Israeli Health Ministry Wants To Close Shuls Even Though Less Than 4% Infected In Them

Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein speaks during a press conference about the coronavirus COVID-19, at the Health Ministry in Jerusalem on June 28, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90 ???? ???? ??????? ???? ????????

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The Israeli health ministry called yesterday to close shuls and conduct minyanim of up to 19 people outside, but a survey on the health ministry’s site revealed Monday that in the past 7 days, just 11 of the 322 places exposed to coronavirus were shuls- less than 4% of the total.

The Makor Rishon newspaper added that this number does not include 120 exposures on public transport.

The site also revealed that a third of the recent cases occurred at public events. The ministry recommended cutting the number of people at such events to a maximum of 150.

MK Betzalel Smotrich responded to the findings by calling on the health ministry to “lay off the shuls and the religious community.”

Smotrich wrote that “less than 4% of recent infections occurred in a shul. People are far stricter on wearing masks in shuls than in other venues. If halls and restaurants are open there is no reason to close shuls. Tefillah and study in shuls are no less important than the economy.”

Former health minister Yaakov Litzman also criticized the ministry’s recommendations stating that “I wish to clarify the rate of infection in shuls and based on that to take decision about possible restrictions. According to the National Security Council report, the rate of infection in shuls is significantly lower in comparison to other gathering places.”


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  1. Does he want to close all church’s and mosques as well
    If yes than ok if not he needs to be removed from his position
    But hey is he any different then New York’s governor or mayor

  2. This article is misleading. although the number of shuls exposed is a small percentage of the number of places exposed, the number of people who caught it at shul is much higher and is in the tens of percent of the cases where the origin is known. It is much more likely to catch it it shul when davening next to someone for an hour then from standing next to someone in the grocery checkout line for five minutes.

    in the first wave 30% of infections could be traced to shuls

  3. I never thought I’d say this as I am a big fan of shuls, however limited shuls are less essential than schools. Limit indoor minyan (its too hot now to daven outside) to 25% of capacity and stagger it.

    As long as they don’t close down schools, limited shuls are doable.

    • if they’re doing it with social distancing, you wouldn’t need to say 25% capacity. every 6 feet instead of right next to each other is about 16% capacity.

  4. In the shuls around my house here in Jerusalem, I look inside and am afraid to go in. Many people wear NO masks, some have them below their noses, and some have them on their chins, and yes, some even wear them correctly, these are the few.
    In the yeshiva I am connected with, which learns in one of the shuls, 4 bocrim came down with the virus, effectively shutting down the yeshiva.
    I think the shuls should be shut up again and I am a frum man who does not want to get the virus.

  5. What is 4% of 1000 members? Is that 40 people to get sick on a Shabbat. We have the same rules, and guess what.
    Our shuls rented very large tents, with no doors, and members can sit 6 feet apart from the others. The tents can hold 100 people or 40, when 6 feet apart. Some shuls have 3 tents for the daveners.


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