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Rabbonim Of Chicago: No Collecting In Chicago This Purim Due To COVID

Following the release of letters from the Rabbonim of Lakewood and Rabbonim of Los Angeles, the Rabbonim of Chicago have also released a letter ahead of Purim. The Rabbonim are requesting that no one travel to Chicago to collect as they do every Purim, and even Yeshiva Bochrim who are in Chicago, should refrain from doing so this year.

The letter follows:

L’chavod Roshei Yeshiva shlit”a and Roshei Mosdos shlit”a,

Purim is around the corner and we all turn our eyes to Hakadosh Baruch Hu for Him to protect us from all difficulty and distress and to send bracha and hatzlacha to all our endeavors.

We all understand the need to strengthen the sustainability of our Torah and chesed institutions, especially in trying times like these. Under normal circumstances, our baalei tzedakah are eager to give generously to all those who approach them during this time of the year. The presence of many guests of all ages has always added to the unique and joyous atmosphere of the day.

This Purim, however, like much else that has happened this past year, will have to be different than in the past.

Despite our firm belief in the power and the merit of tzedakah and specifically hachzakas hatorah, we nevertheless strongly request for groups not to be sent to our community this coming Purim to collect funds. In addition, even bachurim from Chicago that will be home for Purim, should be asked not to go around collecting.

This request is unfortunately what is necessary at this time, bearing in mind the potential health concerns and chilul Hashem that this can chas v’Shalom create. This is in addition to the fact that we have received reports that many households are not comfortable at this time opening their doors to the influx of visitors.

Despite the above, we deeply desire the opportunity to show and give our support to the mekomos Hatorah. Our Rabbanim and askanim stand together in encouraging the extended community to still give generously through other means. Additionally, a special fund is being set up for individuals to contribute to, and after Purim the funds will be distributed to the Yeshivos that have regularly come to our community in the past.

May we merit to celebrate this Purim amidst joy and happiness and to see the fulfillment of the pasuk, ציון במשפט תפדה ושביה בצדקה.


Rabbi Zev Cohen
Rav, Adas Yeshurun

Rabbi Shmuel Yehuda Levin
Rosh Hayeshiva, Telshe Yeshiva-Chicago

Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst
Dayan, Agudas Yisroel of Illinois

Rabbi Dovid Zucker
Rosh Kollel, Kollel Zichron Shneur

Rabbi Henoch Plotnik Rabbi Yaakov Robinson
On behalf of the Chicago Rabbanim of the Midwest Agudas Yisroel Vaad Rabbanim

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

7 Responses

  1. I’m wondering when things return to “normal”, there might be some rethinking of why there are shalichim flying from EY to NYC and Lakewood, from NYC to Chicago and LA etc. to go door to door with a pushka. This is 2021 and hopefully some of the new online techniques for raising funds will carry over into the “new normal”. It will be safer for all not having strangers knocking on your door at night, eliminate some of the fundraising scams and considerable overhead costs of having a bunch of paid fundraisers flying around. Of course, having young kids and yungerleit collect in their local neighborhoods is fine and should always be a feature of our community life.

  2. This is absolutely aweful. Our Aniyim, especially from EY are choking to death will be denied the opportunity to raise a few desperately needed funds! How could anyone with a Yiddish heart sign onto such a letter? Purim is the very day where Matanos L’Evyonim is one of the z’chusim Yiddin in America thrive upon! It’s an impossible gezaira as it is – this communal declaration is a slap in the face of the desperate Ani whom our Mitzva is to support especially on Purim day! How could they sign? How?

  3. Yaapchik, it can’t be ‘picking and choosing’ with ‘daas Torah’. The phrase has already been cheapened over the years, but unlike politics or sports, support for the words of Rabbonim can’t sway like the wind. I’ll continue doing what I always have done, giving tzedaka online; as it’s 2021.

  4. Yapchick: Not sure what your problem is but its a no-brainer. Even in EY, they are doing more fundraising online. It would be insanity to have guys flying in from out of town to schneur for different mosdos, however worthy. The large percentage of the frum tzibur in Chicago and other cities has NOT even received their first vaccination. The virus doesn’t have any respect for Purim or any other chag. The rabbonim value life and health more than any other objective and rightfully so.

  5. Gadolhadorah: how can you call yourself gadolhatorah?
    first most gedole hador has forbidden any frum jew to use the internet only for strict business if you have no other choice. Do you really think that dose poor meshuluchim who nebech leave their family and crawling door to door in the freezing weather or in the hiot summer days wouldnt rather sit at home and watch how those dollars keep rolling in by fund raising apps? They nebech looking out for those few weeks where they can stretch out their dry hands and collect those dollars.
    Those meshuluchim dont harras anyone ,they go to chasenes, shuls, and ring the bell in a time when people are up and waiting for someone to be mezake them with tzedukeu collection.
    So please lets open out hands to those poor evyonim and in this zechus we should always be GIVING and NOT COLLECTING….simches pirim

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