Dear Community Members,
As believing Jews, we must instinctively approach our every challenge with emunah u’bitachon, with faith and trust in G-d.
This perspective guides us to react to our current public health challenge with a calm and consistent approach, in line with the standards of care and caution prescribed by the responsible experts and authorities, including the CDC and state and local health departments. While at times – given our strong community culture – we must exercise a somewhat elevated level of caution, this too should be done carefully and proportionally, in consultation with responsible experts and authorities.
Our emunah also moves us to react to the current challenge with genuine and sustained tefillot. This is true at any and every time.
It is exceptionally true at this time of year, when we commemorate the miracle of Purim. That miracle came after – and as a result of – Esther’s request of Mordechai to gather the Jewish people together for three days of fasting and prayer. We commemorate this relationship annually by the observance of Ta’anit Esther on the eve of Purim, thus linking the celebration of our deliverance to the prayers that preceded it.
It is in this spirit that we repeat and emphasize our calls to individuals and communities to dedicate special efforts to pray on behalf of those already affected by COVID-19, and for its further containment. We must pray both for public health and for economic and social stability.
Specifically, we join the call of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of America, and encourage individuals and communities to recite additional tefillot today, Monday, March 9th. We encourage all shuls, minyanim, and individuals to add specific Tehillim following the afternoon Mincha service, including chapters 20, 22, 121, 130 and 142.
In addition, in the spirit of לך כנוס את כל היהודים, Esther’s request to bring the entire nation together in prayer, and in an effort to include the homebound and quarantined, we will be hosting a national prayer call at 12:30 pm EDT. The call will include a joint recitation of Tehillim, as well as words of inspiration from Rabbi Reuven Fink, Rav, Young Israel of New Rochelle. Rabbi Moshe Hauer of the Orthodox Union will also be giving divrei chizuk.
We encourage you all to join and to share this invitation with others. May our efforts find favor with G-d, such that we and the entire world be spared further suffering and uncertainty.