NEW YORK (VINnews) — A new Psak from Yeshiva University Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Hershel Shachter permits washing hands and using alcohol gel on Tisha B’Av under certain conditions.
Rabbi Shachter distinguishes between those who religiously wear masks and maintain social distance and hygiene in accordance with CDC guidelines and those who are less stringent regarding these rules. Regarding the former Rabbi Shachter says that they view the virus as a Safeik Sakana, a potential danger and therefore during the present period they would be allowed to wash and use alcohol gel, whereas those who are not so stringent would be forbidden to use disinfectant or wash since during the year they rely on “Hashem preserves the simplehearted” (Tehillim 116:6). In other words one who is flippant and is careless about the other rules cannot say that he needs to wash his hands as protection against the virus. If someone is disregarding the other rules of the CDC, he cannot insist on this one, and washing would remain prohibited.