Message from Rabbi Berman
Pesach in the Time of Coronavirus
SO MUCH has happened since we last saw each other in these pages. There just isn’t room for it all here, so I’m going to steer you to some valuable information.
First of all, if you are looking to this column for something meaningful about Pesach, you’re in luck: I’m going to suggest you read the article I wrote for J-Life for their Passover issue. It should be in your hands by now. If not, let me know and I’ll give you a link to it.
Most of our classes and other activities, (including Ezra) are cancelled. At the time of this writing we are still having religious services, including the upcoming community Passover seder. Pay attention, however, to emails and phone trees coming from TBE. Things can change.
In our faith there is the rule of Pikuach Nefesh, saving a life. Keeping people alive is so important that 610 out of 613 mitzvot may be broken to enforce it. (See me about the other three). We at TBE are largely an at-risk group, and we must be careful.
Now the major concern on everybody’s mind is the Covid-19 coronavirus and what do we do about it. My email from the Ides of March (March 15; about 8 PM) has a LOT of information on what TBE is doing, what other local, national and global communities are doing, and ideas to adopt during this time of uncertainty. It includes information from the Conservative movement’s legal branch, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. If you follow the links in the email, it will explain why it is permissible to live-stream our services directly to your computer or phone and how to do that—keep your phone on airplane mode on Shabbat. It also includes a piece by a Texas gastroenterologist about exactly what we’re facing.
These are trying times. With luck, by the time you get this issue of Tidings, things will have improved somewhat. I just want you to know that I am here for you. If you want to talk about the situation, or make a suggestion for the shul, I am at your service. If I am not in the office when you call, I will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is any way I can help you.
See you in shul. Sooner than later, I hope. In the meantime, let’s all follow doctors’ orders, and may the Almighty bless us with health and vigor.