Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
News

Her Majesty’s Government hands down six coronavirus dos and dont’s— from shofar to sukkah

No dancing, sukkah “crawls” or shared shofars, said Her Majesty’s Government — among other decrees handed down on Monday.

British Jews have received an extensive list of don’ts and dos for this year’s High Holiday season, covering Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and the festivals of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.

The list was released alongside stricter social distancing rules for the whole country, which outlawed private gatherings of more than six individuals, putting an end to the so-called garden minyanim (outdoor prayers services of at least 10 people) that had become popular among British Jewry according to the Jewish Chronicle.

Do: Maintain two meters of distance between households. Synagogues are exempt from the rule forbidding private gatherings with more than five others, but each group of no more than six people should stay two meters away from each other.

Don’t: Share shofars. The list stressed that “Under no circumstances should more than one person blow the same shofar” and also says that the shofar should always be blown away from the congregation.”

Do: Maintain online services and use digital amplification. The guidance touts Zoom services and urges congregations to use microphones in order to preserve distance between speakers and congregants. Both, however, would be forbidden in Orthodox or traditional services.

Don’t: Invite guests, share food between households or engage in “sukkah crawls.” These are a popular synagogue tradition where congregants roam from sukkah to sukkah throughout their community, similar to trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Do: Bring your own lulav and etrog to synagogue. Don’t borrow or share a communal set.

Don’t: Dance. If dancing with the Torah must take place, only a minimal amount of people should get to hold the Torah scrolls.

“We know this might be disappointing,” stressed the guidance, “but it’s important to remember that the virus is still with us and we need to do all we can to protect ourselves and our family and friends.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.