Read It: Teaneck Shul Announces Covid-19 Restrictions for Yomim Noraim Davening: No Bathrooms, Shofar Under a Tallis, and More

>>Follow Matzav On Whatsapp!<< obtained the following missive from the gabbai of Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, NJ as the shul prepares for the Yomim Noraim. In his message, the gabbai shares specific regulations that the shul is implementing for the High Holiday davening.

The message begins:

There is much excitement at the opportunity to daven together again.  For some, this will be the first minyan experience in a very long time.  For others, this will be a chance to do so in a slightly larger setting with the support and encouragement of a broader segment of our kehilla.

And yet –

עבדו את השם ביראה וגילו ברעדה

Given the reality of the current pandemic, there is ample trepidation and anxiety in doing so.

Both of these themes inform and influence our davening protocol for the coming Yamim Noraim season, haba aleinu l’tova.  Certainly our circumstances are “fluid” with information and guidelines ever-changing, but I wanted to share with you a few of the broader strokes regarding our planned tefilla this year at the Rinat sponsored minyanim. []

Nusach haTefilla

Under the guidance of Rabbi Adler, we are planning for a fully inspirational Yamim Noraim davening, complete with piyutim, singing and derashot.  That said, however, we are preparing three specific tracks for the tefilla should the need to quickly pivot arise.

Track 1 will essentially provide for an unabridged yamim noraim davening.  While there may be a few small adjustments (e.g. birchat hashacher and shir yichud), the approach will provide for an efficient but comprehensive tefilla.  Kriat haTorah will be streamlined; Singing will be purposeful;  Misheberachs and the like eliminated.  At present, this is certainly the approach we all hope we will adopt come Rosh Hashana.

Track 2 will include fewer piyutim selections in order to allow the davening to proceed in a more expedient fashion.  While preparations are underway to provide as comfortable a seating experience as possible, especially outdoors, we recognize that there are a myriad of conditions – largely weather-related – that are out of anyone’s control.  No one could responsibly sit outdoors in a tent for 3.5 hours in 92 degree heat or suffocating humidity.  This is the intent in preparing for such an outcome.

Track 3 will be a barebones approach to tefilla b’tzibbur.  The various teshuvot from contemporary poskim will guide such a methodology.  We have this in mind should, G-d forbid, the pandemic situation worsen in our area and therefore necessitate its implementation.

B’ezrat Hashem, we have every expectation to conduct our minyanim based on Track 1.  Should adjustments be required, we will do so in a coordinated fashion across the various minyanim.

Tekiat Shofar

We absolutely recognize that forcibly blowing air through a shofar involves an increased risk of contamination.  The ba’alei tekiah at the indoor minyanim will be instructed to blow while completely covered by a tallit.  At the outdoor minyanim, steps will be taken so that the ba’al tekiah will be positioned in as safe a location as possible – ideally outside of the tent, weather permitting.  In all minyanim, we are planning for a full 100 kolot.  More detailed information to follow.

Krias HaTorah

Given the shul’s newly acquired plexiglass barriers, krait haTorah with regular aliyot can proceed at the indoor minyanim.  More information regarding protocol for outdoor minyanim will be forthcoming.

Many minyanim will have only one sefer Torah and consequently will need to roll to the appropriate maftir.  A speaker at each minyan will provide a five minute derasha during this time so as not to disrupt the davening while the Torah is rolled.

Birkat Kohanim

Duchenin will proceed as it does on a yom tov which occurs on Shabbat with no singing.  The kohanim must be wearing masks and should provide ample space between one another.  Additionally, please be mindful when the kohanim’s hands are washed that water not fall onto the grass or dirt.


Unfortunately, restroom facilities are not available for use this year outside of the shul building.  Under no circumstances should anyone enter a host’s home to use the facilities.  Every outdoor minyan (except for that in the shul’s parking lot) will break for 20 minutes prior to shofar/mussaf to allow for people to briefly return to their homes, if needed.  It is for this reason that the HH Seating Committee is trying to place families in outdoor locations in the closest proximity to their homes.


As a surprise to no one, properly fitted mask coverings over everyone’s face is mandatory.  Anyone needing to remove their mask should do so outside of the shul building or outside of the tent area.  This applies to children as well.  Ba’alei tefilla and ba’alei kriah will be unmasked and will be positioned in as isolated an area as possible.  Everyone is committed to providing a safe environment and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation.

We hope to provide more information for you as we move closer to yom tov and we learn more.  Ultimately, it is our goal to help enable an inspiring davening in a safe and protected environment for everyone.

{ Newscenter}


  1. What kind of shul is this that sill believes the coroney baloney?

    • the kind that respects others lives. do you know the long term lung damage caused by corona even in those without symptoms?? just because some survived corona to their knowledge without side effects doesn’t mean their isn’t long term damage done to their body

    • It’s not baloney. The virus is real. The symptoms are real. The long term impact is real. The death toll is real. You can choose to ignore the facts and hope Hashem will protect you. But He only protects those who live responsibly. Respect His laws (both Torah and natural) and live, disrespect them and things may not be so rosy. Torah Jews are not safe if they only rely on Hashem and don’t take any responsibility for their actions.

  2. The outdoor restaurants that Teaneck have on West Englewood Ave, do not seem to have near as many restrictions as the RH davening restrictions. If people can sit leisurely outside for as long as they want with no restrictions on time etc , why impose draconian measures for davening?

    • last time I checked its up to this community to decide their own rules. or do you think this community should get to decide the rules for others?

    • Because they are not machshiv Teffila. One gets influenced from the goyim and their treiffa hashkafos and they start to act and behave like them. Some give a terez that they don’t want to anger the goyim. So then they feel that they have to out-goy the goyim. Ain ledavar soff. Governor Murphy has even given his decision to open ALL schools. This continuing of the fear mongering, is very harmful to the fabric of authentic Yiddishkeit.

      • Nothing to do with the goyim and everything to do with understanding the natural laws that Hashem created. Open a science book written in the 21th century. We’ve learned alot more about Hashem’s laws of nature over the past 2000 years.

    • The headline is misleading. Bathrooms will be open and available. Except for tents in people’s yards to avoid have 100+ people using someone’s personal bathroom.
      The rest is in line with scientific evidence that shows that activities like singing, shofar blowing, etc have a higher risk of spreading the virus.

  3. Good grief! I didn’t know there are places in the world that they are still taking it so seriously! I haven’t heard of anyone dying from Covid in our community in the last couple months and I think לכל הדעות it no longer has the din of pikuach nefesh.

  4. I don’t want to make light of their feelings, but it’s amazing to know that just a few miles from Teaneck, in Monsey (in all the frum areas) Boro Park, Williamsburg, Lakewood (all frum areas) I think Queens too, life has pretty much been back to normal since June. Regular shuls, daycamps, weddings and Boruch Hashem there have been no problems. Hashem should continue to protect us.

    • and what happens if somebody brings the virus back from a hot zone? you assume theirs herd immunity but thats hearsay. will you take responsibility for the death if it comes?

      • And what happens if the moon falls? To what you said the gemara always answers “ain ladver soif.” There will always be a hot spot someplace like with any virus. So are you going to hide under your bed forever. I do agree those who are high risk should take precautions.

      • I also had such an opinion like around Lag Baomer. Since June enough people, both by us and the non jews, have shown we can congregate in groups and B”h nothing happened. Will it come back? I hope not, but right now enough people have been carrying on a regular life, in the Tristate area, that I think this shul is going to far.

        • but your not taking in to account that if the virus js brought back from a hot zone. it has the potential to spread like wildfire if it turns out herd immunity hasnt been achieved and or also the immunity doesn’t last. and people are congregating in public venues as normal. like this if people continue to keep spread out its a extra precaution that would prevent a massive spread again.

    • and its amazing that the goyim in the food stores care more for human life then jews. “who is like the Jewish nation”

    • Hashem protects this who protect themselves. It’s ok to take risks but understand that’s its your risk to take and Hashem may not protect you.

    • Queens is still being secheldig each on their own level. Many Shuls do have distancing and some even have masks. There are outdoor minyanim as well. As to the Yomim noraim, it’s no simple matter. Distancing in shul means no guests, fewer ladies’ seats, etc.

  5. At what point does this madness end? They’ve gone too far. I hope other communities don’t follow.
    The greatest way to seize control over people is through fear. The brain cannot think logically if paralyzed by fear.

  6. Prof. Udi Qimron will soon head the Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology at Tel Aviv University.

    In an interview with Yediot Ahronot, Qimron shed further light on the coronavirus. “There is a very great interest for anyone who has supported the draconian measures taken around the world to say that Sweden’s policy has failed. Because if it succeeded, and trillions went down the drain for no reason, someone will have to answer for it.”

    “That is why all over the world they prefer to claim that [Sweden] was wrong. But in the end, the truth came to the surface. In a world where decision makers, their advisers and the media were able to admit their mistake and the initial panic that gripped them, we would have long since returned to routine. The ongoing destruction due to the inability to admit this mistake, despite the epidemic’s small mortality numbers, is outrageous. History will judge the hysteria.”

    “If we had not been told that there was an epidemic in the country, you would not have known there was such an epidemic and you would not have done anything about it,” he said emphatically. “The fact that this issue runs all day in the media inflates it beyond its natural dimensions. If black death had raged here, as in the 14th century, you would not have had to follow the situation in the news, the bodies would have piled up in the streets. We were not and we are not in this situation today.”

    Prof. Qimron noted that the total number of coronavirus deaths does not exceed 0.1% of the total population in any country, and the death rate from coronavirus is less than 0.01% of the total world population, meaning that 99.99% of the world’s population so far has survived the epidemic and the virus is negligibly lethal.

    He said smart behavior would be the opposite of what we do today; Populations not at risk should become infected and create chains of immunity, which will protect the sick and the elderly. We are currently working for sweeping social distancing, which prevents such differential immunity, he said.

    He went on to explain that infection of children is a welcome thing, because it protects at-risk populations. “For the same reason, I would open up the whole education system, because the vast majority is made up of people who are not at risk. Of course a solution needs to be found for teachers suffering from diabetes or other background diseases, but I see no reason to prevent activities that encourage the economy. Not only because it allows parents to go to work, but also because it lowers mortality in the long run. I would also ask children and young people to take off their masks. Of course, it is impossible to force a child to take off a mask, but proper information will do the job.”

    “At the same time, I would call on at-risk populations, our parents and people with background illnesses, to avoid social gatherings in the coming months until we reach the appropriate immune depth. It is possible and desirable to recommend at-risk populations to wear masks. I would also open the skies and abolish the isolation obligation for those returning from abroad. With the situation of carriers abroad compared to within Israel, there is no reason to isolate tourists, just as you and I are not isolated even though we have an even higher probability than that of a random tourist from abroad to be a carrier. These are things that got into our minds four months ago and we do not understand that their time has passed,” he added.

  7. There are many people in Monsey still isolating. You don’t see them because they don’t go to stores or shul. Because other people are continuing as normal, these people who are older, immuno-compromised, frailer or have such people in their home, cannot not go out.

    • No their not. They have returned to work. They’ve gone shopping in supermarkets. They’ve gone into banks. They’ve gone on vacations. They’ve gone to restaurants. They’ve met with friends. Etc etc. The only thing they are extremely makpid about, is NOT going into a Shul. The hypocrisy is nauseating.

  8. Can Matzav please clarify if this story is part of a new “satire” column, or if this is being reported as an earnest piece of news.

    If this isn’t here for some comic relief, then why do Matzv’s editors feel they need to give a bunch of panic-stricken yahoos such a wide platform?

  9. There are several people I know that have been very sick, and a few that did not survive. Not every one had a known medical condition. If being extra careful makes your neighbors more comfortable, so that they feel safe coming back to shul for the Yomim Noraim, then you will be doing a great chesed.

    • Being strict has to make sense. 100% the elderly and those who are high risk should take precautions.
      Straight thinking person said it best these people went back to work, they go shopping, they went on with their lives, but shul is the problem!! In addition we see the non jews congregating for protests and on on beaches, and as I wrote above whether you like it or many Jewish neighborhoods in the New York area are back to normal for over 3 months. They have proven that its time for everyone in the New York area to move on. The same thing is true for yeshivos. All the day camps B”H are finishing a successful summer. I didn’t here of a single one closing up early. There was no social distancing, masks, or shields on desks, yet I hear some yeshivos are starting with a whole list of precautions as if we were back to March 16th. Obviously, if G-D forbid the cases become serious then we have to take precautions.

      • Try reading the news. There were camps impacted and Covid cases are returning to the Ortho community. Facts have more weight than rumors. Just because you, personally, have not heard, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Wake up

  10. Shoiteh osur lirachem olov!

    Fauci probably davens there! HUH! And Bill Gates is the gabai in this Reform Temple!
    You are better of with a plastic disposable Shofar,Pikuach Nefesh.
    Make sure you get a vaccine before attending!
    Ask Rabbi Fauci!

  11. I’m nervous to go to shul since I have an underlying condition. If my shul would implement these rules, I’d feel better about going to shul on yomim noraim.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here