RCA Mourns Passing of Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, zt”lAugust 20, 2020
Davening Guide and Printable Machzor for Rosh HashanahSeptember 3, 2020
September 3, 2020 – Rav Schachter & Rav Dr. Glatt
Simchat Torah and other Sukkot Concerns During COVID
I posed the following questions to Rav Schachter and to our chaver Rav Dr. Aaron Glatt:
do proper socially distanced hakkafot look like? Having attended a
couple of weddings, I do not think that people can really distance
properly when in crowds and engaged in activities like dancing; they
seem to be naturally drawn together. What do you think of having just
the rabbi or other designated person walk in a circle with the Torah
while everyone else is observing from appropriate distances? Are there
other possibilities? What would you say about singing?
I imagine that we may have to do away this year with the custom of
giving every man an Aliyah. Are there any other issues that we should
start thinking about?
response to questions about Simchat Torah celebrations this year, Rav
Schachter responded that he was uncomfortable writing a response because
he feels that these are issues that each community/rav/doctor needs to
work out based on the specifics of their particular setup.
Rav Dr. Glatt:
agree fully. I discussed this so far only slightly, but this will be an
insurmountable problem if regular dancing is allowed. I think that
hakafos with walking around with the Torah, all socially distanced, can
be done safely, and even singing a little, but not much more than that.
are possibly doable but would require a lot of stations and planning
with partitions. If the poskim are willing to say don’t do it, that is
discussed Tashlich, men’s mikvaos and hatoras nedarim a little, but
formal pesakim on this would be of benefit. I am against typical sukkah
hops but there might be ways to do that safely on a much smaller scale.
recommendations if not done on Yom Kippur for people unable/scared to
go to shul; Hoshanos – – similar to hakafos – if large enough room and
small enough crowd, possible, but maybe best to have poskim say that we
skip having all members do this and stay in place or only
represenatives of tzibbur circle bimah.