A rabbi who has recovered from the coronavirus thanked members of the community for their support in a video message.
“Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and kind wishes, emails, texts, WhatsApps and gifts over the past week, which has been a really challenging time,” Rabbi Yoni Golker said in the 4-minute clip.
The associate rabbi at St John’s Wood Synagogue went into self-isolation last week after testing positive for the virus.
“Thank god I’m fully recovered and feel great, and baruch hashem I only had the virus very mildly,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is suffering right now in isolation and hospitals, at home, people who are unwell.”
The rabbi’s video message came in the wake of the chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’ decision to suspend services across all shuls under his auspices. Announcing the move on Tuesday, Rabbi Mirvis said religious leaders have a “halachic imperative” to do so.
In his video message, Rabbi Golker sought to reassure the community. “It’s a very strange feeling to think synagogues, both in St John’s Wood and up and down the country and around the world, are closed,” he said.
“Our homes now become the epicentre of Jewish life,” he said. “There are so many ways we can connect with the almighty in our homes, whether that be praying at home three times a day … saying graces after meals, blessings on food, kosher kitchen, being stringent on the way we speak and interact with each another, reading Jewish books … and we all have to try and find a way to tap in to feel that connection when we have the disconnection from the synagogues.”