August 2020

Outdoor Services

Every study shows that the main cause of infection by the Coronavirus is staying indoors.   The moment you walk outside, it’s a game changer.   The fresh air plus social distancing creates a safe environment and has motivated congregations all over the world to hold services outside.

But this is not a new phenomenon.  Close to 450 years ago, in Tzfat, the famous Kabbalist, the Ari, used to have Kabbalat Shabbat services in the fields outside of the city.   Every Friday evening, he and his disciples dressed in white and went to greet the Shabbat “Queen” under the sky. 

Perhaps there is a message from G‑d.  It’s time to leave the brick and mortar buildings, open the doors and go outside to greet- not just the Shabbat, but the Jews around us.   Together with welcoming the Shabbat, let’s be more welcoming to our fellow Jews.   

- Rabbi Zushe Greenberg

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