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High Holy Day COVID-19 Message

August 26, 2021


Dear Congregants,

We look forward to our celebration of the holidays with the community.  In less than two weeks, the holidays will be with us.  And in that time, we expect that the steps that our congregation has taken will provide us all with the opportunity to come together to pray, to connect, to reflect, and to plan for all that awaits us in the coming year. 

Success will come by doing our part to help to control the spread of the disease.  None of this is easy.  None of it is pleasant.  But the alternatives would be worse.  As the COVID variants spread, we need to take significant steps to protect those who cannot be vaccinated whether because of age (children under 12) or health.  Given the highly contagious nature of this disease, we have made the decision that those who opted not to be vaccinated, please, for your own health and for the health of the congregation, join us online for the holidays this year. 

1. Masks must be worn by everyone (ages 3 and older) when entering and while in the building.

2. All will be asked when entering the building if they have been vaccinated.  No proof will be required. 

The words of the Unetanneh Tokef come to mind in ways that could never have resonated for us the way that they do this year – and last –

How many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die after a long life and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword and who by beast, who by famine and who by thirst, who by upheaval and who by plague, . . .

Until COVID-19, the very concept of plague always seemed like a happening from another time and another place and not the sort of thing that we would ever have to worry about again.  Soon – but not soon enough – we will have the chance to gather together in person, all of us.  But that time is not now.  We must use the judgment and knowledge that we have gathered along the way for the safety, security, and health of ourselves, our families and our community. 

May this be a good year.  A happy year.  One of good health.  Let’s make good choices to keep us open, vibrant, and strong in 5782 and beyond. 


L’Shalom,

Greg Harris
president@bethelphoenix.com

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Wed, September 22 2021 16 Tishrei 5782