The situation for Jews in Australia this Rosh Hashanah is unfortunately no different than last year, when minyanim were forbidden.
The cities of Melbourne and Sydney are again in lockdown and gatherings are strictly forbidden so minyanim are completely out of the question. But what about tekias shofar?
Askanim worked tirelessly to convince Australian authorities to allow an exemption for tekias shofar and at the last minute, the sought-after exemptions were received, Australian Jewish News (AJN) reported.
In Sydney, shofar blowing will be allowed at designated outdoor locations. In Melbourne, Rabbanim will be allowed to “intermittently blow the shofar while undertaking their permitted daily exercise, which is no more than two hours per day and no further than 5 kilometers from their home.”
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) CEO Darren Bark said: “We have worked with rabbis, synagogue leadership, the Rabbinical Council of NSW and other faith groups to make this happen and are extremely grateful that our community will be able to participate in this mitzvah during these extremely challenging circumstances.”
Rabbinical Council of NSW (RCNSW) president Rabbi Nochum Schapiro told The AJN, “We’re very excited that the central mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah will be able to be performed by the Jewish community in Sydney.”
Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) vice-president Rabbi Moshe Kahn said: “We are pleased to announce that Project High Holy Days is a full go ahead with the Jewish community being able to hear shofar in a safe and legal manner.”
“Although the High Holy Days will be different this year, we will still be able to celebrate them united as one.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)