It’s only been four hours since the proclamation from the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah came out imploring that all public gatherings, including minyanim, be suspended due to the Coronavirus. We have also been directed to not leave the house, unless it’s absolutely necessary. And there is a half-day fast proclaimed for Thursday, March 19th, with the directive that we say the Tefillos for Yom Kippur Kattan (without reciting the 13 middos).
In the preceding weeks, in consultation with leading American Gedolim, we were running sparsely populated safe-distance minyanim, with a slew of precautions. It was definitely a safer space than the supermarket. Now we’ll all be davening Yechidus, with the added pressure to daven with more kavanna in these troublesome times.
I’m missing my two Shuls so much already. The daily contact with the Rav, the amazing people who populate the Shuls, the learning, the growth, the kindness, the unbounded love. Yes, we’ll WhatsApp more, and have Zoomed and Taped Shiurim to close some of the gap, but it’s hard – already.
To make the davening aspect a little easier, it has been suggested by friends to use set times to pace the davening. One consolation is that you can set the times according to your preferences. I’m going to start with the pace of my morning minyan which on March 19th is Brachos at 6:33, Baruch Sheamar at 6:39, Borechu at 6:51 and Shemoneh Esrai at Neitz at 6:59:27.
I miss my Shul, but perhaps Hashem wants us to concentrate more on connecting to Him through private prayer at this time. It’s certainly a worthwhile endeavor.