Call to Open Shuls With ‘Green Passport’ Outline

Mispallelim daven outdoors, as per the social distancing regulations, in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The World Organization of Orthodox Synagogues and Communities warned of increased activity in shuls and called on the Israeli government to allow shuls to immediately reopen, using the Green Passport outline, Yisrael Hayom reported.

The organization called on the government to open shuls to mispallelim who have either been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or tested negative for the virus 72 hours before entering the shul to daven.

According to existing lockdown guidelines, up to five people are allowed to gather in a closed space, and up to 10 are allowed to convene in open areas. In effect, these restrictions prevent mispallelim from davening with a minyan.

As a result, the organization noted, many people have begun to either ignore or bend the rules on the number of mispallelim allowed to gather in one place.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing mispallelim, including those who do not have a green passport, beginning to daven in closed spaces. We fear the phenomenon will grow and threaten the health of many,” the organization said in a statement.

Mispallelim must adhere to the guidelines and immediately get vaccinated as all the experts have advised. This is both a halachic and moral obligation,” the organization said.

According to the framework, the number of mispallelim allowed inside a shul would be determined by experts to maintain the necessary distance between people. In addition, mask-wearing and hygiene would be enforced. Each shul would appoint a coronavirus gabbai who will enforce the guidelines and limit entry to green passport holders. Those without a green passport would be allowed to daven outside in adherence with social-distancing and other pandemic guidelines.

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