Hoshana Rabba 5781/Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov, October 8, 2020
Lichvod Dearest White Shul Members, amu”sh:
Shalom U’vrachah, Good Evening, and wishing you all a Gutten Kvittel this Hoshana Rabba.
We sincerely apologize for the delay in sending this message.
Times are extremely difficult these days, and the governor’s recent severe restrictions are weighing on us quite heavily. Rabbonim have been putting in a great deal of time and energy (and tefillos…) to deal with the many issues at hand. While we are davening fervently that we hear of a favorable ruling tomorrow afternoon (for a temporary restraining order) in response to Agudath Israel of America’s request, we must also deal appropriately and responsibly with the present reality on hand.
We at the White Shul- along with other Rabbonim- feel strongly that it is incumbent upon us to adhere to the current guidelines issued by the governor– which sadly mandate that only a single Minyan of just ten people is permitted in our building at any one time. Compounding the difficulty is the governor’s current restriction that only one small Minyan is allowed on the entire Shul premises, thereby disallowing use of the outdoor davening areas as well.
To summarize our paramount concerns and the need for full compliance:
- We must do our part in helping stem the current uptick, flatten the curve, and keep everyone safe and healthy so Yeshivos and Shuls can all fully open soon– and safely remain open.
- We must do our absolute utmost to prevent any slight Chillul Hashem and also preclude any and all possible ei’vah, any animosity, from all those scrutinizing the actions and behavior of Orthodox Jews at this time.
- We have already been recently visited by officials from the Department of Health (DOH), and have been warned that both the mayor and governor will likely be sending representatives to our neighborhood– with a threat of imposing fines up to $15,000 for any violations of the governor’s executive order. In addition to the primary concerns of preventing any Chillul Hashem and not arousing any animosity, we are also חס על ממונן של ישראל.
Even having to pen this e-mail pains us immeasurably. We are hurting beyond words. Hashem Yerachem Aleinu. We most certainly must continue to daven as passionately as possible for a yeshuah gedolah bi’karov and a quick end to all our tzaros and difficulties. But we also must do that which we feel is the right thing to do at this time, and work endlessly to always be מקדש שם שמים תמיד ולעולם.
In light of the above, we sadly must share with you the following:
- Beginning TOMORROW morning, Hoshana Rabba Shacharis, there will only be a single Minyan of just ten (pre-authorized) people taking place on our Shul’s premises. We are still working on details, but must inform all our dear members and mispallelim that our beloved Shul will not be available for any additional Minyanim tomorrow and until further notice. Most unfortunately, there will not be regular Minyanim on the Shul grounds at this time.
- Those individuals who need to retrieve Tallis/Tefillin, Seforim, or any other personal belongings, please feel free to enter the Shul for the sole purpose of retrieving those items, but please ensure there are no more than five people inside the Shul at any time. We remind everyone that masks (covering both mouth and nose) must be worn whenever one enters the Shul building, and we reiterate our previous strong recommendation for all to don a mask anytime you are in any public area.
- We daven and ask for your understanding, patience, and compliance, and implore you to seek other available options for Tefillah B’Tzibbur. One may daven at a safe (mask mandatory) and legal outdoor Minyan (backyard/porch) at this time, and indeed one may daven B’yechidus if Tefillah B’Tzibbur proves too difficult or impractical at this junction.
May HaKB”H answer all of our heartfelt tefillos and bakashos in the very near future, and may we merit to share only besuros tovos in this and all areas henceforth אי”ה.
We will certainly keep you updated and informed of any important details and changes as they arise. Please always feel free and comfortable to contact either one of us for questions or Chizzuk— it is our pleasure to assist in any way possible.
With warmest regards and very best wishes for a Gut Kvittel and only Kol Tuv always,
Rabbi Eytan Feiner
Rabbi Motti Neuburger