See the attached letter from the Chicago Rabbinical Council sent out moments ago. This was also published in the YWN Live Blog, where YWN has been publishing news and updates in live time as the situation develops.
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Generally in Chicago, where I live, community-wide decisions are signed by several Rabbonim. While shuls may close, I would not assume that Rabbi Reiss alone speaks for the entire community.
The Rabbonim are acting based on the counsel of the CDC and with the consultation of other leading Poskim. They are certainly aware of dissenters and the controversies involved and have decided anyway that this is the appropriate step to take. I assume the only reason it has only one signature is due to the haste in which the letter was written and distributed. I don’t think that anyone who is not also a communal Rav of Chicago has a right to disagree.
akuperma is correct. Smallpox was worse. So was the holocaust, and other nasty things. This is nothing. At worst, it seems 3% of the population might die. That should free up seats in shul and medical resources for the rest of us (who survive). Frankly, who even cares about the old folks who will die from this. Maybe shed a tear for some of the young folks, but we can say there was nothing we could possibly have done.
Or, you can wake up and get the facts about coronavirus, which are well out there for anyone to see. Not taking serious action now will mean in the US that between 1-6+ million will die from this. Anyone who suggests that you should go about things as normal is simply uninformed or believes that this is an acceptable outcome. All the learning and davening will not excuse histhadlus. If you think this histhadlus goes against what you should do, then be clear and say it out loud, “I believe keeping shuls and schools open is necessary even if it means 3% of the population will die as a result”, because that is what will happen. If you don’t think that causing so many people to die is acceptable outcome and you still advocate keeping shuls and schools open, then you clearly do not understand the facts.
Yona:- You are a corrupt feminist at the Beth Din of America, and you no way represent genuine authentic venerated דעת-תורה, and how dare you all on your own, overpower every Shul in the Windy City. Shame on you!!
As A Chicagoan who has spoken with many Rabbanim and other Shomrei Torah UMitzvos, I am pleased to report that:
Nearly all Minyanim and Shiurim WILL continue!
YWN: Please DELETE this misleading Fake News item!
I am pleased that the Rabbanim and the Ehrliche Tzibur are following the Psak of Gedolei Yisrael: to INCREASE our efforts in Limud HaTorah and Tfilah!
Then we need to figure out how to reconcile with what Rabban Gamliel Rabinovitz shlita has been saying, insisting that people daven with a minyan unless they must quarantine.
I think this shaila MUST be posed to our gedolim at the highest levels. How do we proceed?
147: why are you stating that Rabbi Reiss is acting on his own?