Israelis Prepare to Celebrate the Year’s Holiest Days Under Lockdown

Israelis Prepare to Celebrate the Year’s Holiest Days Under Lockdown
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JERUSALEM — As Israelis prepare to celebrate the holiest days on the Jewish calendar under a fresh lockdown, organizing prayer services is proving to be more of a mathematical brainteaser than a spiritual exercise.

Rabbis are having to arrange worshipers into clusters of 20 to 50, separated by dividers, determining the number and size of the groups based on complex calculations involving local infection rates, and how many entrances and square feet their synagogues have. Masks will be required, and many seats will have to remain empty.

With the coronavirus rampaging again, Israel will become one of the few places in the world to go into a second lockdown, which will take effect on Friday, on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. The government has issued a list of restrictions…



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