We are all watching, reading and listening with care and concern, the spread and danger posed by the corona virus. While there is no reason to panic, I want to use this opportunity to remind the community of precautions we should all be taking:
I ask that if you have symptoms of illness, including fever, coughing, stomach bug or any other sickness, please DO NOT come to Magain David , during the week, on Shabbat or Purim. This is true even if you are a mourner saying Kaddish and even though this coming Shabbat we have the Biblical mandate to hear Parashat Zachor. Protecting and preserving health supersedes these other considerations.
Pesak Halakha: (Halachik Implications) If one is unable to come to synagogue, they should read the verses of Parashat Zachor from a Humash at home on Shabbat and also intend to fulfill the mitzva of remembering Amalek by listening to the Torah reading in synagogue when Shabbat Ki Tetzte arrives, during the Torah reading cycle on Shabbat August 29
We have taken a number of steps to be proactive, to ask every body to follow recommended guidelines by the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in protecting the synagogue environment.
The Purim Party will take place with modifications. There will be no face painting, but we will have a good time with Magain David friends and family!
Pesak Halakha: (Halachik Implications) If you are unable to attend the Megillah due to illness, or compelled to stay home because you can be in danger or endanger others you are exempt from the Mitzvah and do not need to listen to a recording online.
Public Health of San Francisco CA urges residents to follow these recommendations:
People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others.
People at higher risk include: People 60 and older, people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, people who have weakened immune systems, people who are pregnant. More detail on these measures will be available at:
How can I protect myself?
Perform hand hygiene either with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent alcohol) or soap and water.
Pesak Halakha: (Halachik Implications) It is permitted to use hand sanitizer and wash with soap and water on Shabbat.
Practice respiratory hygiene.
(1) Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
(2) Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
(3) Try as possible to not touch with your hands commonly touched surfaces.
(4) Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
(5) Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surface.
(6) Limit Shaking hands.
(7) Stay home when you are sick.
May HaShem bless us all with good health, wellness and prosperity.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.
Shabbat Shalom. Purim alegre. Buen Purim
Rabbi S Benzaquen