Opinion: The Minyanim Happening In Our Community Are A Dangerous Violation Of Jewish Law

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Rabbi Hershel Billet

WOODMERE, N.Y. (JTA/Rabbi Hershel Billet) – As an Orthodox Jew and an ordained rabbi, I am fully aware that the Torah and CHAZAL/Rishonim/Achronim/Halacha mandate that we pray every day. Ideally, praying with a quorum of ten men, at a minyan in a synagogue is the better way to do the “service of the heart.” From my perspective the Halacha is unequivocal and we are duty-bound to accept it in both theory and practice.

The inability to pray with a minyan has been a painful consequence of this pandemic for many Orthodox Jews. And the desire to have a minyan three times daily, in any venue, is a genuine yearning of the soul for Orthodox Jews.

In the best of all possible worlds, in the worst of all possible circumstances, a deceased Jew deserves a eulogy in front of his family, friends and fellow community members. The deceased deserves a quorum at the cemetery to do the burial and to enable sons, daughters (if they choose), or in the absence of children, someone else, to say Kaddish at the grave.

The mourners merit a week of Shiva with a minyan in their home and the opportunity to say Kaddish. The mourners and those outside the immediate family deserve the opportunity to share in the grief and to offer consolation by means of a personal visit. And the mourners deserve an available minyan to say Kaddish daily after the Shiva.

The pandemic has denied everyone these opportunities. The deceased has suffered the worst fate. The families of the deceased have suffered terribly over the loss itself and by being deprived of a normal Shiva week. Consolation visits have been by telephone or by Zoom. Kaddish has not been said except by designating some stranger far away to serve as a second-string substitute. Feelings of guilt are present in large doses.

I believe that Halacha applauds both mourners, communities and Shuls for their conduct over the last few months. Those who have endured and made disciplined but painful choices are courageous heroes!

We must understand the complex reality of human beings in an imperfect but real world. Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai instructed his five great students to “GO OUT and SEE a good path to follow and a bad path to avoid.” Why should five of the greatest Rabbis of the Mishnah have to “Go OUT and see”? Why not tell them to “Go IN and see”? Doesn’t the Bais Midrash contain all of the answers inside its sacred walls? The answer is that perhaps the Bais Midrash alone is insufficient if the Torah is to be a living Torah! Perhaps the lessons of the Bais Midrash must be applied in a practical way to the realities of an imperfect world.

A choice had to be made between observing our religious “normal” and adjusting in a safe way to our coronavirus infected world. What is a valid halachic determination as to how to conduct ourselves? On the one hand, we could choose to change nothing and continue to function as we always have. The downside of that choice is to put ourselves in a clear and present danger of getting sick and dying.

Jewish law is clear that danger to life takes precedence over everything else except for three unusual circumstances. The sanctity of life supersedes all religious obligations. Indeed, protecting the sanctity of life is the overriding choice of Halacha. Hence the social distancing and all sanitary guidelines that we have been following is the expectation of Jewish law. That means no communal prayer services. That means no normal funeral services. That means no Kaddish. That means no Shiva visits. This determination is absolute and irrefutable.

But in the days of social media, rabbinic authority goes as far as the choice to agree with the Rabbis or not. If one feels the Rabbis are wrong, then one chooses to do as he wishes. Hence, wherever the government has not forbidden it, one goes ahead and creates a religious service that does not comply with community standards. You implore mourners to come and say Kaddish. You find a Rabbi who agrees with you and who is willing to break the communal unity and norm. That is what has happened both in our community and in other places all over the world.

In my view, the services that have been conducted to date in defiance of the community are worthless. They are a violation of Jewish law. The Kaddish is of no value. It does not honor the soul of the deceased.

Some rabbis and attendees at these services are well meaning but misguided. Others use the cover of piety. From their perspective, they see themselves as wiser than the community. The Talmud has a term for that. It is called ‘yuhara’, hubris. They say that they are praying for the community and saving everyone from a terrible disaster. They have done a very poor job. Just look at the numbers of sick and deceased people.

One of the reasons we say Kaddish is to restore the image of God that has been diminished by the loss of a human being who was created in His image. A British Rabbi said that by not saying Kaddish for his father at a religious service, he felt that he was honoring his father and was restoring the image of God by virtue of his compliance with communal rules. All of those people who have conformed to the rules of not attending services indoors or outdoors have honored the memory of their parents. Going to an illegal service and saying Kaddish would disgrace that memory.

Now we come to a new situation. There is no question that things have gotten slightly better. There is no question that there are ways that safe services can take place. But once we loosen our current standards, chaos will ensue. It is human nature to seek a social environment. Many unsupervised social gatherings (Kiddushes, invitations to meals in someone else’s home) will transpire. Safe standards will be dropped. The possibility is that nothing will happen. So why not take a chance?

The alternative possibility is that one person will get sick and one person will die. Who will it be? Is relaxing our standards of caution worth the risk of the loss of even one life? To my mind, that is called, ‘safek pikuach nefesh’, a possible risk of human life. Jewish law is very clear that for a circumstance like this, it is forbidden to take a chance.

There is always the possibility that the worst has passed and with the arrival of warm weather, the virus will disappear forever. But there is also the possibility that there will be a resurgence. And there is the possibility that the resurgence will be so bad that it will not only afflict people who were not sick this time around, but also those who were sick and felt a sense of immunity. Do we take a chance? Governments are under tremendous pressure to relax standards. And they are doing that! But the jury is still out.

We have no control over what the government does. But we do have control over what we do. My view is: in the meantime, we should maintain the restrictions. I know it is painful. But I also believe that the more pain we suffer now, the better off we will be in the future, for a long period of time. Life might even return to normal without having to suffer the consequences of a resurgence of the disease.

Let us be disciplined. Most of us are well. Let’s stay well. Let’s hope and pray those who are not well recover quickly and completely. Pray at home. No Kaddish yet. Make Shiva calls by phone or zoom. See the light at end of the tunnel. Be hopeful. We shall overcome.

I wish to clarify that I wrote the letter today because there have been many minyanim in the Five Towns in violation of our community standards which are based on both medical advice and our halachic authorities and the halachic authority of others.

I refer only to the past. It has always been possible to create a religious service that was safe. But we did not do it because our doctors and religious authorities thought that it could lead to unsupervised violations of medical advice. That could lead to a spread of disease. This was the universal position of almost the entire Orthodox Jewish community.

The violations that I referred to are ones that have occurred to date.

Some mourners have felt particularly bad about obeying our standards and having to give up saying Kaddish for their loved ones. Avoiding one of those minyanim took a lot of courage.

Going forward, our doctors and religious authorities are of the opinion that at present, things must remain the same for us.

But you will also see that in some communities standards are going to be gradually relaxed sooner than we will do it. As long as they function with their religious authorities and good medical advice, I have nothing bad to say about them. From their perspective they are behaving responsibly. Everyone has the right to follow responsible halachic advice that coincides with responsible medicine.

From my perspective, I wish that the OU/RCA standards and the forthcoming Agudah standards will be the same. But if they differ, we will continue to rely on our doctors and poskim who are one and the same with the OU/RCA doctors and poskim.

Rabbi Hershel Billet serves as the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Woodmere, New York and is a past President of the Rabbinical Council of America. He is a leading activist on behalf of numerous Israeli causes and a popular lecturer for the Genesis Foundation. Under its aegis, he has conducted classes with Jewish members of Congress, professionals and college students. Rabbi Billet speaks widely on issues regarding contemporary halacha and the Jewish community.

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170 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve heard that Houston minyanim have restarted during the week in the parking lot with a lot of space in between.

    What is the case in the 5 towns?

    • Why does this Rabbi look bitter & angry? Why does Ditchik look bitter & angry? I also notice many people who walk the streets with their whole body covered up with masks and what not, look angry & bitter. These people all lack happiness in their miserable lives and it upsets them when they see others who are happy with their lot.

      • Rabbi Billet has been burying bodies almost every day. He has a huge congregation with all generations represented.

        Sorry he is not smiling enough for you but he doesn’t find the topic that entertaining.

        • No one in the 5Towns died. It’s only those evil Chassidim in Williamsburg & Boro Park. The 5Towns yidden were protected because they listened to the rabbi’s and doctors and didn’t make a chillul hashem.

          • One can never never condemn a Rabim. The fact that you chose to do so in a time like this shows that you are having issues of your own! And Just using someone else’s issues to cover yourself. Im am not imploring that those minyaim are correct, but ur usage of the word “evil” against chasidim in a general manor is totally out of wack. Take care of ur issues and all will be fine

      • What horrible Lashon Hara! You should be ashamed of yourself, these Drs have been on the front lines and are looking out for the well being of the Klal. The Halacha is very clear, I don’t get how you are translating it differently

  2. What you are unaware is that in some Yiddish neighborhood’s were almost everbody had the virus before pesach , and the shulls are opening up one after another since the second day’s Yom tov, and the numbers of infected people are declining more than 20 days in a row. The only 2 reasons not to daven with minyen is 1) if you are above 60 OR have any health issues and you don’t have antibodies. 2) if you believe the NYS government that didn’t do Anything right this pandemic.

    • How about these additional reasons to avoid minyan: common sense, the simplest medical advice, and shelves-ful of rabbinical advice from epidemics in past centuries, all unrelated to the NYS government? But what can I say to one who overrules rabbis *and* governors?

    • # 3 and the most important reason NOT to daven with a Minyan. The Rabbonim 100% (There are a few unknown and unsigned pro-minyan rabbis) signed and publicized against it. We follow the Torah. Hashem gave it to Moshe than.. Yoshua ….todays Rabbis. If you question this you are REFORM. Many Reform Rabbis questions makes much more sense than your Minyan explanation.

      • @aha, plenty of rabbis disagree with him, they just don’t feel the compelling need to gratuitously shove their opinions down our collective throat’s.
        PS if your looking for a name, a rov in Lakewood joined a lawsuit to reopen shuls.

          • Using the Rockaway 5 towns as an example, Rav Blumenkratz ztl and Rav Kaplinsky ztl had tiny basement shuls and were baukim bshas and halachah, I would trust their judgement in halacha way way before I would trust this publicity hound with his big shul

        • Lakewood is a terrible example OF EVERYTHING. Mostly A sick culture and society. Most salaried workers there are more than happy to collect whatever the govt is giving them now and NOT go back to work. Sick group of people

        • That “Rov” was arrested for striking a police officer on lag baomer when the police had to break up his illegal and dangerous bonfire festivity.

      • Wrong fake news . Most rabbonim in charedi black hat circles and chasidish signed for minyan . R Chaim is now for it . This is our Torah . Not your free made up rabbonim

        • “R Chaim is now for it”. This is so so terribly incorrect. R’ Chaim’s psak is for HIS COMMUNITY. It is idiotic to rely on this for our communities. This is what caused so many deaths to begin with. Ridiculous reliance on psak from OTHER COMMUNITIES.

        • Show me proof . There is no reason or rationale for Lakewood to consult R’ Chaim on this very very vetry local issue of pikuach nefesh. There is not a chaNCE IN A million that he spoke to LOCAL doctors, even if whT YOU ARE Sying os accurate.y

          • R Chaim did not speak to dr’s in EY. He relies on others.

            In the USA when raabonim consult with him, the assumption is they consulted with proper health professionals. And they did.

            R Chaim’s letter can be found on VIN somewhere

          • They need to consult with SOMEONE. They have no Rabbonim capable of answering. They have MANY rosh yeshivos but they can’t paskin important questions. They are NOT poskim they just run yeshivos

    • “almost everybody had..” and 1000’s died because not following the Rabbis, Hatzolah,Doctors Askonim etc.. In fact in Israel The Chareidim are 12% of the population and 70% of Corona victims. Its a loud clear message from Hashem. STAY HOMA and STAY SAFE

    • If the law in NYS is not to meet in groups,that is the law
      It is the law even if we think they made mistakes
      By breaking the law we are teaching our children to disobey the law
      Maybe we have so many in Otisville because their parents did not explain to them
      that laws are made for reason and should be obeyed

    • Very well said. Why doesn’t this Rabbi get in his car and drive to Albany and stage a protest in front of Andrew Como who is personally responsible for the death of 5000 nursing home patients because he stupid enough to order hospitals to force the homes to take back sick Covid patients. just today finally He rescinded his stupidity. All He can do is talk against minyanim because in his heart of hearts he really doesn’t like people who are more religious than he is. It’s always the case.

  3. As Rabbi Billet clearly writes “ as long as they function with their religious authorities and good medical advice, I have nothing bad to say about them”. Rabbi Billet you hit it on the nail. That’s why the title of this letter and the way the letter is written is misleading. You should have started your letter right away addressing your own community. Your congregants. Every yid that has a Rov and his following his advice has the right to daven with a minyan, as king as he is following all his Rov’s Guidelines. I happen to daven with an outdoor minyan (not in the five towns) with a respected Rav. The minyan takes place outdoors and there is a Gabbai who is in charge of making sure no one gets closer than 8 feet.
    Therefore the title of this letter is misleading as since there are minyanim sanctioned by her ehrliche Rabbonim and maybe even those minyanim in the five towns asked a shaila just not to Rabbi Billet?

    • “as long as they function with their religious authorities and good medical advice”

      Saying your Rav and leaving out what medical advice the Rav is following is ridiculous. This is why so many Jews died from this, because they followed Rav’s who did not follow medical advice.

      • And you Mr honest without knowledge are accusing ehrliche daas TORAH of not speaking to proper medical professionals. Shame on you and you have the nerve of using a profile name honest.

        • The fellow said he is davening in an outside minyan, which goes contrary to the guidance of Agudah and the OU currently. There is no body of medical experts that any Rav doing this consulted with at this time as we all know what the doctors are recommending. That a few outlier doctors say you can do this, is irrelevant. I even heard shiurim from well respected rabbonim stating that you have to listen to medical consensus and not outliers (only time I think you listen to outlier is for being stringent on pikuach nefesh, never for kullah). So unless you have a different shulchan aruch there is no way they are talking to medical professionals.

          Also, please explain what “ehrliche daas torah” even means?

          If they are daas torah (a nonsensical term as far as I can tell), they would not need to speak to doctors as their learning would have told them everything they need to know, yet we know from how things went in March that such a thing does not exist. If daas torah means that once they get the facts they are able to properly pasken, well as the medical consensus is against this, they are not ehrlich, nor do they have facts so they are not daas torah either.

          Frankly take your immature notion of daas torah, which is just a way you seek to shout down others, and bury it someplace and actually start thinking for yourself a bit. Being a yid, requires you to gain some daas of your own. Hashem does not excuse the behavior of zealots who say they were listening to their leader. One thing if you are a fool with no ability to learn stuff, but for everyone else they have an obligation to gain some knowledge as they have personal responsibility for what they do (including for listening to clearly bad advice from a Rav).

  4. While I do not dispute the contents of this letter I have to wonder about the future.
    There many who were not regulars at minyan, but once pushed to go to shul regularly because of the kaddish, stay regulars. How many of these opportunities will be lost?
    How many who have always been regulars, now having so often davened at home, will in the future find it easier to find an excuse not to go to shul?
    How are our children being trained by being told that davening at home is also ok?
    For many older members of our community, going to shul was their main social outlet; how are they coping mentally with being locked up at home with no social life? We cannot separate mental health with the physical help especially of the elderly. When i read that the over 65 will not be allowed in the beginning to go to shul, I cringe.

  5. Why is NOBODY talking about the need for the medically impaired and elderly to stay totally quarantined ?

    Because if they wud stay totally and unequivocally quarantined (with no relaxation in the quarantine chumros whatsoever) then 90% of the health issue would be gone.

    Its a fact (chronicled in the NY Times) that more than 95% of hospitalizations in NYC were people with other health issues (Asthma, Obese, Diabetes etc) and if these people were quarantined well enough many people could have been saved.

    And the chances of people tested to have anti-bodies to be able to transmit the virus to another person the sofek of a person infecting another person to the extent of it being nefoshos is very small and a tiny chance.

    And especially in our communities where more than 90% of people already had the virus and then probaly cannot transmit the makes the possibility even lower.

  6. Dead wrong. Sorry. In places like Lakewood where there hasn’t been a new corona case on a month There’s no reason not to start opening. Safek Pikuach Nefesh is also a Halacha that has guidelines and for the rabbonim to decide how far it goes. Problem is that the rabbonim are not deciding this. The politicians and by extension the doctors are making all the decisions here. Hence totally invalid. השיבה שופטינו כבראשונה

    • The problem in Lakewood is that they don’t have enough qualified RABBONIM. They listen to a bunch of Rosh Yeshivos who should NOT be paskining. Let them just take the $6M from the govt and stay in their botei midrashim

      • Who’s a qualified Rabbi? Someone that you can tell what to do? Lakewood has plenty of prominent rabbanim and poskim.

        I do not have anything good to say about someone who denigrates gedolim like you do. I give you a brachah that you do teshuva bekarov, before you meet the ultimate fate of those who hate the Torah, its learners, and its Giver.

    • On Yom Kippur the doctors decide whether it is safek pikuach nefesh
      It does not have to be a Jewish doctor
      The rabbi then decides based on the doctor’s opinion
      It is not up to laymen to make these decisions
      This is a similar case
      The rabbi decides base on the laws and doctors’ opinions

    • Based on what went on the beginning to middle of March there are no Rabbonim qualified to decide anything here with relying on medical experts.

        • How so? Stating that Rabbonim are obligated to listen to medical consensus is something someone like R’ Binyamin Cohen clearly said in a drasha. The person I responded to was suggesting Rabbonim don’t need to. I pointed out that even if halacha is not sufficient for that person and he wants to go on the facts of what happened, it is clear that rabbonim that ignored the medical consensus back in March acted in error. Based on that alone, no reason anyone should assume that rabbonim have a right to give opinions what to do here without relying on medical experts for what the facts are. If the medical consensus is that making minyanim with even 20 feet between people is too risky now then for a Rav to disagree is kefirah. It is that simple.

  7. I’m not criticizing here, but I have a genuine question. What makes him the And the rabbis who agree with him the “community” and the rabbis who attend/approve social distance minyanim be the ones going against the “community”? Maybe it’s the other way around?

  8. Rabbi Akiva Eiger in his famous letter re the cholera outbreak (where in a town of 25,000 more than 5,000 people died) says that one can daven on a minyan with up to 15 people and they should keep at a distance from one another.

    The whole social distancing thing is a theory and no-one knows if it works. Delaying the virus is a experiment at best. Because eventually everyone has to come out of their hole and out of their homes and will catch the virus then.

    In our communities most of us had it in our bodies before Gov Cuomo decided to close us down so the social distancing hasn’t made a difference either way.

    Yes the elderly must stay home for a longn long time to go ! But the rest of us ?

    • R’ Eiger wrote his letter before people knew what viruses were. We have to use the knowledge Hashem gave us in making decisions, not always can we rely on what was decided by someone who did not have the same knowledge about science and medicine that we are blessed to have to today.

  9. Rabbi Akiva Eiger in that famous letter also says to do all the takonos needed with simcha and benachas …

    Why dont I see on VIN a letter of chizuk for an oilam that really needs chizuk ?

    Why do we see only rules & regulations from the Rabbis and not simcha whilst we are still breathing ? Why do we panic people when only a tiny percentage if people got really, sick people died ? Yes every death is terrible but panic and frightening healthy, normal people ?

  10. Rabbi Bullet,

    I appreciate your input, however you are not a Ruv of all of klal yisroel…. I have a feeling that you are not even a Rabbi that has a word on his own kehileh… Frankly the life style of the 5towns, all year, is a chillul Hashem to the rest of klal yisroel.

    I understand that to close down your shuls, was a win win situation,. From your perspective, the men won’t talk all thru davening, and get drunk like a skunk…. and the women won’t come on shabbat, dressed to the nines like prostitutes to have every man look and flirt with her.. The men are ok, so that they can pray in pajamas and be done in 5 minutes

    We look at davening with a different perspective!!

    • How dare you speak to a Rov of a Shul that way. Rabbi Billet is the Rov of the Largest Young Israel. His Shul has multiple Shiurim and Minyanim. The Shul is host to some of the greatest Chareidi Rabbonoim as Scholars in residence. Who come and say in depth shiurim to an interested tzibbur. Where do you get the chutzpa to disparage with such venom a whole tzibbur of Klal Yisroel. That you should be deeply ashamed of yourself is below minimum. You MUST ask mechila from the Holy Yidden in the five towns. Frankly a you can tell a person by how he speaks, and there are some blinging lights as to what you are all about. Chilul Hashem might even be you first name. Mechutzaf!!!!!

    • You owe EVERY PERSON IN THE 5 TOWNS a huge apology. You are a chutzpanik who was brought up without manors and your parents should be ashamed of you AND themselves. Btw, I DONT live in the 5Towns. You oisvorf dog

      • The people who were “brought up with “MANORS”, all live in the “MANORS” in the 5 towns, the people who were raised with manners all live in BP, Monsey etc.
        5 towners are a bunch of stuck up rich people who think they know better then anyone else. Now that real estate and healthcare crashed maybe they will learn how to be humble.

        • As a resident of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway for over 70 years
          double parking was not a problem until BP people saw the advantages of
          living of living here

    • Wow. I think you hit the nail on the head. Nobody wants to discuss that.
      What we see now, is the final push by the misyavnim/mosrim before all the normal Shuls with normal people reopen. Now that all the major Organizations from both sides of the political spectrum are discussing the proper way to restart davening with a minyan, the truth is coming out by those who truly hate the Aibishter and his Torah R”L. They are fighting tooth & nail to keep them closed for good. Most of the tzaros we’ve had thru our long and bitter galus has been perpetrated by fellow yidden/misyavnim/beryonim/mosrim. But we, God fearing Yidden always win at the end. We will win this time as well.

    • I have never davened in this rabbi’s shul but I assure you there are serious no talking shuls in the 5Towns. From what I’ve seen here there are some women who do dress inappropriately which is a problem that should be addressed/

    • Wow… So rabbonim who were not careful about a d’oraisa of pikuach nefesh, which is all the rabbonim you respect, which led to chillul hashem now stand higher than this rabbi? I want to understand how we rank who is right and who is wrong nowadays.

        • Which Rabbi do you feel I am being dishonest about? The Moetzes shut down schools, well after the CDC was recommending they be shut down. I actually looked at the guidelines they put out. Face the truth. The truth might be difficult, but it it is what it is. I am not sure many Rabbonim can say they were careful with halacha when this happened. I get it, they were not prepared for this, and they relied too much on other rabbonim who also were not understanding of the situation. They by default looked internal to the the spiritual side and decided that tefillat b’tzibur and tinokos shel beis rabban were the solution. They unfortunately were ignorant and due to a misplaced ideal of daas torah had trouble recognizing this. Many others, myself included, recognized the danger before the rabbonim came around and took action sooner and tried warning others. The medical consensus was clear enough for anyone willing to look, unfortunately our community looked to Trump for truth, and ignored those warning otherwise as they were all liberals and it was a hoax to bring down Trump.

          • Honest I’m talking about disparaging Rabbonim brabim. It isn’t ltoeles. You may RESPECTFULLY disagree but you have no right to disparage them.

          • How ridiculous is your statement.

            I responded to a statement from someone disparaging the Rabbi mentioned in the article and you call me out for criticizing him for giving more respect to Rabbonim that were not careful with a major d’oraisa than to this Rabbi?

            I guess your issue is not disparaging Rabbonim, rather picking which ones you feel should be disparaged is something you believe is your domain. In any case, I did not disparage a Rabbi in my statement, I said you should have less respect for a Rabbi who was not careful about pikuach nefesh. Did I name any specific one in that statement? If you know one that was not careful about a major d’oraisa, do you think he still deserves more respect than the Rav in the article?

            Look, just trying to understand how we choose who we respect versus which Rabbi’s it is apparently okay to look down on.

    • Emes mkir….. I think your comment crossed the line. you also had the audacity to speak about an entire community.i believe chafetz chaims position is that you must obtain a pardon from each and every one good luck kid

    • Emes M’kir Rabbi Billet May not be you , but who gives you the right to speak this way to anyone, especially a Rav, if you disagree with him do so respectfully and if you have an issue with his a community behaves don’t live there and be mekayem hoichaiach tochiach with love. Not like a behaima. You are just embarrassing yourself.

  11. I hate being nasty, but some things have to be said. Just keep in mind that I can guess that in this Rabbi’s synagogue they only have Kadish Sayers by weekday Mincha – Mariv. No real feelings for Minyan…
    We all know that in most heavy populated Chareidy communities, more than 50% of healthy people already had the virus. There is no Halachic reason preventing them from Davening with Minyan. We don’t ban fasting Yom Kippur because some old people may fast. We ban the ones at risk. And, No!, you cannot get virus again! Don’t believe Media fear-mongering. If having the virus doesn’t make you immune, no vaccine will ever help. There is no reason to suspect that this virus is different then all other viruses in this regard.

    • I can not speak for today. I can tell you that I used his Shul once when I was in the year so I could say Kaddish. 15 minutes before davening there was no minyan. 1 minute before davening there were about 150men, with a total of two saying Kadidsh. Coming from Brooklyn I was impressed.
      A true Chacham knows of what he speaks before saying it. NOT YOU.

    • When someone in the Charedi community can explain to me their irresponsibility that is responsible for blood spilled in the beginning to middle of March still makes them holier than anyone else I might be interested in hearing what you have to say. Otherwise, you are a sick fanatic who Hashem spits in the face of your prayer.

      • The charedi community followed what governors and leaders told them. Nobody thought it would be so bad . It’s always easy to be a Monday morning quarterback . We get so many of these warnings that we can’t take every scare serous. We need to rely on what govt officials say. Not sure why you keep on harping about when we were wrong in March. That’s the way it goes. It’s not a perfect world

        • So says a person who on 3/15/2020 well after even Trump was seemingly taking this seriously posted this gem. You are excusing lies that there are a clear record of. Last day public schools were open was 3/13/2020 and that was criticized as being too slow to close.

          Educated Archy March 15, 2020 12:56 am at 12:56 am
          Nope sorry I went to shul shook hands and acted normal. I did use extra soup. We need not fall for this super hyper paranoid society. There are some good olde fashion drs that laugh at all this and say the world has gone mad.

  12. Sorry Rabbi, but you lost me as soon as you wrote that daughters can say kaddish.

    I am aware that one can find such concurring opinions but that is simply not the accepted frum norm.

    Indeed, the frum world (excluding the breakaway modorox factions) strongly opposes such a practice, including issue of kol isha and pandering to feminist.

    Therefore, halachic proclamations or views from sympathizers of mod-orthodox are given zero consideration and have the same value as so-called “halacha” of the Conservative Movement.

    • I would argue that “modox” are more religious than whatever sect you belong to. Dismissing his views b/c you are too ignorant to know halacha and simply maintain that women can’t say kaddish b/c that’s not frum enough for you, shows that you care more about appearance and shtick that G-d’s will. If G-d himself would come out and tell you that women should say kaddish, you are the type that would stand up and say “But my Rebbi said nisht”.

      Even if you would be right to disagree, you can not disagree with everything someone says simply b/c you don’t agree about one point.

    • You must be right. Instead the fum world only listens to Rabbonim that did not listen to medical experts and are responsible for jewish lives lost.

  13. I didn’t read through this article I just looked on the headlines and did read the comments

    My position in this is, everyone is entitled to have an opinion, we live in a free country, but for me to take it into consideration I first check does this opinion person MAKPID all year round to Daven with Minyan 3 times a day 7 days a week 365 days a year, and is willing to consider to spend a few dollars more on airfare to be able to Daven with Minyan Such a person his opinion talks to me and if he gets to the conclusion that in these days you shouldn’t Daven with Minyan that’s an opinion for me to consider
    But I see that most opposers and Mussar givers are the ones who aren’t MAKPID all year for Minyan or Mikveh so it’s really hard for me to even look on their opinion VDAI LEMYVIN

  14. A little background:

    Since the beginning of this crisis the Aguda type Rabonim were trying to act b’achdus and be on the same page as all the Young Israel Rabbis. They wanted a unified voice coming out of the Five Towns Far Rockaway area.

    The Rabonim on the right did everything they can to please this writer. They conferenced together, signed papers together all in the act of maintaining shalom and achdus.

    However, it came to a point where this Rabbi would not budge. It’s his way or it’s no way. He has posted that any Rabbi who disagrees with him is not worthy to be a Rabbi. In the beginning of this letter he writes “Some rabbis and attendees at these services are well meaning but misguided.” He was referring to some extremely choshuv Rabonim on the right who would not go along with him. After he was called out on it, he added the second part of this letter to try to fix the first part

    This letter is a result of a unified voice of many Rabonim in the Five Towns he permitting outdoor minyonim with very strict rules and regulations. These Rabonim did this with consultation of their Doctors and professionals, and direct contact with the Governor of New York.

    Rabbi Billet is upset that many verry prominent Rabonim are no longer bowing to his demands, and they are not sticking to the advise of his doctor, Dr. Glatt. Ity also ahppens to be that many Rabonim have been hosting private safe and legal minyonim for a while already and never listened to this Rabbi from the start.

    This Rabbi will not stop putting pressure and threatening anybody who does not go along with his anti minyan agenda. He is a leftists liberal on an anti-minyan campaign. This is not exclusive to the Five Towns. He also wrote very strongly against the Lakewood Rabonim and Roshei Hayeshiva for allowing porch minyanim.

    Let this Rabbi worry about his own Kehila. There is a lot of work to do there. The right will never go along with him on most issues, and they probably regret now ever trying.

    STOP YOUR CAMPAIGN AND STOP THE PRESSURE!! This is not l’shem Sdhomayim

    P.S. The Five Towns Covid situation is much better than Lakewood and Brooklyn. They got Covid early and there have been almost no new cases at all recently.

    • Such nonsense. Agudah, while they said follow the law, did not follow the advice of medical experts early on. They finally closed schools and shuls well after it was clear that their irresponsibility was spreading this disease. Why anyone would listen to Agudah now, when they have shown themselves to not be capable of acting responsibly with regard to this issue, is beyond me. The OU has a much better track record here.

      • You harp on the same stupid arguemnts.

        1) Aguda had dr’s that said its OK just not your drs.
        2) Dr’s tend to be extra overly catious. Where does it say you need to listen to every mediceal experts advise? if they listened to the law they are not guilty

  15. This was written and circulated in the Five Towns as a response to this letter:

    I would like to make some points in response to the letter of Rabbi Billet.
    This should not be taken in any way as being disrespectful, but as an Infectious Disease
    physician who has been involved in the care of hundreds of patients with Covid 19, I
    would like to share my perspective.

    1. I suppose that Rabbi Billet is relying on medical authorities for some of his
    statements. I am concerned that he may not have the true picture of the situation. He
    states, “things have gotten slightly better.” From my vantage point, things have gotten
    dramatically better. The difference between now and two months ago is night and day.
    Two months ago, new infections raged through the frum Jewish community like a tidal
    wave. Today, I do not hear about any new cases in any of our frum communities
    although, I admit I cannot be sure that there are not a few. I have spoken to Hatzalah
    members who say that the calls have gone back to “preCovid” numbers. Even outside
    communities which had their “tidal wave,” a month ago or more, now have very few
    cases. I work at Einstein. The emergency room is nearly empty. Six weeks ago it was
    flooded with Covid 19 patients. I have spoken to physicians in other hospitals who share
    this experience. I know it may be true that there are areas that are experiencing their
    “tidal wave” now, but so far none of these have had any impact on the frum community.
    Some have quoted the death figures to show how things are still bad. However,
    generally the deaths that are occurring currently are in patients who have been sick for
    weeks. This does not reflect on the current disease activity.

    2. Rabbi Billet concedes that “there is no question that there are ways that safe services
    can take place.” He then says that “once we loosen our current standards, chaos will
    ensue.”… Many unsupervised social gatherings will transpire.”
    If 95% of the community complies and 5% don’t, I do not think that the 95% should be
    deprived of participating in safe services, that Rabbi Billet concedes are possible. For
    the 5% who take risks, that is their issue and the entire community should not be
    deprived. I do not think that community leaders should feel responsibility for those who
    defy the regulations and take their own risk.

    3. “There is always the possibility that the worst has passed and with the arrival of warm
    weather, the virus will disappear forever.” . We do not have to look into the future for
    any reason to be optimistic. Right now, the situation is dramatically better than it was
    two months ago. We do not have to count on the virus disappearing forever to have
    safe services now. With regard for the possibility that there will be a resurgence, there
    may not be. Based on that argument, even if things are as they are now, we should wait
    for at least a year to see if there is a resurgence. If there is, we would have to deal with
    the new situation. I do not think that having safe services will cause a new resurgence.
    4. With regard to those having been sick feeling a sense of immunity, I am one of those,
    and although it is not certain, most, infectious Disease specialists I have spoken to feel
    that it is likely that someone who had the disease this season will not likely get it again
    this season.

    In summary, I understand everyone’s concern. Obviously, safe services can only start
    when the government allows it. This can only happen when the government is also
    allowing people to go back to work. Workplaces will have their guidelines to assure
    safety. I am sure that our community members will go to work. Synagogues will also
    have their guidelines to assure safety. Our community members should be able to go to
    the synagogues, just as they go to their work.

    Daniel Berman

    Dr. Daniel Berman, MD is an infectious disease specialist in Bronx, NY and has been practicing for 33 years. He graduated from New York U, School of Medicine in 1982 and specializes in infectious disease medicine.

    • After EACH reopening in other countries, there were many new outbreaks of widespread illness and multiple deaths. Why would we be different?!

      Look at South Korea, Germany and Italy (to name just 3)! The reopening by the governments was a direct cause of MORE deaths and outbreaks of critical illnesses! Learn from their experience!

      The government has a cheshbon, they need the economy to restart. If it costs a certain number of lives, so be it. The economy’s health is worth the sacrifice of certain number of lives and people’s health.

      But who among us is willing to sacrifice someone from our own family to help revitalize the economy?!

      That’s the human cost of reopening!

      And another thing:

      We waited to close the shuls until we were ordered to do so by the government.

      Imagine how many hundreds of lives would have been saved if the shuls would have been closed for Purim (as individual rabbonim were considering but didn’t have the backing to implement)!

      Imagine how much suffering would have been avoided if Purim would have been cancelled (no shlach monos or seudah with guests)!

      We waited till the government issued prohibitions, and it costed us lives.

      Now, at the other end of the crisis, are we prepared to jump right into the pool as soon as the government tells us we can open?!

      THE PROHIBITION FROM THE GOVERNMENT CAME FAR TOO LATE (to prevent hundreds of lost lives) AND THE PERMISSION MAY COME FAR TOO EARLY (to risk many more lives).

      • I’d say the other way , the govt is just slow. Bec they took so long to close down they are now irrationally paranoid to the other extreme .

        • Insight from the fool who said this (not sure who Dr. Berman is but is he your doctor by any chance?) and thinks for some reason he should continue posting like he knows antyhing:

          Educated Archy March 15, 2020 12:56 am at 12:56 am
          Nope sorry I went to shul shook hands and acted normal. I did use extra soup. We need not fall for this super hyper paranoid society. There are some good olde fashion drs that laugh at all this and say the world has gone mad.

          Educated Archy March 13, 2020 8:11 am at 8:11 am
          Thank you . It’s what I have been saying all along. It’s a bad flu . Now do the naysayers believe in science and health professionals? That’s their holy grail

          Educated Archy March 9, 2020 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm
          Pure paranioa,
          100’s of deaths? yes
          1000’s of deaths? No
          Utter nonsense and fake news

          • Anyone else ever recall so many calling for shutting things down to prevent the spread of a disease in their lifetime? Right, another lie from you. It is you and other anti-science morons, like Trump, who are responsible for many lives lost.

            Educated Archy March 13, 2020 8:11 am at 8:11 am
            Thank you . It’s what I have been saying all along. It’s a bad flu . Now do the naysayers believe in science and health professionals? That’s their holy grail

      • 1)You only hear the horror stories . Most reopening works
        2) I hardly call a porch minyan socially distant reopening . It’s still the same complete rules. Just we were extra stringent
        3) how did those countries reopen ? Some opened all flood gates . I don’t propose to do like Ks and open beauty parlors . But if you open slowly via a social distant minyan it’s a far more cautious and reasonable approach . It’s what Israel is doing

      • My rov who was from the first to close his shul and continues to say shuls should remain closed, said in a phone call to his khehila “the only thing he regrets is that he didn’t close his shul earlier” (before Purim)

        • A Rav who recognizes that mistakes were made. It is refreshing, but it is unfortunately the exception. Too many Rabbonim in our community refuse to acknowledge that mistakes were made. I cannot respect a single one who is not willing to recognize mistakes that led to loss of life. I used to accept their positions of the so called Rabbonim in the Yeshivish velt, but now I find myself holding in higher regard Rabbonim who can recognize the limits of their knowledge. Daas Torah, if even a real thing, applies to no Rabbi alive today. None of them should have the audacity to suggest that any Rabbi has better understanding into any matter that they did not study than people that studied it. It does not matter how many hours they learn or how holy they are. Unless you go out and gain proper knowledge you are going to lead your followers astray and cause them to do aveiros. It is a terrible twisting of any conception I can think of what religion is meant to be.

          • Wow. Finally a normal comment here. I agree with you 100%. These days all you need to be a “rav” is a building. Really what’s needed are brains AND the 5th chelek of shulchan aruch

    • You have to listen to experts in the field. You can always find individual doctors saying anything you want, does not make it responsible. Dr. Bermam may be right or may not and he is entitled to his opinion but much like RCCS would not recommend you going to a cancer doctor that they are not 100% certain is the best for that, you have to be responsible in who you listen to. I would add, that the OU’s guidelines where they say to wait 2 weeks to restart minyanim is recognition that minyan poses special challenges and rather than risking it be the cause of a new spread of this thing, the little extra time will allow us to access better what the risk is. Of course, if your objective is to make the yeshivish and chassidic community seem stupid by causing the spread of this again then go ahead, find a Dr. who supports what you want and act irresponsibly.

        • Get over what? If I came to you with opinions from a Rabbi from the fringest element of Judaism that goes contrary to what virtually every other frum Rabbi says, you would be fine with that? Why are you jumping on this Doctor’s coattails? You don’t know him or anything about him. For all you know he has dementia and has no idea what he is talking about.

          • Get over your obsession with our rabbonim.

            Get over your crazy minyan obsession

            the same rabbonim who you say don’t know the challenges of minyan and made tons of mistakes, very cautiously reopned out door safe minyan. Your so called expert medical professionals, (Dr Ditchek) yelled how crazy they are. They are “cowards” and “rodfem” he exclaimed. Yet, BH almost or at zero new cases in the community.

            So our “aguda” rabbis knew what they were doing.

            In fact they are and were very measured and what and how they allowed it

            This is why you need to get over it. They know thier game

          • Good luck anyone listening to a person who said all sorts of crazy things here and now thinks he knows stuff. Like this gem from 3/9. And no, the Agudah rabbis did not know what they were doing and unless they follow medical consensus no reason anyone should assume they know what they are doing now.

            Educated Archy March 9, 2020 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm
            Pure paranioa,
            100’s of deaths? yes
            1000’s of deaths? No
            Utter nonsense and fake news

  16. Daniel Berman could not have said it better!! If only more doctors and politicians would accept this view they would start opening up our lives let alone our shuls. I implore our leaders and doctors to apply maximum pressure and get our libtard politicians to get our society going again

    • Please use a screen name. There are people that share the same name as you, but do not subscribe to your opinion.
      Signed, a different Gavriel Rosenberg

  17. Someone who goes in social media to denigrate people who get psakim from social media; who says listen to the rabbanim but then disqualifies anyone who doesn’t agree with him as “well meaning but misguided, and using the cover of piety”; who equates davening with a minyan and answering kadesh to be inseparable from socializing and making a Kiddush; and who despicably writes that “people davening have done quite a poor job, judging by the amounts of disease and death”; is not someone worth publishing, and certainly not listening to. I think the irony was lost on him with he talks about yehora. Maybe it’s better for such a Rabbi that his shul is closed and he has no congregants.

    • I think you need to do tshuva. In my opinion, one of our big problems that need rectifying is how people look down at someone who dresses differently than him or has a different hashkafa viewpoint.

  18. Rabbi Billet hardly needs defending, by me or anyone else. Nevertheless, I need to bring to your collective attentions the very last Be’er Ha-Golah of Choshen Mishpat: And he who endangers himself repulses the will of his Creator, and wants not to serve Him nor His reward,and there is no Zilzul nor Apikursus greater than this…..

  19. Dear Rabbi Billet
    Where were YOU when the NY politicians instituted gay marriage. This corona is a result of that evil law. You say you know shas etc. look at Chullin 92B.
    Then tell us heimisha yidden where you were. Why were you not firing off emails. And you can still save the day. Contact President Trump that when Judge Ginsberg leaves the bench,the replacement should be a serious anti gay judge. Until then this virus continues and we religious Jews will Daven in yards,driveways,rooftops,parks and porches with spaced out minyanim

  20. Dr Berman is an infectious disease specialist in a hospital a bit larger than my Succah. He wrote a letter supporting a foolish and less than honest treatise by Yonassan Binyamin Goldberger prohibiting the use of the glass cylinder for Metzizah (despite Harav Shimshon Refael Hirsch, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, most Litvishe Gedolim, etc. etc etc.) Needless to say ,the local Pediatricians in Boro Park stopped Yonasson Binyomin from continuing this practice (as he was A Mohel)AFTER HE INFECTED MULTIPLE BABIES WITH HERPES. Yonasson Binyomin is now facing his judgement and Dr Berman has outdone his Apikursus.

    • Your Succah must be huge because Einstein is one of the largest hospitals in the outer boros, you want to talk about tiny irrelevant hospitals then talk about South Nassau and its ID head. or talk about an irrelevant pediatrician from Brooklyn, Beside SRH and JBS no other mainsteam rov ruled that way.
      BTW the Rabbi PhD badly miscalculated the MBP issue and the entire litvisher velt ostracized him to a point that he was disinvited to the siyum hashas.

  21. It never ceases to amaze me how shuls with to marginalize senior in thir community by denying them entrance to shul.
    This protects the seniors and provides no extra benefit to other mispallelim.
    These are adults who can make their own decision. You may suggest certain people stay home but it would be discriminatory to refuse entrance without proof of infection.
    Then there are those places that need proof of antibodies. Who says it means anything. They keep piling the absurd on the. Irrational.
    If members are wearing masks and distancing it should be ok. If not then close the place down. If what they are afraid of is a certain laxness which may allow a compromised individual to become ill then it is very certain police yourselves better,,
    It’s either good for all or good for nothing

  22. Every rabbi should just concern themselves with their own communities. Let the Long Island And manhattan rabbis work on their congregants who don’t dress tziniyos enough or walk in public with uncovered hair. Let the Rabbis in Brooklyn deal with shul talkers. Let Rabbis in Israel deal with their issues from closing streets on Shabbos to improving the kashrut industry.

  23. The amount of lashon hara on this forum is truly disturbing.
    Instead of all these vile, vicious comments made by most of you , take out a siddur or tehillim and beg Hashem for rachamim to forgive you.
    Truly truly sad…

  24. The Amshinover Rebbe ,Rachmistrivka Rebbe ,Rav Binyomin Eisenberger,Rav Eliza Bear Wachtfogel to name a few are misguided.I think anyone who gives any credence to this Rabbi after saying those things about Gidolei Yisroel is misguided.
    Shame on you sir!!!!!

    • Shame on you Simeon A. Weber. I don’t know who this Rabbi is. I never met him. However, from the picture, he seems to about the same age as Rav Wachtfogel and definitely older than Amshinover Rebbe and Rav Binyomin Eisenberger, How are you judging him? Is it because he has no beard, He lives in the 5 towns, He’s a young Israel Rabbi? For these reasons, he has no right to his opinion? I think Ed, Archy may be right this quarantine is making us crazy.

  25. I am very sad to hear all the lashon harah and sinas chinam.Tomorrow is Lag B’omer. Haven’t we learned anything from our tumultuous history. The plague that raged in Rabbi Akiva’s community of talmidim stopped on Lag B’omer. We need achdus and derech eretz now more than ever, if we want refuah. If we want Moshiach now we should be worthy and improve our midos Bain Adam l’chaveiro.

    • Malkie Aron: The way for us to start is by not have every Tom, Dick and Harry, Rabbi, Doctor, Bus Driver etc, give a gratuitous opinion on what we should or should not do to the public and social media.
      If the Rabbi feel compelled to give his opinion the shul has a list of its member emails and he should send out and email with his opinion to its members. The Doctor should send out his opinion to his patients etc.
      That would go along way brin

  26. Age is not a factor. We must realize there are rabbis in each community. And who knows if those heroic minyan goers are keeping us alive. In every generation there were Jews who sacrificed. According to modern thinking those Jews who killed their families during the crusades so that the Christians don’t convert their children would be considered murderers. And those Jews who took along their kids into gas chambers rather than them being raised by neighboring Christians as Christians would also be considered murderers. No one is saying to Daven in overcrowded shuls. But outdoor spaced minyans are safe. You see it all over Brooklyn. I never realized there are so many minyanim on each block.

  27. BS”D
    It’s called Don’t Stand Idly by the Blood of thy Brother.
    95% of those who are dead from covid 19 would be alive if their doctors had used Dr. Zelenko’s protocol.
    Read the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons’ report on hydroxychloroquine.

  28. I heard a firsthand account from a survivor, it was Yom Kippur 1944 and someone told him tonight is Yom Kippur and what are we doing about it. He told the other man lets go outside, and he started to say “al das hamokom v al das hakhal …” and soon there were a few 100 men outside davening.
    My question to Rabbi Billet is if you were there would you, A. told everyone not to daven with him because he was endangering the barracks. B, reported him to the guard because after all he is endangering the barracks.

  29. My only question is – is the hate between fellow Yidden that is so clear why reading this and other posts in VIN a true picture of American Orthodoxy, or is this not a scientific sampling.

  30. We will not listen to outsiders. We will increase our minyanim in the face of the reformers. We are not ashamed. We will stand up. We need to organized round the clock minyans.

    • I ask so called Educated Boro parker, when you say reformers, do you mean the term as those that change things or do you mean as in reform jews?
      I will be impressed if you accomplish in your life one tenth of what Rabbi Billet has done. The same goes fro his Torah knowledge.

  31. Hi everyone, If you are all such big Gedolei Ha’Dor, Rabbonim, or whomever you purport to be with all of your “, facts, figures or opinions”, why don’t you use your real names and locations ?
    If the Vast majority of Rabbonim, Rabbi’s, Dr’s and Gov’t officials say to stay home, then STAY HOME !! PEOPLE ARE DYING ,, OUR PEOPLE ARE DYING,,GREAT RABBONIM ARE DYING,, GREAT LEADERS ARE DYING,,!!
    WHAT DON’T YOU PEOPLE GET ????

  32. You’re really cares so much about minyanim. How many ”chusheve” shuls are going to end the time regulated Balabateshe minyanim with barely six mispalilim holding with shloiach tzibur so that some chayim yankel can make it on time to work. I have the answer zero.

  33. When I say reform I mean Reform,recontructionists,conservative,conservadox and yes many modern orthodox. They should not tell authentic Jews what to do. First they in all these groups should get their wives to wear long dresses not pants and minis. Second they should not dictate what we should or should not do. Yes as Jews we risk our lives all the time. Going to Daven is top priority. Tonight here in Brooklyn we had some reformers warn us not to celebrate with fires in the street as we do every Lag Bomer. Guess what the neighborhood was ablaze. Including the suburbs of Boro park known as Flatbush. It was very impressive seeing real Jews celebrate.

  34. @ Educated Boro parker
    At this point I just hope you clarify that you are not including Rabbi Billet with those reform type of groups. You would be very wrong.

  35. I have an idea, since he has no issue with giving out gratuitously his opinion, I suggest that everyone who disagrees with him let him know they feel otherwise, I just sent him a email

  36. Every normal Jew agrees with what I have to say. Learn from holocaust survivors who Daven Ed at the threat of their lives. The boy reason we are safe is because of the minyanim. Those are the prayers listen to for sure in Heaven.

    • Educated, not EVERY NORMAL Jew agrees with your OPINION. MANY agree about the minyonim and MOST DISAGREE with how you are talking about other yidden brabim. Unfortunately it takes the real issue you are discussing, which is davening with a minyan, which is a great issue, I happen to agree and daven with a minyan too, BUT you lose your point when you publicly shame people. Speak intelligently and your opinion becomes choshuv, write like you did and people will just disregard as a piece of Loshin hora

  37. I am very distressed that people are equating those not currently going to shul, with people who rarely attend. I have gone to shul, usually for all three tfillos, every single day, for 57 years. And now, upon the advice of our local Va’ad, and medical professionals, our shuls are closed. My grandchildren are learning via Zoom. Is it ideal? Of course not! But, we do what is safest.
    Yesterday, we commemorated lag Ba’omer. Among the many stories told ablout Lag Ba’omer, is the story of R Shimon and his son, R Elazar, who hid in in a cave for many years. Why did they do that? To save their lives! Do you think they had a minyan in the cave?
    In a few days, I will have yahrtzeit, for my mother (A’H). I will not be able to say Kaddish. But, I will Zoom a siyum on a Mesichta, and my eight year old grandson just completed his 28 Mesichta of Mishnoayot. What will be a bigger z’chus for my mother? keeping her descendants safe, and zooming some siyumim, or endangering us all, and say a kaddish?

    • I hear and understand what you are saying. I was doing the same. Is there a safe backyard minyan on your block where you can at least say kaddish for your mother on her yortzeit? I did it a few weeks ago and now I join them for Mincha & Maariv everyday, weather permitting. I found that it wasn’t that bad after-all. We have 11 people and everyone is clearly more than 6 feet away from each other. Your mother should have an aliyah.

  38. @ Educated Boro parker
    My assumption is that you are a teen aged kid with nothing to do now. I am impressed that you consider yourself to be educated, it shows gaava, nothing else.
    To put it nicely, you are not one to pasken and you do not have the qualifications to make the medical determination, which is based on understanding the health ramifications and statistics. Please stop wasting everybody’s time and go back to ranting about your other topic.

    • @donny, and the Rabbi of YI of Woodmere has no qualifications to pasken for anyone besides his own kehillah. So everyone should bombard him with his/her own opinion. His email address is easy to find

  39. I’m not paskening. A rabbi of young Israel is kosher. We are not disputing that. It’s reform,reconstructionoist,conservative and OPEN orthodox that are NOT kosher. Period

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