With Israel contemplating a new lockdown until after the High Holidays, it has been reported that Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue will be closed for the first time ever since opening its doors in 1958. The lockdown, it is hoped, will lower the number of coronavirus victims, as the numbers of those sick with the virus in Israel, continue to rise. As the government gears up to vote on the lockdown, synagogues all over Israel are scrambling to come up with creative ideas on where and how to hold services while enforcing government-mandated social distancing practices.
Israel’s Health Ministry reported 3,962 patients diagnosed with coronavirus on Friday with another 2,200 over Shabbat. The number of hospitalized patients hit a new high of 1,018 with the number of people in serious condition surging to 495, with some 138 of them requiring intubation. Some 1,101 Israeli citizens have died.