Matzav.com 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. [Matzav.com]
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.
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.
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.
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.