WITH Hurricane Florence heading straight for Wilmington, North Carolina, Rabbi Moshe Lieblich huddled with his congregation as early as the second day of Rosh Hashana.
But as the service began, he quickly realised that so many congregants had fled the storm’s path that he couldn’t get a minyan together.
“People really panicked,” he said. “There was a lot of fear and nerves in the community.
But as families headed out of town, Rabbi Lieblich had decided to stay put with his wife and five children.
He said they were inland enough to avoid major flooding and were well stocked up on water, batteries and fuel for their two vehicles.
More importantly, he wanted to be there for those in the community who also had decided to batten down the hatches and ride out the hurricane.
Rabbi Fred Guttman, of the Reform congregation Temple Emanuel in Greensboro, said: “If you’re on the coast or in a low-lying area, it’s very serious.
“I have been in touch with four of my colleagues along the coast and told them they can stay at my house.”