The worshipping community and the flu

NPR ran a piece about different faith communities are thinking ahead about the upcoming flu season, particularly about how to handle the H1N1 virus.

In Catholic (and Episcopal) churches common rituals such as passing the peace, crossing one’s self with holy water from a baptismal font, and the common communion cup have raised a host of questions.

Rabbi Moshe Waldoks at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, Mass., says that with the High Holy Days beginning on Friday, he will his congregants to modify some long-held rituals.

“I’m suggesting bowing to each other with a little Buddhist bow,” he said, “or the Obama fist bump could really be very good.”

And what about passing the Torah around the congregation? Some people kiss it, while others touch their prayer shawls to it.

“I might say before we walk around with it, ‘If you’ve any concerns about stuff, this year maybe offer a wave instead of a kiss,’ ” Waldoks said. “I’m sure the Torah will understand.”

Read (and here) the rest here.

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