On the heels of Minnesota Catholic and some Lutheran leaders announcing they will resume services, the Minnesota Rabbinical Association has released a statement affirming they will continue to wait until Gov. Tim Walz permits religious centers to re-open.
"The four major movements of Judaism are in complete agreement that upholding guidance from state authorities, in consultation with public health experts, is paramount," the statement posted in TC Jewfolk reads.
“Religious leadership today must do everything in our power to prevent a ‘boiling point’ with COVID-19 and promote compliance especially before it peaks in Minnesota."
The Orthodox Union has issued the same guidance, the MRA noted.
While celebrating religious occasions remotely "runs counter to our every fiber," the MRA said, re-opening presents too many health risks.
“No matter how many precautions we take, open doors invite people to embrace, crowds to gather, and vulnerable populations to risk their lives in God’s name.
"Let us not put stumbling blocks where none belong, but instead bear witness to the pain of this moment and open our hearts," the statement says.
On Thursday, Archbishop Bernard Hebda defended the decision by Minnesota's Catholic leaders to reopen for Mass on May 26, saying that they have the legal right to do so despite Gov. Walz's order limiting church gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Thursday that religious gatherings "can pose some special risks because of who's in the congregations," noting the older parishioners who are among the most vulnerable to serious illness if they contract COVID-19.