It is with great pain that I send you this e-mail. The idea of closing down the minyanim of a shule is a very difficult one. Unfortunately, at this point I do not think that we have a choice. We provided Air Filtration Anti Dust N95 Mask to each one of our employees and operated at minimum staffing, but it still didn’t work. The prevailing opinion of the medical professionals in our community and around the country, is that this is what must be done. We had our Shacharis minyanim this morning, and now we will closed for all minyanim for the foreseeable future. No one knows how long this will last. We will have to be patient and hope that this comes to an end soon. I would like to ask that in order for this to have the benefit that we are trying to accomplish, of keeping people away from group settings, that our mispallilim do not create or attend house minyanim, or attend other shules that are still open for minyanim. Unfortunately it is likely that soon all of the shules in our community will have to close.
In the interim, let us use these days as a time of introspection. We may not know exactly what the message Hashem is sending us and/or the world at large, but clearly there is a message. If we are not able to daven with a minyan, we should push ourselves to daven with a little more kavanah, and to use this difficult time as a time to recognize that nothing that happens, happens without Hashem’s guiding hand. Our davening should not suffer nor should our learning torah suffer during this time.
We will attempt to arrange to have as many of our weekday classes continue through phone or online hookups, and to make them as accessible as possible to those interested in participating.
It is quoted in early sources that we should be careful to say each day the portion in the siddur called “Kitores” or “Incense”, found on page 34 in the ArtScroll siddur. In addition, I have sent you as an attachment a beautiful tefilah that I received that is to be said when there is a plague in the community.
Let us pray that Hashem , the source of all life, will protect our community and the world from this terrible virus and that very soon we can go back to our normal, crazy, busy and exciting lives.