Rabbinic Team Message

Dear Friends

We are reaching out during these trying times to you all to say we are thinking of you and available to you and to offer Chizuk, emotional and spiritual support at this unprecedented and most challenging time.

Our Rabbinic team wants to be as proactive as possible to help provide assistance, and we remind you of all our phone numbers.  Even if you just want a friendly chat, or have any pastoral needs, please do be in touch with any of us, at any time.

Here is a reminder of our email addresses
Dayan Binstock – rabbi@shulinthewood.com
Rebbetzen Rachie Binstock –  rachie@shuinthewood.com
Rabbi Mendel Cohen – rmc@shulinthewood.com
Rebbetzen Chai Cohen – chai@shulinthewood.com
Rabbi Yoni Golker –  rabbiyoni@shulinthewood.com
Rebbetzen Dina Golker – dina@shulinthewood.com
Rabbi Yossi Binstock –  yossi@shulinthewood.com
Joshua and Avigail Reindorp  – youth@shulinthewood.com

From a Halachic perspective, our number one imperative and priority is Pikuach Nefesh, saving life, public health and Halachic responsibilities therefore dictates social distancing and self-isolation whenever this is required.  To that end, we wanted to inform you to please NOT worry about yahrzeits, Kaddish, davening with a Minyan, or hearing the Torah, even on Shabbat.  Sadly, these cannot be our priority at this time.  We will be contacting you with some options for appropriate alternatives, or please contact us and we can help make provisions.

Although we are not able to say refua shelema prayers in shul, we can and surely must pray for one another. If you want to give us any names of those who are unwell, we will include them in own personal prayers.

Remember, you can pray at home, read the weekly portion of the Torah and find inspiration by reading from any Jewish books. There is a plethora of inspirational materials available online at www.chabad.org and www.aish.com and many other Jewish websites

Caring for others – We are proud and grateful the care our community has demonstrated, and we are thankful to the help many of you have offered.  We have already been reaching out to members and those who need our assistance most, and we will provide more information about this soon.

Use of technology to connect via social media and the website – Over the coming days and weeks, we are planning educational opportunities via our website, Facebook page and Instagram page to stay connected.  We will also have a new WhatsApp Group, which will include message of inspiration from the team. To join, please follow this link https://chat.whatsapp.com/K2Lreo4CQOW7sZngiMfrrR – All of this will also be made available to those without the technology.

A word about Pesach – Although we can no longer provide a communal Seder at shul, we will be making available Takeaway Seder packages providing all that you need for the Seder. Further details to follow.  Similarly, the Beth Din have ruled that firstborns can participate in a virtual Siyum and therefore not have to fast.  Similarly, our Chametz-sale forms will be available online.

In conclusion, – on behalf the entire team, please know that we are always so very much ‘here for and with you’ – but especially so at this time.

We must all continue to pray – with increased concentration, fervour and effort that G-d should extend mercy to all of us very speedily. Our sages tell us the power of reciting Tehilim (Psalms), do try and say an extra chapter or two each day (Psalms, 20, 121, 130 and 142 are all especially relevant at this time); give some Tzedaka charity and do acts of Chesed (kindness) where possible.

May HaShem look favourably upon all our efforts to be worthy of His blessings whereby we should soon merit to see an end to this awful affliction.
יה׳ר מלפני אבינו שבשמים לרחם עלינו ועל פליטנו ולמנוע משחית ומגפה מעלינו ומעל כל עמו בית ישראל ומעל כל העולם ונאמר אמן
“May it be the will of our Father in heaven to have compassion on us and our remnant, and to keep destruction and plague away from us, from all His people the house of Israel, and the whole world – and let us say, Amen”

With very best and warmest good wishes,

Yours sincerely,
The St John’s Wood Team