Praying in the synagogue (illustrative)
Praying in the synagogue (illustrative) iStock

Ahead of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), preparations are being completed in hasidic communities for large groups of hasidim to spend the holiday with their rabbis and teachers.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year several hasidic groups have come out with clear instructions regarding who is allowed to attend the mass prayers.

According to Kikar Hashabbat, Rabbi Itche Meir Tauman, a leading Gerrer rabbi, has ordered that anyone who is eligible for a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine receive it immediately. Those who are unvaccinated will not be allowed to pray in the synagogue, he said.

Rabbi Tauman also said that anyone who has a Green Pass will be able to receive an entrance permit so that the guards will be able to allow him in, and that children over 12 years of age must also be vaccinated in order to enter the synagogue.

Yeshiva students who have a Green Pass will receive a special bracelet from their yeshiva supervisors, and anyone who has symptoms in the coming week will not be allowed to enter the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah.

In the Karlin hasidic community, a list of guidelines was published regarding which hasidim can spend the holiday with their rebbe (hasidic leader).

In a detailed special notice published on Kikar Hashabbat, Karlin hasidim were informed as follows:

1. Those who have received three doses of the vaccine, and whose third vaccine was at least one week ago, may participate. (The third vaccine may be received up until Monday evening.)

2. Those who received only two doses of the vaccine, as long as the second dose was within the past five months - meaning, after the 25th of Nissan 5781 (April 7, 2021) - may participate.

3. Those who have recovered within the twelve months prior to Rosh Hashanah 5782 - meaning after the 17th of Elul 5780 (September 6, 2020), even if they received only one dose of the vaccine, may participate. Those who recovered within the twelve months prior to Rosh Hashanah 5782 who have not yet been vaccinated should immediately receive their first dose, no later than Monday evening.

4. Those who have a positive serological test result, as defined above, are not considered recovered or vaccinated, and may participate only if the test is from the past month.

5. Children under age 12 may participate only if they have recovered [from coronavirus] within the twelve months prior to Rosh Hashanah 5782 (2021), meaning, after the 17th of Elul 5780 (September 6, 2020), or by presenting a positive serological test result received within the past month, as above.

6. The definition of a "recovered" person and a positive serological test will be only a person whose illness and recovery, or whose serological test results were documented by the Health Ministry, not those who have made claims on their own.

7. The Health Ministry's Green Pass is not enough in order to enter the site on Rosh Hashanah. Instead, entry will be dependent on the conditions below.

8. Entry to the site will be dependent on receipt of a defined seating space, as well as on the presentation of a special permit issued by the committee. There will be a separate notice regarding how to receive such a permit.