Throughout history, Jews have always lived in close communities. It has long been a defining characteristic of Judaism. The synagogue is the center of the Jewish community, people gather together to pray, as well as for communal gatherings. Since the recent Covid-19 outbreak, people have been advised to not be in gatherings of more than 100 people. In Israel, this has been lowered to 10 people! This includes Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, funerals, weddings, and even prayer. For many this is devastating.
Rabbinical councils are urging members of Jewish communities to protect themselves. They are limiting access to prayers in synagogues to 20 people, spaced 2 meters apart. All public celebrations of special occasions have been limited, and they recommended that condolence calls to the bereaved families should be done over the phone or video. All of this is in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Ultra-Orthodox communities all over Israel have been putting posters on hygiene and good handwashing technique. They also announced that there will be no kissing of mezuzahs, Torahs, and prayerbooks.
Due to the rapid increase of Covid-19 cases, most Passover programs have been canceled. This is a financial loss for many people. This is causing a lot of stress in Jewish homes and now people have to make last-minute plans for Passover. This is especially hard because on Passover Jews can only eat Kosher for Passover food. The Passover products are only sold for a limited time and people usually need to buy most things in advance.
However, with all of this stress and struggle, the Jewish communities are praying and hoping that the Coronavirus will end soon.
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Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional. Bravo to both of you ladies!!