There are major differences, though: the windows are open with fans blasting the room air towards the outside. We are all wearing N95 or KN95 masks. We are skipping Kiddush for the moment. Still, it’s a pleasure to be able to leave the house on Saturday morning, to attend a service without seeing our own faces in little squares and to let go of the worry of muting and unmuting at the appropriate time.
Since we began davenning indoors, attendance has ranged from 4 to 9 people. We have read from the Torah every week. How is that possible? Don’t we need a minyan? We’ve had a minyan every week because of the presence of our Zoom partners. While there are differences within the community in terms of comfort level with being indoors with others, we all share the desire to participate in the service in whatever way works for us. The Zoom camera is mounted above the doorway and is inconspicuous. Though we don’t hear the voices of our Zoom partners singing with us, when it comes time to participate in discussing the d’var Torah, their voices come through our sound system loud and clear. We’re hybrid!
We're still working on sound. In order to enjoy hearing people sing together, Zoom original sound has to be enabled, which means we hear the fans which can sound like constant static. It's much better than when we started, and it will improve more as we come up with better technical solutions.
Being able to attend davening from home has been a gift for me. I love that the Hav is just a click away.