At this time of Coronavirus pandemic, we have to be guided by the principles of Jewish Law, Pekuach Nefesh – concern for human life and the sanctity of life, our highest commitment. We are implementing all the precautions recommended by Public Health and Medical Experts and guidelines given by City, State, and the Federal Government.
Al Tifrosh Min Hatzibur, Do not separate yourself from the Community, we must have consideration for the welfare of the entire community. Accordingly, with pain and prudence we are cancelling all Shabbat services for Friday, March 13 – Saturday, March 14.
G-d can be found everywhere. We must intensify our prayers at home not only for ourselves and our family’s well being, but also prayers for those afflicted, reciting Psalm 121 and 130. We must continue the study of Torah, for Torah is the Tree of Life for those who hold on to it. And we must also pray for our scientists and doctors who are working to help prevent the spread of this virus that already has claimed too many lives.
What is needed are my three P’s, Prayer, Perserverence and Patience, for there are no instant solutions. Faith amidst of fear. Fear debilitates, faith strengthens.
Fear has overwhelmed us as we reflect on our vulnerability and frailty. We must remember and rally our strength and regain our confidence. Faith is the antidote to fear.
Hasem li V’lo Ira, G-d is with me, I shall not fear.
Chazak, Chazak V’Nitchazek, Be Strong, Be Strong, let us strengthen one another.
Shabbat Shalom. May it be a peaceful Shabbat.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier