Judaism is not without guidance on matters of health and well-being. So important is it to maintain one’s health and to care for others’ health, that Jewish law permits one to set aside traditional Sabbath prohibitions to refrain from work in order to tend to the needs of the sick. Therefore, our first priority, no matter our level of observance, is the preservation of good health and our efforts to restore it when one is ill.
The following changes to our Shabbat schedule have been made to meet our responsibilities to you and your health, and are consistent with the City of Houston’s current requests for houses of worship to limit gatherings even for worship, this week:
On Friday evening, March 13th, a Kaddish Service will be held in the Gordon Chapel at 5:30 pm. This will be a 30-minute service led by Rabbi Adrienne Scott, for anyone who cares to attend and especially for those who want to recite Kaddish in the synagogue.
Friday evening, March 13th, 6:30pm Shabbat Service – Canceled this week
Saturday, March 14th, early morning minyan – Canceled this week
Saturday, March 14th, Torah study – Canceled this week
While prayer is helpful, it cannot replace extra steps to improve hygiene, such as regular hand-washing, and social distancing, such as a no-hugging rule. When we pray, let it be for the purpose of keeping control of our emotions and anxieties while we keep faith in our community to be mindful of our shared hope for a healthy future for all.
At Congregation Beth Israel, we can’t provide medical advice or cleaning supplies, but we can dispense counsel to aid you in finding calm and relief while we endure daily updates on the state of the coronavirus or COVID-19. Please accept my invitation to call, Facetime, or SKYPE with our clergy, if you think it would help you feel better.
As Shabbat comes, let this day of rest be a day of calm and renewal. From all our rabbis, cantor, staff and lay leaders, please accept our best wishes for good health and Shabbat Shalom.