Congregational Update – 03/18/2020

Regarding the Coronavirus

Shalom, friends and family of Beth Yeshua Messianic Synagogue.

This is truly a unique time in all of our lives. Never in the history of the world has everyone been so aware of what is going on around the world. Never before has a people been so vulnerable to the activities of people in foreign lands and countries. At this time we are all impacted by the decisions everyone around the world is making.

The world is focused on defeating this virus through isolation and quarantine. It must be acknowledged that if the world were effective at a short period of total isolation, we would indeed be successful at overcoming this virus. To that end, this is the major strategy of the world at this time. Adonai has left us in the world to be a blessing, a light in the darkness. Sometimes that means that we stand contrarian to the world, and sometimes it means we join the world in solidarity against common foes. If our land was invaded by a foreign army, we who are believers in Adonai should join ranks with non-believers in the defense of this nation. When our culture is beset by evil, such as human trafficking, or drugs, or poverty, we who are believers in Adonai should join forces with non-believers to overcome these threats to our society.

While there may be some room for discussion about the extent of the threat of the COVID-19 disease, it is in the mind of the world a clear and present danger, an existential threat. We may have some disagreement with that dire assessment, we do acknowledge that at least some threat is real, and to some people in our community, contraction of this virus would be devastating.

In consideration of the well-intentioned and best efforts of our leaders, President Trump and Governor DeSantis, we are choosing to cooperate with the guidelines issued by the White House and the CDC. We are therefore suspending Shabbat Services at Beth Yeshua until further notice. The many recommendations of social distancing and self-quarantines vary from 2 weeks to 8 weeks, depending on the reporting. I am reluctant to commit to a number. I assure you that we will resume services absolutely as soon as possible. I am hopeful that this will only last a couple weeks, but it will be necessary to monitor conditions as we go.

We will be posting a recorded or live version of our service, modified of course, on YouTube, Facebook, or our website (details to follow) at 11:00am Saturday every week, until we can resume normal services. Our hope is to continue to keep the Shabbat, in accordance with the Torah, as Adonai has appointed. In the text, the Shabbat is described as a Holy Convocation, a holy gathering. We cannot gather in person due to the challenges of this time, but we can gather “in spirit,” together at the same time, praying, worshiping, and sitting under the Ministry of the Word as the Ruach will lead.

While we are suspending services for at least the next couple weeks, our expenses and financial needs will continue as normal. I know you are all aware of this, and I know you are generous with your giving. But I have to mention this to you: please continue your support of the ministry of Beth Yeshua. We can receive your gifts by mail, or for those of you who are comfortable with our online options, you can give over the internet or via text. Just go to our webpage, and scroll down until you see EasyTithe on the right.

We are also officially postponing the Passover Seder to Thursday May 7th. If you have made a reservation, that reservation still holds You do not need to re-register. If you will not be available on that date, or if for any reason you would like to cancel your reservation, please let us know and we will gladly offer you a full refund.

We are also suspending all other meetings and functions including Teen Night, Torah Studies on Wednesdays, Worship Team Practice, etc. for the duration of this crisis. I will be posting some version of Torah Study on Facebook, YouTube, or our website, so please check back for updates.

My wife and I are both available to you during this time. Please let us know if you need anything. Here are our personal cell phone numbers:

Rabbi Scott 941-769-0807
Rebbetzin Casey 941-268-4855

You can also call 239-437-3171. We can receive texts on all these numbers. We know many of you may need help during this time. Please let us know. You are not alone. We want to be available for you. Also, some of you are busy helping others during this time. If this is you, please let us know and we will support you in any way we can.

This too shall pass. Adonai is in control. Adonai is good. He will sustain us, we will find ourselves under the shadow of His wings. For His love endures, beyond our trials and difficulties, His love endures for us. I am already looking forward to rejoining with you again for sweet worship and celebration on a future Shabbat, which I am hopeful will come in just a few weeks.

Yivarechecha Adonai viyishmirecha
Ya’er Adonai panav elecha veechuneka
Yeesa Adonai panav elecha viyasem lecha

May Adonai bless you. May Adonai keep you. May Adonai make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May Adonai lift up His countenance upon you and give you Shalom (peace).

Rabbi Scott Fingerson