Coronavirus

Living Halachically, And Mathematically, During This Pandemic

by R. Gil Student I usually enjoy Rabbi Chananya Weissman’s opinion pieces, whether I agree with him or not. His latest article, however – “Herd Immunity or Herd Insanity?” (The Jewish Press, January 1) – sadly misfires. Rabbi Weissman claims that if you don’t shake hands with others and kiss the Torah in an outdoors minyan, you are a paranoid hypochondriac. ...

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Shul Challenges: Engaging Young Adults After COVID-19

by R. Aton Holzer, MD There has been a considerable amount of discussion online regarding the return to normalcy in Jewish communal life, and in particular, to the shul, after the pandemic has finally concluded. Anecdotally, rabbis have particularly noted the absence of young families in synagogue participation during this time, even to the extent allowed, and in activities that ...

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Arts and Crafts on Chol Hamoed During Coronavirus

by R. Gil Student Children are off from school and the schools are warning parents to avoid risky situations. Some are in quarantine. Many of the regular Chol Hamoed attractions are closed and those that are open may not seem sufficiently safe to concerned parents. What can you do over a full five-day Chol Hamoed? One possibility is arts and ...

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Corona Policies and Clarifications for Yom Kippur

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We will review some practical issues for Yom Kippur that are likely to come up this year, in the shadow of Corona. Although local rabbis will address many of them and public policy may change, we assume our discussion will be helpful.   Answer: 1. Pushing oneself to daven with a minyan – Regarding most of ...

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A Derashah During A Plague

by R. Gil Student The 1848 (5608-9) cholera epidemic has become famous in Jewish history because it was the moment when the 37-year old Rav Yisrael Salanter first took on a leadership role. Rav Dov Katz, in his Tenu’as Ha-Mussar (vol. 1, ch. 12), describes how Rav Yisrael mobilized a rescue effort, secured a 1,500 bed hospital and volunteer doctors ...

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What I Learned From Coronavirus

by R. Gil Student My local community magazine, The Jewish Echo, asked its writers and staff for brief comments about what they learned from the pandemic. Here is my contribution: In times of crisis, our community unites in overwhelming acts of chessed. We excel at that. We naturally respond to a crisis by looking for opportunities to help others. As beautiful as this ...

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P’sak Halacha during a Modern Pandemic – Interim View

by R. Daniel Mann Question: My own question: What observations can we make about the way halachic rulings were made and disseminated during the first stage of the coronavirus crisis?  Answer: As a “student of the history of the halachic process,” I find breathtaking the difference in the tools available in reaching halachic rulings and sharing them in today’s society ...

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Yeshiva Tuition and Coronavirus

by R. Gil Student To our great sadness, the societal shutdown due to Coronavirus also closed yeshivos. The government rightly insisted that all schools cease in-class teaching. Schools transitioned to remote learning for abbreviated hours, with parents taking a greater role in watching their children and ensuring they join the class. With shorter hours and a greater parental role, many ...

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Washing Hands after Leaving a Hospital

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When visiting a hospital, I saw a kohen alert sign. Upon leaving, should I have done netilat yadayim due to exposure to tumah? Answer: We will first survey the point of netilat yadayim in various cases including yours.  When one becomes tameh on the level of Torah law in a manner that he needs rechitza ...

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Speak Your Truth: Moving Forward From Coronavirus

by R. Gidon Rothstein Adam Gopnik recently warned that we react to stressors such as the novel coronavirus with ideas we already held before, a worry I too have shared (although in looking for that link, I found this one, suggesting I’m also more locked into my own idees fixes than I’d like to think).  It’s part of the reason I try to find prior sources for my ...

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