I have been awed by the people who keep on trying to come up with creative ways to daven together. Unfortunately, it is clear from all the medical advice we have received that the appropriate thing to do is to stay home and stay safe. Praying on our own at this time will save lives.
Before getting into the Halachic pieces, a couple of suggestions:
- Tone-setting is an important part of prayer. Even though we cannot pray in shul, put on some special clothing that you would normally wear to shul to help set the tone.
- Though we cannot pray together, for those blessed with a family, pray with them this Shabbos. There is something incredibly powerful about families coming together to pray.
- Shabbos is a time of joy. To the best of our abilities, let’s shut out the worry that we are experiencing and just take in the serenity if a truly quiet Shabbos.
- You can say all the prayers except for Kaddish, Barchu, repetition of Shemoneh Esrei, Kedusha and Krias HaTorah.
- On Friday night you may say Veychulu” after Shemoneh Esrei. Do not say and the blessing of “Magen Avos” through “Baruch ata Hashem, Mikadesh HaShabbos.”
- You can say Birkas HaChodesh on your own. (The Molad is Tuesday morning 14 minutes and 11 chalakim after 10.) We are welcoming Rosh Chodesh Nissan, which will fall out on Yom Chamishi (Wednesday evening and Thursday). Skip Yekum Purkan and Av Harachamim.
- You should ideally read through the Torah portion which is Vayakhel-Pekudei (Exodus 35:1–40:38), as well as the special Torah portion for Parshas Hachodesh (Exodus, 12:1-20). And one should ideally read the special Haftorah as well (Ezekiel 45:16 – 46:18). No blessings are made on the readings.
- We will be making Havdallah via Zoom after Shabbos. If you are able to make your own Havdallah, that is ideal. However, if you cannot, then you can fulfill your obligation through the Zoom Havdallah.