Lakewood Doctor Pleads With Community To Take Aggressive Action To Save Lives

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My name is Dr Daniel Roth. As a frum doctor in Lakewood, I am writing this to help people know what I believe they should be doing RIGHT NOW, based on halacha and on standard medical practice. These guidelines will protect yourselves, your families, the rest of our community, and will SAVE LIVES.

If YOU practice these guidelines, you will be fulfilling your responsibility as a member of the klal. Every single person who follows these guidelines might actually be saving a life, even if others do not follow these guidelines. The fewer people the virus can reach, the fewer people it can infect and the fewer people it can be transmitted to.

I believe it is the responsibility of every man, woman, and child to stay at home as much as humanly possible, without contact with other people. This is because everyone can spread this deadly virus, even if you are not sick now.

If every family stays in their homes, the virus will starve and die. The virus needs human hosts to live. If people are not in contact with each other, the virus will die faster, because it will have nowhere to go.

  • Children should not play with neighbors.
  • No child should be in school or daycare.
  • Men should not go to minyan.
  • Learning should be over the phone or on teleconference.
  • Work should be over the phone or on teleconference.
  • Grocery shopping for necessary food should be ordered over the phone and delivered to your home.

Daven, daven, daven!

Also endorsed by Lakewood Doctors:
Dr. Jonathan Cohen
Dr. Alan Lempel
Dr. David Ogun
Dr. Neil Gittelman
Dr. Nachum Indich
Dr. Chaim Kaweblum
Dr. Harvey Hirsch
Dr. Jonathan Fisgus
Dr. Binyomin Greenberg

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)




18 COMMENTS

  1. Ten doctors and not one Rabbi telling us the halochos of how to learn and not to go to minyan!!!!
    As R’ Chaim Kanievsky has often said: Doctor were given the rights to help heal a sick person, not to decide when the patient will die! And obviously not to take the place of Hashem or Rabbonim and daas torah.
    The infection will stave when it doesnt have the merit or aveiros to exist off.

  2. Order groceries? And who is going to put together grocery orders for so many ppl and deliver them? It requires as tremendous work force going out to work.

  3. Reb Daniel Roth is a well known lakewood tzadik, and a very special person. But just to set it straight, he is an EYE Doctor!! Giving his opinion on coronavirus as a doctor is ludicrous. And then to pasken about torah and tefilla.. this is the sorry state of social media

  4. I understand there are other doctors signed on, but who knows about them. I do know the renowned Dr. Shanik, who by far is the most experienced and respected dr in town, publicly made his opinion clear, which is contrary to the opinion of the dr in the article

  5. Thank you thank you to all those Doctors for having the courage to come out and take the lead on actions that will spare our community and save lives. Unfortunately there has been same glaring lack of leadership too. It is very reassuring to get guidance from Poskim, Agudah and Frum Doctors.
    We all know that we have a Chiyuv to listen to Frum Doctors when it comes to determining the level of Sakanah for eating on Yom Kippur. Why should this be any different?
    If we don’t listen now who knows what we’re bringing upon ourselves comes Pesach season? ה’ ירחם עלינו ועל כל עמו ישראל

  6. He actually went to medical school? Unbelievable ignorance.

    China has gone out of quarantine/ concern and in the WORLD there have been under 4 thousand deaths. Under 200 deaths in the US from a population of 300 plus million. DEADLY? Yes, western medicine is deadly…

    Not so COVID19

    To quote so many MDs: It’s just a virus!!!

  7. I hear the logic of “starving the virus”
    But I don’t think the humble Dr’s took into account reality.
    Do you realize that many people live in apartments, 2 or 3 bedrooms with 6 kids?
    Do you really think they can be locked up in that cell for months?

    Do you realize that closing schools for millions of kids, especially teenagers/ collage will lead to much gang activity, crime etc.?

    Do you realize that millions of people without savings will be out of work, be it because their employer was forced to close, or they need to stay home with their kids that are home from school? how will they feed their family? could also lead to more crime…

    So it’s easy to say close everything NOW when you have it comfortable. But The Gov. needs to take all the repercussions into account (and reality).

  8. Everyone should ask his Rav and do what the Rav says. Even if Dr. Roth is an eye doctor, he’s still an MD and as such knows a lot more about medicine than any layman, but doctors do disagree among themselves, as do Rabbonim, but Aseh lecha Rav and do what he says since Hashem is talking to you through him and the Rav knows how to evaluate what the doctors are saying halacha le-maaseh. It’s inadvisable to speak lashon horo about anyone, especially a known and respected tzaddik. It’s ok to disagree and ask respectful questions but not to belittle. Hashem ya’azor.

  9. The gemara says that if there’s an epidemic in the city, people are REQUIRED to stay home (Baraisa on Bava Kamma, 60b). The perspective of “qwer” is as foolish as it is dangerous and absolutely devoid of any connection with reality, including with what Rav Chaim Kanievsky, ShLIT”A , said. He wrote explicitly that there MUST be social distancing. He said there must be mashgichim to ENFORCE rules of hygiene and social distancing. It is his p’sak that people maintain social distancing. Anyone, who is careless and does not follow the recommendations of healthcare experts and the RULE OF LAW, as well as the current poskim who are telling people not to do this, as well as the p’sakim of the Gedolei HaAcharonim of the 19th century, during the cholera outbreaks, that people have to stay home and distance from other people and do whatever it takes to guard their health and guard from the epidemic, is potentially causing irreparable harm to the community. Not being careful both risks the lives of not only themselves, but countless others – where 1 person can get thousands of people sick and kill multiple people. By the way, the Torah says “ובחרת בחיים” and also ״ונשמרתם מאוד לנפשתיכם ״.

    And, if an outbreak happens from the frum community, which is already in the process of happening (and there are many times more cases than have been reported), it is not only major sakanas nefashos to not be careful, but is a very major חילול ה׳ and someone who is careless is not simply being foolish but being exceptionally evil and גדול עונו מנשוא! You have to listen to the doctors and also daven (b’yichidus, by the way). Anyone who is careless and spreads this disease, especially if it leads to loss of life, is like someone who has blood on their hands. If you truly care about HaShem and the Torah, you will heed the advice of doctors as well as the poskim and Gedolim who are saying to follow the doctors.

  10. lakewood yungerman:

    Are you, as a lakewood yungerman, judging what type of physician is qualified to give advice on various medical matters? THAT is ludicrous. Stick to whatever it is you do as a lakewood yungerman and allow medical professionals to be mekayem “verapo yerapeh”.

    In case you didnt know, every ophthalmologist is an MD who completed college and 5 years of medical school and internship, before continuing another 3 years of eye surgery training. That’s more than enough qualification to comment on safety precautions for us.

    FYI the first doctor to recognize this as a new virus in Wuhan was an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

  11. @my2cents

    the doctor is right. but nobody will listen.

    your concerns about economic impact will be 10x worse and then the government will take it out of your hands

    this isn’t a halachic question or advice to commit unbreakable laws

    it’s about preserving life

  12. Nice hysteria all you lakewood fools live in a make believe world. This is a medical problem not rabbinic people get your heads on straight
    But then Again you don’t vaccinate either

  13. Really the susceptible people should be in quarantine and the healthy people should go out as normal.
    There is an 80% resistant rate in the population if you look at the cruise ship data.
    All those peole were in close contact and even many of them were in the over 60 age range that is hardest hit.
    How many got seriously ill and how many died?
    True, we don’t want even one person to die, but that does not mean that the whole nation must be on lockdown.
    I think the main reason for the lockdown is the threat that the virus can have on the health system.
    You get a high percentage of doctors. nurses , technicians even lightly infected with the disease and then your whole hospital system gets on shutdown because those people cannot be around sick people, with their whole myriad of illness, both chronic and acute, because it will have deadly consequences.
    Listen, my husband, who has a serious heart failure condition and I who have a history of autoimmune disease are very much at risk if we,chas v’sholem, contract this. But instead of just being able to order groceries online we have to wait days, and possibly not even get the things we need, because normal healthy people are so frightened that they think they need to also order online, like this Dr. is suggesting. Really it’s just another case of overtaxing the situation and will lead to even more problems.
    True, follow the rules of social distancing, avoid unnecessary trips and try to maintain distances in both shuls and shopping., but don’t get frantic but do keep away from your older friends and family.

  14. R’ Dovid Cohen a well respected posuk in Brooklyn ruled that the situation is minimally safek d’oraisa if not a definite. R’ Schachter the respected posuk of the YU community and the OU ruled this is an issur d’oraisa. You can no longer say you rely on this or that posuk that says otherwise, unless that posuk explains that he understands the situation and how this is not an issue of a very serious d’oraisa. The rabbonim not shutting the schools or shuls or still giving the okay to weddings with more than a minyan (assuming you can even do that), or not considering whether bris milah can still be done in this matzav, are telling you to be oiver a d’oraisa and you cannot listen to them (or at least they have an obligation to explain how it is not a d’oraisa as otherwise how can you listen to them. You have to seek the truth). Every one of you has an obligation to tell your fellow that what they are doing is being oiver a d’oraisa. This is what the Torah demands. Please stop the stupidity, this is killing people already and will kill more people.

    It is ironic that purim the punishment came from going to the sedua. Unfortunately the mesibahs, meals, and other mixing are what is bringing the first wave of this to the frum community. The second wave, is from shabbos where people who got infected with this on Purim spread it to many more on shabbos, by davening and by the kiddushim. You just don’t comprehend how serious a matzav we are dealing with and if you did, you would be shaking to your core as to how people are going about this so casually without precautions. Just the other day in the Concord there was a wedding where someone who was not feeling well (I think already got tested, but did not have the results) went to the wedding and now all the people there are in self-quarantine (assuming they are at least respecting that).

    Right now the testing is being limited to people who are high risk from dying for this, which means very few people are being tested and many more have it and just don’t know. The skyrocketing of the numbers of cases in Brooklyn should serve as a warning to Lakewood. If you don’t stop everything now, you are just making this worse and your brother’s blood will be on your hand. You can’t say you are frum if you ignore major d’oraisa (you are either an ignoramus or a rotzeiach). Rabbis if you see this message, please understand you will have to answer for why you did not seek out the facts before you allowed minyanim and other forms of social gathering to occur. People demand that your rabbonim answer for their position here. A rav saying well I heard this gadol or that one said that this or that without clarifying the exact facts is causing you to be nichshal in a serious issur d’oraisa. We are too late to mince words.

    My message is not fear-mongering it is well supported by the facts, which several choshuv rabbonim have finally come around to see. R’ Feldman the other week in a letter wrote that he is not obligated to listen to R’ Kamenetsky and R’ Kanievesky as they did not have the facts regarding the WZO election. How can anyone suggest that facts matter when it comes to a psak about checking off a box on a computer screen, but somehow does not when it comes to pikuach nefesh? Think people and act now. It is already very late to act, but still you can reduce the ultimate death toll by acting right now.

    Hashem should watch over us.

    כֹּֽה־אָמַ֞ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֗וֹת אַֽל־תִּשְׁמְע֞וּ עַל־דִּבְרֵ֤י הַנְּבִאִים֙ הַנִּבְּאִ֣ים לָכֶ֔ם מַהְבִּלִ֥ים הֵ֖מָּה אֶתְכֶ֑ם חֲז֤וֹן לִבָּם֙ יְדַבֵּ֔רוּ לֹ֖א מִפִּ֥י יְהוָֽה׃
    אֹמְרִ֤ים אָמוֹר֙ לִֽמְנַאֲצַ֔י דִּבֶּ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה שָׁל֖וֹם יִֽהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֑ם וְ֠כֹל הֹלֵ֞ךְ בִּשְׁרִר֤וּת לִבּוֹ֙ אָֽמְר֔וּ לֹֽא־תָב֥וֹא עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם רָעָֽה׃

  15. Yomama and others who think this is just a virus or the flu.

    You are wrong. Deadly wrong.

    The flu kills in the US between 15,000 – 60,000 people per year. Primarily people who are old and sick. This in the most favorable scenario if nothing is done will kill approximately 1% of the people who get it. This is based on the numbers out of South Korea which has been able to control this via testing and quarantine. This means that if people with the virus who have no symptoms were out spreading this it would be out of control, which should indicate they very possibly have found about every case of this. In South Korea they have 8,413 positive test results (with about another 8,000 who were quarantined as they are suspected of having this) and 84 deaths as of now (most cases are not considered resolved yet, so their death toll will likely go up. So at the low end about 0.5% of the people who get this will die and it is likely higher with 1% seeming a reasonable figure.

    Even if we go with the 0.5% figure, the US population of 327,000,000, if even 1/3rd of the population gets this we are talking about over 100,000,000 getting this with a death toll of at least 500,000. More likely at least 1% dies from this which at the low end brings us to 1 million deaths. If the whole US gets it we are talking 3 million deaths.

    The problem with the above it is based on the assumption that every case gets the requisite medical care. Seemingly between 10 – 20% of the cases need medical care… We are talking about on a national level (in the US) of 10,000,000 – 60,000,000 million people needing medical care. The US is not equipped for this and millions will be left without medical care and will die if nothings is done (nevermind the people who have to go to the ER or hospital for day to day stuff, suddenly doing so while facing this. A mother giving birth can lose her life and the babies life from this).

    You want to compare this to the flu, at least go take a hard look at the numbers out of all the countries affected by this, compare their responses, and then say you agree with whatever Dr’s, Rabbi’s, or others that suggest this is not so bad.

    Trump who as of 3/9/2020 (last week Monday) was tweeting comparing this to a flu, has now taken unprecedented action to combat this. THINK, the biggest mouthed denier of this has made a startlingly 360 on this.

    DeBlasio in NYC was not willing to consider shutting the schools as of the end of last week and now (DAYS LATER) is contemplating ordering NYC to shelter-in-place.

    Iran and Italy cannot keep up fast enough with the dead bodies. Iran has warned that their death toll might be in the millions. Their health ministry also said that about 15% of the dead were under 40!

    Even Israel which until now looked like they may have had this under control has seen an increase in the infection rate the last day. Any deal or arrangement between the government and the charedim (e.g. social distancing in shuls and schools) you can bet will be over in a short time. Defiance of new restrictions will result in leaders of the charedi community spending years in jail for their disregard of human life.

    We are facing a society altering event that will leave no community unscathed unless they take strict actions the moment is shows (if not before). Get your heads out of the sand as your attitude as shared by many others is going to result in lives lost.

    PLEASE, PLEASE. WAKE UP. NONE OF OUR GEDOLIM HAVE EXPERIENCE IN THEIR LONG LIVES WITH AN EVENT OF THIS NATURE. THEY SIMPLY CANNOT PASKEN ON THIS UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THEY UNDERSTAND THE FACTS. THIS IS A CLEAR SITUATION OF PIKUACH NEFESH, WHICH IS A D’ORAISA.