Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Pandemic causes pause in some prayers

Pity my poor husband--he's been leading P'sukei D'Zimrah for probably more than a decade, yet no matter which Zoom or Livestream service we "attend," this section of the morning prayers is scarcely to be found.  Some synagogues/minyanim/prayer spaces choose a "greatest hits" approach, reading or singing only a psalm or two, while others skip all or almost all of this section.  We finally realized that, if we really wanted to pray the early parts of the service, we had to get up early enough on a Shabbath (Sabbath) or Yom Tov (holiday) to pray everything (or almost everything) from Birkot HaTorah through Yishtabach by ourselves before the service started.

A woman I met in a Zoom break-out room last week pointed out that there was a good reason for this omission--long Zooms hurt people's eyes.  Consequently, baalei tefillah (prayer leaders) and/or rabbis are cutting services to the bone to spare the worshippers' vision.

Even when congregations open their doors again, I think that many will continue to keep their services short to reduce the exposure of the attendees to possible infection.

What will this precautionary measure do to the piyyutim (liturgical poetry) on the Yamim Noraim (High Holidays)?  I think that many of them will temporarily disappear.  :(



Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>