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Trying & Tiring Times...

03/13/2020 02:47:59 PM

Mar13

Rabbi Steven Suson, President Scott Wasserberg, & Administrator Barbra Jaffe

In the last few days many of us have been listening to the news or reading the reports about the growing scope of COVID-19 in our region.  Just yesterday afternoon, Governor Larry Hogan announced several emergency actions in an effort to halt the spread of the virus and secure the greater public’s health.  What we are being told by the Maryland Board of Health as well as the CDC and WHO is simple, if your sick stay home and if you feel you might have been near someone who was sick stay home; everyone should be washing their hands.
 
The HTAA leadership team has been keeping with the news and in contact with local health and Jewish community organizations. We consider the health and safety of our members and guests as paramount. Therefore, the following temporary policies will be in place:
 
All Services from Saturday March 14, 2020 until further notice are cancelled.
          For yahrzeits, light a candle at home. If possible, connect with an online minyan to say kaddish.
The Shabbat Dinner scheduled for March 20, 2020 has been cancelled.
          Those who paid for the dinner will be credited.
All events, meetings, and classes in our building are cancelled until after Passover.
          This includes Bingo, Senior Lunch, Board & Committee Meetings, Book Club & Hebrew Classes.
- Sadly, it also appears that we will not be able to host the Passover Seder (originally scheduled for 4/9).
          We will reach out to those who’ve registered individually.
- The office will remain open.
          
Should you have a pastoral emergency or even just need to talk, please email 
rabbi@htaa.org or call the office and leave a voicemail for Rabbi Suson and he will be paged with your message.
 
Beit Knesset means “House of Assembly.” Meanwhile, we are being warned not to assemble en masse. The decision to cancel prayer services was not simple. So many opportunities for mitzvot will be missed – from feeding the hungry, to minyamin for kaddish, to learning Torah together in the same room.  Nevertheless the Torah itself, when discussing the Mitzvot says to, “Live by them.” The Talmud famously understands this verse to mean that we live by the mitzvot, “and not die by them.” Working to ensure the safety and wellness of human beings is more important than the performance of other mitzvot, when lives are on the line.
 
During this time, let us think especially about those who are home bound and those who depend on our synagogue and its members for spiritual, emotional, and physical support. Give a call to a fellow member or two or drop off a meal – the Rabbi is happy to share names of folks who would appreciate a wellness check. Our acts of loving kindness will serve as a beacon of light to guide us in though this dark hour.

May we take care of each other during these unprecedented times. May our worry and angst soon come to an end. My God send healing and peace to all people, all nations, and all of creation.
 
Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Steven Suson
Scott Wasserberg, President
Barbra Jaffe, Administrator

Tue, May 26 2020 3 Sivan 5780