctuary interacting with others as well as in the parking lot.
- We will have sections of the pews marked off to provide social distancing standards and to encourage us to spread out around the sanctuary.
- We will stream the service on Zoom for those still uncomfortable attending in person.
- If you have been in contact with someone who has contracted the virus, or you yourself do not feel well, please enjoy services from home.
- We will be checking out prayer books for you to bring to services each week.
- Only restrooms will be accessible outside the sanctuary area.
- At this time, we will not be hosting an oneg after services.
- After everyone has exited, the areas used will be disinfected to prepare for the next Shabbat service.
I realize that our preparations may sound cautious, but we would rather over prepare and lighten some of these restrictions in the future, than return to gather together ill-prepared or make some uncomfortable returning to worship in our building.
Our attendance over ZOOM has exceeded our in-person worship numbers, and we will continue with online services indefinitely as well. I look forward to worship in person or on Zoom.
May you continue to stay safe and be blessed.
I am here for you by phone 310 800-4243, text and email. Feel free to call me.