August 11th, 2020


(no subject)

It's just occurred to me that the High Holidays are coming up, and this is going to be a real bear in light of coronavirus. Out of all the major holidays I've experienced (which is mostly Christian & Jewish), this is the set that relies on gathering in a crowd. I mean, Christmas and Easter certainly have their services, but pretty much the one requirement of Rosh HaShannah is that you hear the shofar be blown; and Yom Kippur really isn't Yom Kippur without Kol Nidre services, or rubbing elbows at the post-fast meal. Whereas with Easter and Christmas and Passover, so much of the celebration can and usually is done in the family. In the extended family, so yes, that's hard, but it isn't quite so -- community-wide, I guess.

It's going to hit synagogues hard, financially. If you don't usually run in Jewish circles, it's a weird concept, but most synagogues don't take tithes and donations the way Christian churches do, because at least according to the Orthodox, you're nt supposed to be carrying money on the Sabbath and other holidays anyway. Instead they have yearly memberships, and most synagogues also "sell" seats at the fall holidays for people that aren't members year round. It's a major revenue stream. (I've never known a synagogue that would turn away someone who genuinely couldn't afford a seat or membership. Talking of "selling" is a bit misleading, even though it's the usual term....)