Chief Rabbi Lau: “Anyone In Quarantine Is Forbidden To Attend Shul Even If Risk Is Very Slight”


Following the Motzei Shabbos report about members of a group of South Korean tourists who were diagnosed with the coronavirus on their return home from a tour of Israel and hundreds of Israelis who were instructed to self-quarantine, Kikar H’Shabbos asked Chief Rabbi of Israel, Harav Dovid Lau, about the halachic aspects of self-quarantine.

Rav Lau responded that “anyone who is required to remain in isolation is forbidden from davening with the tzibur. An issur gamur applies to anyone at risk of harming another person even if the chances are very slight. Likewise there is an issur to enter a place of danger and therefore one should refrain from visiting places where there is a risk of contracting [the virus].”

“Bechira is given to a person in two fundamental cycles of life and one of them is כל בידי שמים חוץ מצינים ופחים.'”

“Matters of health are granted to man and a person should utilize whatever knowledge he has to protect himself from illnesses and infections and distance himself from them. This is the reason that the Torah commands us ‘ונשמרתם מאוד לנפשותיכם.'”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. I’m surprised anyone would even feel the need to raise such an obvious question. Why would ANYONE believe that it would be OK to break a quarantine mandated by public health officials to go to shul and potentially infect others??

  2. This is the reason that the Torah commands us ‘ונשמרתם מאוד לנפשותיכם.’” as well as ורפא ירפא which we just read 4 times just in this very past week.