MAILBAG: Upset Over Improper Mask Use


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Dear YWN staff,

First off I would like to thank the YWN personnel for their extensive coverage over what the Gedolei Yisrael have instructed during this most difficult period of Coronavirus. However, being that it can clearly be seen how our Gedolim are advising us to be stringent when it comes to matters of safety and hygiene (i.e. wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands), I think it is necessary to bring another point to the forefront.

Concerning those who choose not to wear masks even in situations where we have clearly been instructed to, for such people there is no point in rebuking. In the best case scenario we can be דן לכף זכות that they are following the directions of their respective דעת תורה. However, the real people whom I would like to draw attention to are those who actually don masks, yet fail to wear them properly. Some individuals wear their masks around their necks as if they are some kind of neck warmer. The funny thing is that we are holding in middle of the summer and nobody in their right mind wears a neck warmer. Additionally, I frequently have encountered others who wear the mask over their mouth, yet fail to cover their noses. Do these people really think air circulates only through their mouths and not their nose? Come on.

At the end of the day, what really bothers me is how people are trying to be יוצא without even fulfilling the minimal standard. Our Gedolim have clearly told us how to conduct ourselves, and such a desecration of their words is difficult to see.

Yanky Schwartzberg – NY

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. I an a Chiyuv, I am saying Kadish. I recently ventured into a Minyan in flatbush with assurances they were abiding with the rules. I immediately met a young man, dressed in Yeshivish style with the mask protecting his chin. CHIN ONLY. I asked him to comply so he covered his mouth but not his nose.
    I am older than most, I am not ready to get sick, this can be very serious. Whatever shitas and daas Torah this person follows is preventing me from going to daven and say Kadish.

  2. ShloimieB: My shul after discussions with our Mora Dasra relaxed the mask policy as we have the room to be socially distant. Is it being done to “prevent you from davening / saying kaddish”? No that is not our intention. We are maintaining the guidelines based on social distancing rules but also many of us are not comfortable wearing masks while we daven so we do not require masks.

  3. Good for you for being dan lekaf zechus!
    A doctor told me it’s the nose that needs to be covered-more than the mouth.
    Maybe someone can create nose masks please?