Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson/Flash90
Jewish men attend morning prayer while keeping distance from one another at a synagogue in Efrat, Gush Etzion, March 16, 2020.

In Israel, the beaches are being opened to the public, as are schools and even some places of entertainment, and now, God willing, it’s time for Israeli synagogues to open up. According to Kipa, on Sunday there was a meeting of the National Security Council with representatives from the Health Ministry and from Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, which concluded in an agreement to open the country’s synagogues under special guidelines.

The outline for opening shuls includes stipulating that all of them will be opened, with the obligation to separate each two worshipers with an empty seat.


Also: you have to bring your own siddur and chumash and whatever else you plan to read during davening – no one may use the shul’s seforim.

And the shul must be disinfected every night. And you can’t invite guests. Only the regulars may come in.

OK, you just know that last one will be the first one to be broken on the first Mincha-Ma’ariv service without a minyan.

Entry to the synagogue will require checking everyone’s temperature, and on Shabbat with that new thermometer that’s mutar on Shabbat (See: Zomet Introduces Shabbat Thermometer for Synagogues and Hospitals). Everyone who goes into a synagogue must be listed, with their ID or phone number. On Shabbat – pre-registration.

And no one in a high risk group is allowed even after the shuls are opened.

You can still daven outdoors if you’ve gotten to like it, just keep the six-foot distance and no more than 50 Jews per outdoors minyan.

Oh, and you’re not allowed to rush through Aleinu. I hate that.

Proposal sent to NSC from Orthodox Congregations

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