AUDIO: Karlin-Stoliner Rebbe: “What Happened To Us? How Are We The Ones Endangering Lives?”


The Admor of Karlin-Stolin, HaRav Baruch Meir Yaakov Shochet, blasted those who do not adhere to the Coronavirus guidelines for their actions in a recorded conversation that was sent to members of the Chassidus.

The Rebbe, who himself was recently released from the hospital after having contracted the disease, has been one of the only Admorim to have instructed his community to strictly observe coronavirus health instructions since the beginning of the crisis. The Rebbe added that parts of the Chareidi community were ignoring the “simple” and “foundational” Jewish principle of saving lives, and said he was astonished at such “contempt” for the lives of others, especially from the Chassidic community.

The Rebbe said in the recording, “A person is forbidden from endangering others and himself, a person is forbidden from harming another, or to cause his situation to deteriorate.”

“Recently, there are also important people whose eyes for some reason have become blind to simple Halachos of the prohibition on harming others. Is it possible that there are people for whom simple Jewish laws, such as the Halachos of saving lives, which is the foundation of Judaism, have disappeared? We all hear and see so many incidents of people suffering distress and pain and the ill dying. It astonishes me that it is specifically in the Chareidi community that there is such contempt for the lives of others. What has happened to us?”

“I understand that it is difficult to live in a constant state of tension and need to always worry about adhering to the rules, but this is something that must be done. This is the will of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and we must feel joy at being given the opportunity to safeguard the lives of others.”

“We must not congregate for any reason whatsoever, in any way. This is not child’s play. This is life and death and is the Ikar HaDin.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Heilege Rav,
    While I admire the Rav and his chassidus, please realize that there are those in all communities who have given up hope on the guidelines actually helping us. It is not just Chareidim. I can see the anti chareidim taking this recording and using it as proof to the world that chareidim caused the virus-even their rav says so!

  2. ” It astonishes me that it is specifically in the Chareidi community that there is such contempt for the lives of others. What has happened to us?”
    This is a misquote and a chillul Hashem. The Rebbe said: It astonishes us that in our circles there are those that are mezalzel.
    He was speaking exclusively to his chassidim and reflected on astonishment that in “our circles” (not Charedi community), there are those that are not careful. He was prompting his own chassidim to be more careful, not criticizing those outside his circles.
    And by the way, when a Karliner chassid who has already had the virus and can not be contagious goes out in public with a mask, it’s not because of a medical danger of spreading the virus, but rather a fulfillment of the mitzvoh of following the rabbonim. Those who have rabbonim who paskan differently should follow their rabbonim.

  3. The Rebbe is 100% correct. Unfortunately, most of his colleagues value internal discipline and cohesiveness more than the life of their constituents.

  4. “How could he get corona himself if he is so careful about holocho the regulations?”
    With 16 children and MANY many grandchildren… and a wife (who cooks and feeds many of them), how could he not get it?
    When I visited the Rebbe in private, I had my temperature taken and wore a mask. There was about six meters between where visitors could stand and the Rebbe behind his desk. Plus the Rebbe had a glass wall separating between us.
    Likewise, when the Rebbe davans with a small minyan in a large shuel with distance between each person, everyone has masks covering the mouth and nose, including the Rebbe, and in addition, the place of the Rebbe is cordoned off with glass walls.

  5. The Rebbe made a bris for an grandchild and non-Karliner came who did not keep the rules. In any case, the rules are not 100% foolproof. They’re a guard to help keep away the disease, but not a definite thing.