Coronavirus in Israel: Purim only celebrated with nuclear family

Synagogues to choose between operating at 50% capacity with fully vaccinated worshippers or with a maximum of ten people indoors and twenty outdoors.

A teenager wears a costume as a reference to coronavirus as school children dress-up marking the Jewish holiday of Purim, a celebration of the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the Book of Esther, in Ashkelon, Israel March 8, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
A teenager wears a costume as a reference to coronavirus as school children dress-up marking the Jewish holiday of Purim, a celebration of the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the Book of Esther, in Ashkelon, Israel March 8, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
A specific outline for the upcoming festival of Purim was approved by the coronavirus cabinet on Monday.
The holiday falls on Friday, February 26 – except in Jerusalem where it falls the following Sunday.
Israelis will be required to hold the tradition holiday meal with nuclear family members. The Health Ministry stated that it will organize a PR campaign to persuade people to host only family members who are fully vaccinated  or have recovered from the virus – those eligible for the green passport.
Moreover, starting from Saturday synagogues will be allowed to function at 50% of their capacity for green passport holders or alternatively with ten worshippers indoors and 20 outdoors.
On Purim, the Jewish people are commanded to listen to a reading of the Scrolls of Esther twice, in the evening and in the morning.
Moreover, Saturday marks the celebration of Shabbat Zachor, when believers are required to attend a Torah reading.
Other forms of parades and gatherings on Purim will be banned.
The outline agreed by the ministers was crafted in collaboration with the leader of the Ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi Party Degel Hatorah Moshe Gafni.
In 2020, the holiday’s events caused a peak of infections both in Israel and in Diaspora Jewish communities.
In an interview on channel 12, Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash called on the public to follow the rules and celebrate responsibly, otherwise he explained that Israel risks to experience a new infection wave.


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