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Dear friends,
The Chicago Rabbinical Council has made the decision that it is necessary to close all shuls for the time being.  I know that for many of us, myself included, this is a very painful decision, as we generally rely on our davening and shul as anchors during times of distress and worry.  But the Torah always prioritizes health, safety, and life, and these times are no exception.
Two sources come to mind that can help put this decision into context.  When discussing the requirement of violating Shabbos in order to save a life, the Gemara (Shabbos 151B) states: “חלל עליו שבת אחד כדי שישמור שבתות הרבה, violate for him one Shabbos in order that he be able to observe many Shabboses in the future.”  Sometimes, we have to forego a particular mitzvah in the short term so that we will all, G-d willing, be able to observe many more mitzvot in the long term.  And so we must close the shul for a temporary period to ensure that we will have many more beautiful minyanim, shiurim, and Shabboses together for many years to come.  Secondly, the Torah (Vayikra 18:5) states, “ושמרתם את חקתי ואת משפטי אשר יעשה אתם האדם וחי בהם אני ה', you shall keep My laws and rules, which man should carry out and shall live through them, I am Hashem.”  Our Sages teach that this verse obligates us to perform mitzvot in a way that will add to our life, and not G-d forbid endanger it.  Therefore, with a heavy heart, we will fulfill our obligation of protecting life, with the hope and faith that this will enable us to reopen our doors very soon with great joy and health.
While the physical doors of DNG will be closed, we will use this as an opportunity to enhance our davening and our learning.  I will (b’li neder) be sharing Torah learning on a daily basis, and am currently working on arranging the best platform and timing for doing so.  If you are interested in receiving updates about davening, shiurim, and all learning opportunities, please either click this link, or text/email me to join a new What’s App group that will be exclusively for sharing Torah recordings, articles, and links to live classes.  I strongly encourage you to join participate in our community's virtual learning! 
As mentioned previously, please let me know if you or anyone you know could use any help in regards to shopping, food, or truly anything.  I and many others are waiting and eager to support our friends and community members. 
And most importantly, we continue to daven for the health and safety of our community, the Jewish people, and the entire world.      
Wishing everyone a great day!

Rabbi Daniel Fox
Cell: 510.452.7997
Dr. David Dobkin

Mon, July 6 2020 14 Tammuz 5780