Health Ministry Demands Closing Of All Shuls & Yeshivahs, Aryeh Deri Puts His Foot Down

"Capsule Plan" in Yeshivas

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As the new restrictions limiting the number of people allowed into shuls, event halls and bars to up to 50 people went into effect on Monday morning, Israel’s coronavirus cabinet met once again on Monday to discuss imposing further restrictions in light of the increasingly soaring number of virus cases in the country.

The Health Ministry and National Security Council initially recommended that all shuls, cultural centers, gyms and bars be closed, restaurants be limited to 20 diners at a time, and summer camps and schools for children in 5th grade and above be closed. The ministry also wanted all beaches and parks closed but due to opposition from ministers, this demand will reportedly be reduced to a restriction on the number of visitors.

Health officials initially demanded that all yeshivas be closed as well, prompting MK Moshe Gafni (Degel H’Torah) to threaten to quit the government if this demand is approved. However, a preliminary agreement was reached allowing yeshivos to continue operating through the “capsule” method.

The cabinet ministers were convinced by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to allow “capsule” yeshivas to remain open after he presented clear data attesting to the safety and efficiency of the capsule method when properly carried out.

The data shows that the infection rate in yeshivahs operating with the capsule method currently has an infection rate of less than 0.01%.

Deri also fiercely opposed the total closure of shuls and after a fiery debate, the demand was reduced to minyanim being restricted to up to 19 participants.

Deri told Kikar H’Shabbos on Monday morning: “I’m completely opposed to the total closure of shuls. Shuls are the only places where the rules are completely maintained – adhering to social distancing regulations and wearing masks, no eating or drinking or dancing.”

“In no way will I lend a hand that in the Jewish state, as long as the economy is open, shuls – which are the neshama of Am Yisrael – will be completely closed. I’m ready to accept restrictions and the reduction of participants but I will not accept the full closure of shuls under any circumstances.”

MK Yaakov Asher (Degel H’Torah), chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Knesset Committee, addressed the issue of closing yeshivas at the opening of a committee meeting on Monday morning, saying that not only is the capsule method extremely safe when carried out properly but closing yeshivas and sending thousands of bochurim home to crowded apartments will create a new problem.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. “Shuls are the only places where the rules are completely maintained – adhering to social distancing regulations and wearing masks”

    Next joke…

  2. Health Ministry very urgently needs a strong prep Talk from President Trump who clearly understands how essential Shuls are.
    But Health Ministry should yes shut down ALL schools until total eradication of Corona.

  3. To say the honest truth I’m all for shuls being open and I’d go crazy without them, but this notion that there is mask wearing and social distancing in Israeli shuls couldn’t be further from the truth. I am first hand witness to this. So, it is true that this shouldn’t happen but seriously stop with the “we are amazing“ propaganda!

  4. And why didn’t anyone in America do this when they closed all the shuls and yeshivos here?? O but summer camps? No that’s very important and the agudah woke up

  5. @ANON21
    My friend you are quick to critique but not to understand
    The call to close shuls was at the beginning, while things were spiraling out of control and there was not yet a handle on the situation.
    Not so the situation with camps. Which was already in a later phase, after the ‘flattening’ of the curve, and after much greater leniencies had been granted.

    I will take the liberty to assume that you are irritated by the camps, because you believe that its money motivated. I would tell you to trash that low-intelligence worldview.