Coronavirus

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

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 is, as much a ...

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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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Torah Reading and Social Distancing

by R. Gil Student As ”stay at home” restrictions begin to loosen in certain places, and within weeks will probably begin to loosen in the New York area also, we need to reimagine what shul will look like in the interim stages before we fully return to normal. The OU, Agudath Israel of America and several poskim have published on ...

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Who Bentches Gomel On Coronavirus?

by R. Gil Student We bentch Gomel (recite the “Gomel” blessing) on being saved from a dangerous situation. How does that apply to Coronavirus? Arguably, everyone in the world is in a potentially life-threatening situation, those in the New York region and above the age of 65 even moreso. Additionally, we are now in some form of quarantine. When we ...

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Kri’at HaTorah in the Shadow of Corona

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When minyanim are taking place with the permission of health authorities under social distancing rules, what should be done to separate “functionaries”? Answer: [This is being written as small outdoor minyanim just became re-permitted in Israel, and little has been written on the topic. Health rules may change by the time the column is read, ...

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