Dear Bet David Families,

We are writing to you at a time when health is a serious concern, not only in faraway countries, but also now here in South Africa. We are reading and following the same guidelines that you are and will follow them as precautions and best practices for staying healthy.

At Bet David, the bathroom and washing facilities are cleaned regularly and staff members handling food have been reminded to follow essential rules of hygiene. Breaking with our minhag, we will cut the challot before doing HaMotzi and hand out challah in a basket or bowl instead of passing the challot around. We thank you in advance for understanding if we make some temporary changes, also in the ways that we are used to interacting with one another: elbow bumps instead of handshakes, hands on own hearts instead of connecting up for blessings, etc.

In addition, we are writing to say that your synagogue and your rabbi are here for you.

Our prayers will continue to be directed to those around the world who are experiencing illness, as well as those who are caring for them. We will hold those who are anxious in our hearts, as well as the many worldwide who have been isolated from others in quarantine for extended periods of time. And our hearts go out to those who are grieving the loss of loved ones.

Talk with us. Let us know how we, your Community, can help. Should you be affected by the virus, or any other illness, let us know. The rabbi or others of the community might not be allowed to visit you, but we are happy to call you and/or have a little chat via skype.

Our main concern is you! For the moment, there is no risk in coming to shul and to be part of the community. We hope to see many of you on Shabbat and Purim.

May our world be blessed with healing – with refu’ah shleimah – at this time, and always!

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Adrian M Schell & ManCom