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Vaad  of Raritan Valley

Vaad of Raritan Valley Calendar

Message from the Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley

ב ניסן תש''פ

March 26, 2020

As our community prepares to begin a third week of extreme measures to prevent the spread of disease, ח"ו, we recognize that the continued shuttering of our shuls and yeshivos is a necessary step in the containment of COVID-19 and our isolation from each other does in fact make us safer. During these emotionally trying times, we commend the men, women, and children of Highland Park, Edison, and East Brunswick who have taken this matter with appropriate seriousness and minimized travel outside the home to only what is essential. At the same time, we are inspired by the acts of chesed being performed on behalf of our must vulnerable among us - including shopping, phone calls, and attending to all needs for those who must not leave their home under any circumstances. We are eternally grateful to the heroic doctors and nurses who are caring for their patients with utmost professionalism and sacrifice at a frightening time. The limud hatorah in our community continues stronger than ever, with countless shiurim and chavrusos being maintained over the phone or online. The leaders of our treasured institutions such as the Park Mikvah, Tomchei Shabbos, Bikur Cholim, and Hatzolah have dedicated themselves to maintaining service to the community in the safest way possible, and we are grateful to all the volunteers who have persevered through this crisis. And we express our deep hakaras hatov to the administrators and teachers of our local yeshivos for doing everything they can to educate our children from the home while maintaining stability and growth. 

With the upcoming Chag HaPesach, we understand that the thought of being separated from parents, children, or grandchildren is particularly difficult. The hopes and dreams that we had envisioned for this Pesach will not be coming to fruition. However, the gedolai haposkim we consult, informed by the medical professionals who are on the front lines of the fight to control this pandemic, have adamantly declared their opposition to extended family gathering for Pesach this year. The dangers of travel between different communities at this time are well documented and can expose both the host and the guest to disease. We therefore unanimously ask the community that wherever possible:

- Members of the community should not travel to the homes of relatives outside the community for Pesach

- Members of the community should not travel to second homes or rental properties outside the community for Pesach

- Multiple generations within one family should not be converging in a home for Pesach, even within the community

- No other guests should be invited for any meals on Pesach

There are many unique situations which will require input from medical professionals and rabbis, and we encourage members of the community to seek that advice. We are deeply aware of the emotional toll isolation can take on one who lives alone, especially on Yom Tov, and we are committed to finding the appropriate solution for each individual. 


This Pesach, we will all maintain the spirit of the Haggadah's opening words כל דכפין ייתי ויכול כל דצריך ייתי ויפסח - all those who are hungry, come and eat, all those who are in need, come and join our Pesach. Our hearts must be open to all those around us as we increase our phone calls and messages to our friends and families, and with great devotion we will provide for the needs of our neighbors and loved ones through the outstanding chesed that is the hallmark of our community. 


The Vaad HaRabonim of Raritan Valley

Sun, July 21 2024 15 Tammuz 5784