NEW YORK (VINnews) — In light of the extensive spread of COVID_19 in the US, the Bobover Rebbe-45, Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger, has instructed his Chasidim not to set up private minyanim even if they maintain the requisite social distancing. The Rebbe addressed a letter to all Bobov-45 congregants in the Tri-State area, stating that:
“In view of the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases identified, it is imperative upon every member of our congregation to go beyond the letter of the law in regards to health protection. It is not the time for heroics in any shape or form.
“We have been abiding by government regulations from the very start, and often times preempting the laws to increase the level of safety within the community. Our schools, community centers, and shuls are all locked up. However, as per the urgent directives of the Rebbe shlita, we insist that the Bobov-45 congregation – including men, women, and children – take this one step further.
“The Rebbe is aware that some have organized private prayer groups within the guidelines of the law. There are small quorums, not exceeding a total of 10 participants, that have been planned for the prayers. These groups measured the available accommodations, ensuring that all participants will stand at a distance of minimum 6 feet. Some of these groups have been to use outdoor areas at an even greater distance. It’s legal. It’s allowed.
“However, in view of current circumstances, the Rebbe forbids any and all initiatives of this nature. We have a responsibility for our own health, and for the health of the greater public. Every congregant must pray in his own home, stay inside, and not venture into the streets except for food, or true emergencies.
“In the name of the Rebbe, we quote, “I want you to tell the congregants, in my name, that I have suspended the small prayer group that has been organized, as per the laws, in my own home. It was legal and safe, with just 10 members and a quantifiable distance between each participant. However, I cancelled it and I demand that all congregants follow suit. is is a time of crisis and we must take extra precautions, without exception.”
“In the merit of our combined efforts to safeguard our health, our families, and the greater public, may the One Above keep us all healthy and safe.”