Coronavirus Puts End to Key Rosh Hashanah Ritual

In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, the fourteenth year after the city had fallen, at the beginning of the year, the tenth day of the month—on that very day—the hand of Hashem came upon me, and He brought me there.




(the israel bible)

September 10, 2020

< 1 min read

A key ritual ahead of Rosh Hashanah has been effectively banned by Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tashlich, a prayer during which Jews symbolically throw their sins into the water to purify themselves ahead of the Jewish New Year, sometimes draws crowds and often involve large gatherings, potentially creating superspreader events that could exacerbate the coronavirus crisis.

To keep track of Rosh Hashanah and all other Jewish holidays, order your Israel-themed Hebrew Calendar by clicking here.

Lau issued a special directive to observant Jews that “reciting the Tashlich does not have to be near a source of water, and therefore no such gatherings shall take place this year.”

He added that “the prayer can be carried out from afar.”

Lau further urged synagogue organizers to take the necessary preparations for the High Holidays, including by writing down the congregants’ names to ensure proper separation into “mini services.”

Likewise, the traditional blowing of the shofar must be performed far away from worshippers, to ensure virus-carrying droplets are not distributed across a large area.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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