Lack of respect for Rabbonim shlita

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    After all that has been going on it hit me how much of a lack of respect for Rabbonim there is by some of the commentators on this site (and other such sites). People have been “calling out” Rabbonim r”l “holding them responsible” Hashem Yirachem and other such things. Refer to the article about the Shayla posed to Rav Zilberstein about davening for one who does wear a mask. There were those who respectfully asked questions and expressed their lack of understanding but many blatantly argued and disagreed. Who do these people think they are?! Do they realize that they don’t even come to the ankles of these great people?!


    Pashut – a good point, but the argument is about a second-hand report of an overheard conversation. Sometimes I hear about an elderly Rav nodding to a question. Maybe he was just sneezing, lo aleinu. Hard to have an informed discussion.

    I am sure there are people here who have great teachers. I suggest you ask questions and, when it is possible, post the information here for discussion. I am aware of several letters from Moetses and teshuvot from R Meir Twersky that could be a starting point for discussion.

    Reb Eliezer

    All the Rabbonim I know of and respect have made clear time and time again the importance of following government COVID-19 regulations, such as masks and social distancing. There are a handful of true Gedolei Torah today who mamesh don’t have any connection to the world other than a series of heavily filtered shaylos brought to them by gabboim and relatives. Those Gedolim, unfortunately, are sometimes fed bad information and release strange or contradictory advice.

    Therefore, the people who are disrespecting Rav Zilberstein SHLITA clearly have no love for Hashem’s Torah and those who teach it to us to begin with so I suggest we don’t give them a second thought.

    🍫Syag Lchochma



    Where Rabbonim, voluntary or in response to state-sponsored coercion, posken on wearing a mask in shul, we should follow out of respect for our government. They sincerely believe wearing a mask is a health measure, and even if wrong, they should be respected.

    When we go on the goyim’s streets, given that their rule is that only members of politically incorrect minorities must wear masks and refrain from gathering together, we are under no obligation to follow them. The only reason to obey an anti-semitic tyrant is fear that the tyrant will try to kill you, and if we actually believe that Cuomo and DeBlasio are ready to engage in ethnic cleansing against us we should be moving elsewhere with all deliberate speed.


    @akuperma – I can’t be a judge between you and your Mayor, but I see that people in other cities, including where Jews are a significant voting block and those where we are not: same groups of people disregard rules in public. Thus, your explanation may be your personal rationalization but insufficient to explain your behavior. In my town, even people who barely have any clothes on, have masks on religiously.

    Maybe R Avraham Twersky’s observation is appropriate – he says that it is harder to treat intelligent alcoholics, especially doctors. They can always find a justification for their actions.


    @RebEliezer, re:Rav Weiss letter. This is good indeed. So far, first response here is that the Rav may be under pressure from the evil government, but at least we should follow them in shul.

    There are lots of halachik references that maybe some people here can unpack. I see at the end of 4th par to Rambam’s halakhot rotzeach – is this about considering an uncareful person a murderer?

    There is also a last line in the teshuva that I understand intellectually but have hard time to follow:
    >> and most important – increase brotherhood and friendship, run away from Machloket,
    >> and help your brothers, and there is no bigger vessel for Hashem’s bracha than shalom

    so, you ask someone nicely to put the mask on; then you move to another side of the shul; then you comment to your neighbor passive-aggressively that he should move away from that guy without the mask; then you point to his zipper as if it is unzipped. This does not work .. how do you increase brotherhood after that?

    Reb Eliezer

    “All the Rabbonim I know of and respect have made clear time and time again the importance of following government COVID-19 regulations, such as masks and social distancing.”

    Same here.

    Rabbi Hershel Schachter in particular has written many tshuvot regarding what we should do during COVID-19, not just regarding masks and social distancing, but also regarding how we should adjust our practices at this time in a way consistent with halachah.


    Not sure how this turned in to a discussion of what Rabbonim said regarding COVID-19. My point was to raise awareness to the fact many people feel comfortable disagreeing with Rabbonim or calling them out. To suggest, for example, that Rav Zilberstein never said the psak which was posted is one thing. To disagree, especially disrespectfully, is another very different thing.
    Just reading through the comments regarding everything that has been going on in Brooklyn recently can make one shudder. (I am NOT discussing the actual events please leave that out of this discussion!) People should not be calling out Rabbonim for not condemning these things or the lack of mask wearing and social distancing. Call up your Rav or any Rav and respectfully ask in order to understand. Not to argue, provoke or anything of the sort. Writing a letter to YWN mailbag is not asking to understand it is just to call out Rabbonim for not doing what you think they should. Nor is commenting on YWN articles.


    Ok, so we have a small collection of detailed teshuvot – R Weiss, R Schachter, R Meir Twersky and also assorted quotes and public announcements of others.

    We also have several posters who graciously represent those who disagree with these teshuvot.
    Could they explain what their sources are? Maybe they can take time to ask their authorities to comment on these teshuvot? Maybe we can start Masehet Corona here.


    @Pashut >> People should not be calling out Rabbonim for not condemning these things

    So, we collected several rulings in this thread that call for listening to medical authorities. This is sufficient reason to ask whether others agree, or why they disagree. Given the medical effect on all of us (my local schools were closed based on someone who traveled to NY area) and Hillul Hashem that affects us all, I think it is reasonable to ask for information.


    Yes ask the Rabbonim all your inquiries about why they do or do not hold of all this. Great! What can be better than speaking to our teachers and letting them explain to us their opinions. My point was just to “call out” those calling out Rabbonim on any matter it just became very common recently.

    Reb Eliezer

    In SA O’CH 328,10 says that to determine when it is a danger to be mechalel shabbos, we rely on any jewish person even not an expert doctor in the field who rules as such.


    The only reason to obey an anti-semitic tyrant is fear that the tyrant will try to kill you

    Being fined or jailed isn’t enough for you, I guess.
    (There’s also chillul haShem to worry about.)

    Reb Eliezer
    Reb Eliezer

    See what the proud republican commented and what I commented:

    Op-Ed: Have We Lost Our Way? Or Is This The New Direction?

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