BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — In a live video clip transmitted from his home, Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovezh and the president of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah (Council of Torah Sages), spoke to Yeshiva students around the country and gave them words of Chizuk during the present difficult situation:
“Baruch Hashem, some Yeshivos have already started learning, but the main thing is to be very careful and maintain all Ministry of Health precautions. Most yeshiva students are still learning at home over the phone, with chavrusas (study companions) over the phone, and shiurim over the phone. This is a very big merit for them. A lot of people are doing this, they’re learning נט phone and gaining tremendous Chizuk from their studies.”
Rav Gershon also referred to the present epidemic and the high rate of Chareidi victims from the coronavirus:
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“There is something we must understand. The chareidi public had a higher death rate than the secular public, both in Israel and abroad.
What does this mean? The Chazon Ish says the following principle: In our times, those that never studied Torah and did not repent, when they transgress they are considered shogeg (mistaken, unintentional). Tinokos shenishbu (like children taken captive, they follow what they have seen from youth) They are not at fault. They never had any education!
But a Chareidi? A Chareidi that transgresses, is not a shogeg! Therefore, the Midas Hadin (G-d’s attribute of justice) is more harsh for chareidim, as we have seen abroad as well.
The impact of the coronavirus on the Jewish world is a study in contrasts.
But in many large Jewish communities worldwide, the coronavirus is still wreaking a terrible toll. Among the 8 million Jews living in the Diaspora — more than Israel’s 6.7 million but less than its overall population of 9.2 million — the death toll is in the thousands and climbing.