In light of the rapidly increasing cases of the coronavirus in Bnei Brak and other Chareidi areas, Harav Chaim Kanievsky instructed the rabbanim of Bnei Brak on Sunday that each person should daven in yechidus and not in a minyan since it’s a matter of pikuach nefesh.
It should be noted that when Rosh Yeshivah Hagaon Harav Gershon Edelstein, who also signed the letter forbidding anyone from davening even in an improvised minyan, saw that the letter included the term “the residents of our city,” he instructed that it be publicized in his name that “despite the wording, the ruling applies to every place” and not just Bnei Brak.
Harav Chaim also condemned anyone who violates Israel’s Health Ministry directives, saying that such a person has a din of a rodeif and paskened that it’s permissible to report shuls or institutions that violate Health Ministry directives to the police even if the gabbaim will be required to pay heavy fines or even face imprisonment.
Bnei Brak rabbanim will soon publicize a special letter calling to the community not to hold improvised minyanim at the directive of Harav Chaim.
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1. A person that is obligated according to the doctors’ instructions to self-quarantine in order not to infect others in case he’s positive for the virus, but he feels good and doesn’t feel ill at all, can he leave his home or he must listen to the doctors although he feels well?
Harav Chaim: “He must listen to the doctors.”
2. A person who claims that he trusts in Hashem that he won’t become ill and therefore he makes light of the health ministry’s instructions (keeping a distance from others, not leaving the home unless it’s urgent, etc.) can he be defined as a “rodeif” because he’s liable to endanger others?
Harav Chaim: “K’rodeif.”
3. And if someone chas v’shalom makes light of the instructions and causes someone to die, is he considered a meizid (someone who purposely kills someone) or shogeig (someone who kill someone accidently)?
Harav Chaim: “Close to a meizid.”
4. If you know about someone who’s obligated to be in quarantine who nevertheless goes out and endangers others, it is muttar to berate him loudly and forcefully, although it may embarrass him?
Harav Chaim: “It’s muttar.”
5. Is it muttar to give over the name of a person who makes light of the doctor’s instructions and endangers others to the authorities [police]? And is it muttar to give over information about shuls and mosdos who are not adhering to the health ministry’s regulations, even if it may result in a high fine or even imprisonment?
Harav Chaim: “Muttar.”
6. On Shabbos, should one leave a phone on in case the doctors need to reach him and can one answer [the phone] due to the possibility of pikuach nefesh?
Harav Chaim: “Muttar.”
7. What can the community accept upon themselves in order to end the horrible mageifah in which many people have already died?
Harav Chaim: To Daven.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)