Harav Dovid Lau, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, paskened that no one should kiss or even touch mezuzahs due to the spread of the coronavirus, Israeli media outlets reported on Wednesday.
Harav Lau was responding to a shaila that someone asked regarding kissing mezuzahs in light of the fear of contracting COVID-19.
“For your knowledge, there is no mitzvah or obligation to kiss a mezuzah,” Harav Lau wrote. “There is a minhag from ancient sources that they were noheig to touch mezuzahs and only at a later stage they began to kiss it.”
“When they began to be informed of the fact that there is a risk [of kissing mezuzahs], one of the famous Admorim ruled already in the 19th century to be cautious about the matter. And Mori Rabi Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach did not see value in kissing his hand and would only place his hand on the mezuzah.”
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“Currently, while we’re witnessing, lo aleinu, the spread of a serious disease, there’s no safeik that one should not kiss mezuzahs or touch them at all. It’s enough for one to think upon entering and leaving that the words written in the mezuzah are true and they will accompany him on his way.”
“I already expressed my opinion on the coronavirus that it’s obligatory to act according to the instructions of the public health officials,” Harav Lau concluded.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)