March 24, 2020, 12:00 am
Temple Beth-El is being guided by the Jewish teaching of pikuach nefesh, the preservation of human life, in responding to the current Coronavirus public health crisis. As clear as the value of pikuach nefesh is, it is unclear exactly how and when to apply it to our current circumstances, especially when doing so conflicts with other cherished values, like coming together for Religious School, Shabbat and holy day observances, and doing communal acts of kindness. It is hard to make a decision to suspend the precious fellowship of our community under any circumstances. It is especially hard in a time of anxiety and worry – a time when we most need each other’s warm embraces and reassurance.
That being said, our love and concern for each and every member of our community has led our temple leadership to suspend all in-person events, classes, worship services, religious school, etc. through Passover. We are using remote access alternatives for our worship services, classes, meetings and religious school. Our rabbi, staff, and lay leaders are all here for you and available to offer support and solace in any way we can. If you are staying out of public spaces and need help with basic errands or food shopping, please let us know at HelpingHands@templebethelnj.org. We have volunteers ready to help.
If you are not well or exhibit any symptoms, including fever or respiratory stress, please do not come to temple (or go to other public venues). Authorities are asking those who exhibit such symptoms to call their doctor and stay home and follow doctor’s orders.