Coronavirus

Are Porch Minyanim Kosher?

by R. Gil Student I. Pesach, Prayer and Bentching In the current phase of the Coronavirus pandemic, all shuls around the world are closed and nearly every Jew globally is praying without a minyan. Even during its strictest period, the Israeli government allowed a few minyanim to continue under health department guidelines. In the US, I know of a family with ...

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Does A Virus Kill?

by R. Gil Student As we contend with the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, we pray, we learn and we grow as Jews. In the past, people saw epidemics as divine punishment. However, nowadays we know the medical causes of the disease. We can trace the virus and, to some degree, its spread. If epidemiology explains the spread of ...

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Talmudic Advice on Epidemics

by R. Gil Student While we have lived through multiple pandemics (SARS, Ebola, AIDS to name a few), most of us have not experienced it as personally and directly as we are with coronavirus. It is worthwhile to review what the Talmud teaches about living through an epidemic. We have to keep in mind that even in the times of ...

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Coronavirus Responsa

(UPDATE: See additional responsa here: link) Responsa by Rav Hershel Schachter on timely questions (click on the images to enlarge) Tevilas Keilim, Firstborn Siyum, Selling Chametz     Dishwashers, Minhagim and Burning Chametz       Zoom Seder      

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Participation in a Siyum by Skype

by R. Daniel Mann Question: On Erev Pesach, I will be in a small Jewish community that will not have a siyum. Is it permitted for me – a bechor[1]Firstborn. – to break the ta’anit bechorot[2]The fast of the firstborn. based on a siyum[3]The completion of a significant section of Torah. in which I “participate” via Skype?  Answer: In the ...

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Unknown Unknowns and the Coronavirus

by R. Gidon Rothstein Unknown Unknowns: A Jewish Version of Confronting Coronavirus Creatively Rambam opens the Laws of Fasts with a passage many people today find uncomfortable for its forthright certainty hard times hit communities (individuals is a more complex story, depending on our understanding of divine providence) because of sins they commit. Let’s leave his idea for next time, when I ...

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Chametz In Your Office

by R. Asher Bush They shut down all access to my workplace and I had Chametz in my desk? I have always been strict not to sell my Chametz Focusing on: The need to do an early bedika, Cases where this is not an option, Selling chametz that is inaccessible Selling chametz for those who have been strict not to ...

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