STAY HOME! Joint Statement To The Orthodox Community Regarding Pesach

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NEW YORK (VINnews) — The following joint statement regarding Pesach was sent out by the Rabbinical Alliance of America, the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel of America, the Rabbinical Council of America, Young Israel, and The lakewood Vaad.

Rabbinic leaders and organizations across the Orthodox spectrum have, individually, declared the health threat presented by COVID-19 a mortal threat (sakanas nefashos). We, leaders of major American Orthodox Jewish organizations, join together again to further clarify our shared and firm guidance for our communities.

We have heretofore urged not only full compliance with all health guidance issued by federal, state and local governments, but have gone beyond those pronouncements in urging our communities to remain at home and avoid, to the maximum extent feasible, any outside interactions.

With regard to the upcoming Pesach holiday, we note specifically the following critical mandates, shared in consultation with leading Infectious Disease and Public Health experts:

1. We are accustomed to honoring Pesach to the fullest degree, including taking haircuts, purchasing new clothing and tableware, and preparing the fullest menus. This year’s public health crisis mandates us to significantly limit all of the above. Our responsibility is to refrain from any NON-ESSENTIAL outside interactions, including especially in-store shopping. If there is a need for truly ESSENTIAL purchases, send one family member only – who is neither ill, vulnerable, nor of known exposure to COVID-19 – as rarely and as briefly as possible. Stores serving the community should shift to home delivery or drive-by parking lot pick-up of pre-orders, and – to the extent this is not possible – must take substantive steps to minimize crowding, maintain hygiene, and maximize social distancing.

We will truly honor Pesach by limiting our purchases to the truly ESSENTIAL, ensuring that all of us – especially the vulnerable – are able to celebrate Pesach in good health. We must STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES.

2. The Pesach plans of many have been completely upended. This creates severe difficulty for so many. We are deeply sympathetic to this enormous difficulty. Nevertheless, public health demands strict adherence to the current guidance. Travel to other cities must be cancelled, whether to vacation venues (Florida, etc.) or to family. Everyone must plan to celebrate Pesach where they are currently.

Individuals living alone or those absolutely unable to prepare for Pesach may choose to self-quarantine for 14 days, and then – if asymptomatic – may join with a welcoming local family that is similarly asymptomatic and that has been disciplined in staying home and limiting their interactions outside the home to the absolute minimum as described above. These guests may join one family only for the duration, without additional company, and must carefully observe the mandated standards of scrupulous hygiene and social distancing. The elderly and high risk must seek medical advice before considering this.

STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES

We urge one and all – while strictly maintaining the prescribed guidelines – to look out for each other by reaching out to and providing for each other, especially those living alone.

We hope and pray that our sincere Tefillos (prayers) and Chassadim (acts of kindness) will move Hashem to swiftly remove this plague from the world and bless us all with health, peace and tranquility.

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President, Agudath Israel of America
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznick, Executive Vice-President, Igud HaRabbanim – Rabbinical Alliance of America

Rabbi Shmuel Blech, Chairman, Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg, Co-Chair, the Lakewood Vaad

Farley Weiss, President, National Council of Young Israel

Moishe Bane, President, Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President, the Orthodox Union

Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, President, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Council of America

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Can we take haircuts during sefira this year?

    waht does stay home mean? no minyan for 3 days on pesach? What about our kids? A 3 day yom tov with no freinds to play with and socialize? You do realize that mentally all this is just impossible. Sure its the suggested way but its not feasable.

  2. “These guests may join one family only for the duration, without additional company”

    Mamesh Sedom! So are we allowed to invite our children? Mitzvos be damned. Older singles with a broken heart be damned. Childless couples be damned. Fellow lonely yidden living in basements be damned. If you live in a small cramped apartment be damned. Elderly Parent al achas kama vikama be damned. Our leaders lol have told us we are NOT allowed to invite you! Basically their message to you is drop dead. We don’t care about you. Kol dialom gvar. Each man for himself. Is this the new Torah?! Is this behaviour is going to bring the geula?! Very very sad day for the Jewish Nation.

    • That is not the message at all you hysteric. The message is to MINIMIZE exposure and at the same time do all in your capacity to help others in need. Fund Hatzolah, get on whatsapp, provide food for distribution.

      • Anyone that distributes food is a rodef and a rotziach! He will spread the virus and kill old people! It’s a Mitzvah haba biavaira! Stay home.

  3. “Beyond those pronouncement” Thank you, finally a bisele seichel. We dont copy the springbrakes, clubgoers we have our Torah to guide us. Chamire Skante Disure. Even if a town allows a minyan of 10. Halacha forbids it.

    • Please address the mental health aspects . I don’t think this is something the masses can hold out . That includes no minyan over a 3 day yom tov . And no kids playing with others . It will lead to a breakdown . It’s not possible

      • Masses can’t hold out! My word, cry babies like you, as I’m sure you’re whining about yourself, don’t last the first week of basic training. If you have food to eat, indoor plumbing and a warm bed…you have it pretty good Mister…suck it up and you should do fine even if this goes on for months.

        • Your immature dumb comments like any sense of understanding of issues . And your spamming just adds to your cowardness .

          I can tell that you don’t have little kids at home who grew up in a bungalow social interaction like community . And after one Shabbos it was a nightmare

          Now listen up, I can tell you with certainty that I will let me kids Socially interact with neighbors .

          Same is true for minyan . It’s not bec I am so frum . It’s for my mental sanity . I need to feel life . I need to feel like it’s Pesach . I can tell you that I will attend any minyan I can get hold of despite the dr orders .

          Your logic of saying I have food and toilet paper is nonsense . I can’t be held in a jail for 3 months . Of course I will wear masks and take the super extra caution necessary . But I simply cannot stay locked up . You are asking the impossible . And I’ll bet it’s not just me .

          Now address the issue vs saying hey be happy your jail is comfortable

          Sent from my iPhone

        • You’re obviously and old bachelor. You have no clue what it means to be cooped up in a small apartment with kn”h numerous kinderlach. I know exactly what Archie is talking about. I believe Dr. Pelkowitz will be addressing this very issue tommorow night (Tuesday) 3:00est. Dial in number is 617-829-6595

      • To: Archy- Many Jews hid during the Holocaust and survived, including over 1,000 Jews in Berlin. They did not complain about the lack of minyans. They stayed hidden in homes for years. It wasn’t easy, but it was done. Therefore, stop qvetching about your kids not being able to play, etc. Regarding haircuts, you can cut your own hair, without seeing a barber.

        • This is not the Holocaust. Let’s not make those extreme examples . We need to start thinking about repercussions of all this. This is not sustainable

          • Nobody said its the ****ing holocaust. Do you ever understand anything that’s said to you? What he said was that it’s sustainable when you have to. Saying “I can’t” doesn’t make it so, it just makes you a self absorbed prick. I would have some respect for you if you’d say “I’m going to minyan because I’m frum” but saying I’m going to minyan because you simply need to get our shows what a reckless and callous rasha you are.

      • Archy, I’ve questioned your mental health long before the virus ever came ashore.
        The rabbonim and the organizations speak with far more authority than you. Is your hair more important than peoples lives?
        I suggest you discuss your issues with either your therapist or your rav.

        • They are focusing at the specific epedmic without taking proper thought about how dangerous the solution is.
          As I said , I will not be following the no minyan rules Pesach . But I will be the freak that really stands 100 feet away and in masks

  4. @ Al eileh ani bocheah
    Indeed, people are dying already. Thi sis an emergency. G the minimum witout risk, give food to someone and let them be alone. There are people of all ages in critical and worse.
    And you said, drop ….

    • I am not sure that such a move is healthier for people’s mental well being . We all agree it’s an emergency but you need to think about preventing another emergency while you address the first one

        • Sorry I am not a man like you.

          I spend plenty of time with my kids. Do you? Do you have kids?

          We are currenltey having a hard time obtaining kosher food for my kids thanks to all the lock downs. This is not sustainable and neither is keeping my kids locked up. Its not about being selfish. Its bgeder chycha kodem. Obvioulsy we will be as cautious as possible without staying in jail. I think thats a fair balanced apporach.

          And yes a minyan in the street with everyone 10 feet apart is not really such a strong risk. Yes dr’s don’t like it bec its not fool proof. Plus there is this “gezara” that some won’t really social distance. So they said nobody congregate.

          Again at a certian point the sianty of me and my kids come first and its just too bad

          • What a miserable social warrior snowflake you are. That’s right! The type you hock about all day.. selfish prick crying because of personal hardship. Do you need a safe space to deal with it? You’re despicable. Chayecha kodmin? Are you for real? People may possibly die for your convenience? And you have the nerve to invoke chazal for your rishus!!

  5. No surprise here. Once they got rid of maos chitim this year (every Shul is under mandatory closure and there is no one to turn to) they figured they might as well get rid of kol dichvin yeysay viyeychol…..from this years Hagada. I wonder if Artscroll will print a new version hagada this year. Interesting. Reform has taken over Yiddishkeit without firing a single shot. We are our worst enemy.

  6. This just in: Eliyahu Hanavi has just announced that because of the corona virus he will not be drinking from anyone’s cup at the Seder this year. He has requested that in lieu of a cup of wine, an N-95 mask be placed on the table, with all such masks to be donated to hospitals during chol hamoed.

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