Audio Special: Responses to Coronavirus in Jewish Ritual and Theology

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by Joel Rich


R E Zuckier-YU Course-Responses to Coronavirus in Jewish Ritual and Theology

Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier-‘Aaleh et Korona al Rosh Simhati’: Recent Theologies of Mourning and Rejoicing in a Time of Pandemic

        Three tracks of rabbinic response to corona virus:  (1) Embrace the challenge  (2) Cling to normalcy  (3) Go with the flow.  Specific example discussed.

Halakhic Response to Coronavirus Should I Have a Zoom Seder

        The Zoom seder/phoning shut ins on pesach discussions reflected micro halachic (what’s the status of electricity on Yom Tov) and meta values (mental health, sanctity of holidays, slippery slope).  There may be some formalism vs. realism in the discussion as well.

Shut Down the Mikveh? Halakhic Opinions and Options on Dipping Under Duress

        The keilim mikveh’s closed early but alternatives (e.g. hefker) were provided.  Bath tubs are probably not a good substitute for people mikvah’s.  People mikvah’s following “the protocols” should be OK but no one should feel pressured to go.

Reopen the Shuls? When Valuing Human Life and Religious Expression Conflict

        How should shul reopenings in corona times be viewed compared to general society’s reopenings?  (me-really how do orthodox society’s priorities differ from general society’s?

Of Bnei Brak, Balconies, and Barchu: The Recent Debate on Counting for a Minyan

        Porch minyanim pro and con.  What are the sources and what are the public policy issues?  (me-Give them bread and circuses?)

Cancellations and Compensation: Jewish Business Law in the Wake of Covid-19

        Very nice summary of the halachic parameters (makat medinah, dina dmalchuta, market practice, prepaid…) in corona caused damages (schools, Pesach programs…)  What were the guidelines for pshara (compromise) decided upon by various community batei dinim?

Halakhic Responses to Coronavirus-Who Gets the Ventilator? Triaging Medical Care During a Pandemic

So how exactly do poskim come up with guidance on this life or death issue?

COVID and Messianism: Does the Pandemic Mean Mashiach is Near?

        Historical sources pro and con concerning calculating the keitz (moshiach coming)  Corona times seemed to spark a renewed interest in such calculations but it may be misplaced.

Coronavirus Theodicy – What is God’s Role and How Should We Respond?

        Corona times has caused some renewed interest in theodicy – Examples provided of current responses pointing to specific sins, lessons to be learned and focusing on the proper response.  (Me-what does HKB”H want of us should be a question we ask all the time)

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

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