MAILBAG: Unmasking Why I Wear A Mask

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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I’m a simple person. I ain’t no doctor. I ain’t no Rov.

I can’t tell you if masks will stop/slow the virus or if masks are killing more people than Aunt ‘Rona. (It is a bug, no? I ain’t no immunologist either.)

But, I’ve been wearing a mask. Why? Well, because as a simple person, I see things simply:

The community doctor asked us to wear a mask – so I wear a mask.

The community Rov asked us to wear a mask – so I wear a mask.

Are they in on some conspiracy? Are they compelled by government pressure? Maybe, maybe not. But, they asked – so I listen. Simple, no?

Do I get confounded, tzumished, and tzutumuled by conducting my own ‘independent’ research (-with Google, everyone is now a certified “researcher”!) to see what other white coats claim? Do I feel the need to consider every yenta’s concocted theory and point of view?

Nope. I lead a simple life: My doctor asked – I listen. My Rov asked – I listen.

You know, on Chol Ha’moed I took my family to the zoo. There were Frum Jews representing every community there as well. Remarkably, they were all wearing masks the entire time. Why? Because the zookeepers were walking around asking them to.


When the zoo’s dung cleaners ask us to wear a mask – we listen.

When our local doctors and Rabbonim ask the same, we become an ‘Am Novoin’ – full of chochmas and dreidlach.

That is where a simple person like me gets confused about things.

[Did you notice the same? Did you go to the zoo or some other establishment – you know, the ones that still let Frum Jews in – and see more masks there than on our main streets or in our local grocery stores?]

Perhaps some will chide me for having a simple view. Perhaps I should be more ‘woke’ and ‘educated’ about how we are being controlled and manipulated by everyone who asks us to do something (government officials, police, doctors, Rabbonim, school administrators).

But, again, I see things simply: I am a “Tomim” – a “simple” person. I follow the advice – and pleadings – of my doctor and Rov.

Do you?

By: Shaina Ponim



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  1. Shayna Ponim. Extremely well said. We have too many know it all’s that are reitzing un the media and the Mayor and Governor. I understand that everyone is upset but at the end of the day the Gov has been begging us to show some effort (just a little ) at complying with the masks and with social distancing and in general we HAVE FLOUTED THEM IN THEIR FACE. In shuls and other such places we take our masks off. You think they don’t know? We forget we are in Galus. The law will not forever back us up. That’s what history shows. We have forgotten that דינא דמלכותא דינא. We have surely forgotten that we are in Galus and that עשיו שונא את יעקב and in the end our big mouths and our basic lack of willingness to listen to the law NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY BEGGED US, is not smart. Yes, they are picking on us, but don’t continue to give them reason to do so. We need a bit of humility and we have not displayed any. I wonder where our leadership has gone. We are on a sinking ship Chas V’Shalom. We need sincere Tefillos now more than ever. It’s NOT a good situation. We need behind the scene negotiations, not open brazenness. My humble opinion.

  2. I don’t agree. Just because somebody tells you do something doesn’t always mean that you have to listen who says they’re beliefs are correct? If they tell you to jump off the roof will you listen?

  3. Quote “Do I get confounded, tzumished, and tzutumuled by conducting my own ‘independent’ research (-with Google, everyone is now a certified “researcher”!) to see what other white coats claim? Do I feel the need to consider every yenta’s concocted theory and point of view?
    Nope. I lead a simple life: My doctor asked – I listen.”

    If you don’t do research you may put your LIFE IN DANGER!

    If C’V you have gotten COVID and you didn’t do the research, you would have listened to your doctor who most likely would tell you to “DO NOTHING, if you cant breathe go to the ER”. Consequently, you would have ended up in the ICU and possibly in a BODY BAG, or perhaps you would have made it out a live, but with heart damage or permanent lung damage…

    Had you chosen to do research you would have heard about Hydroxyqloroquine, Zinc, Vitamin D, C, Quercetin, and perhaps you would have gotten treatment early on in the first 24-36 hours of symptoms and you would have been able to stay home and not suffer as much and you would have lowered your risks of dying from COVID dramatically.

    Your point about the masks is well taken, but to act ignorant is just plain STUPID and sometimes criminal

  4. One more point. The fact is that our non – Jewish neighbours have every right to be upset with us since it is our stubbornness that has led to have THEIR stores shut down as well. If they are open they may not get fined because they are not Jewish, but many have listened and therefore HAVE shut down thereby losing business because of our lack of following simple instructions. We MUST look at the big picture. We DO NOT LIVE IN A VACUUM. We are part of a whole society and we must keep our neighbours in mind as well.

  5. Beautifully written! Thanks! Taakeh, why when the Zoo Keeper asks us to don masks we listen yet when the Rov and doctor says to, we know better? Aren’t we the Am K’shay Oiref? Sadly, still, it calls for an answer!

  6. “Truth be told, it’s safer to listen to the zookeeper than the doctor.”

    Big talk, no walk. Please tell me the name of the zookeeper you’ll go to when you need serious medical attention.

  7. wemustdavenbetter

    Well said. In your golus, it has been forbidden by the gedolim להתגרות בגויים.
    However, HKBH has made arrangements enabling all of the golus dwellers to come home to Eretz Hakodesh. He has given us the means to do so. Take advantage of it.

  8. well written. However 2 points

    1. There are many rabbonim and doctors who disagree with the mask thing. We dont hear them because if they say so, they’ll get beat up for it.

    2. I’ve seen many ppl become robots to their RY/Rov because they just become parakeets. We are supposed to be mevatal ourselves to daas torah but we should also think and understand. You arent being simple. You are being robotic.


  9. When you’re in a small place with many people (and usually the same people), it’s likely that you all have it and have developed herd immunity, but in places where there are smaller Jewish communities that regularly interact with non-Jews (like out-of-town communities), such communities would not have a fair chance of herd immunity.

  10. The reason people listen to the zookeeper more than to the Rov is because they don’t want to be thrown out of the zoo. If shuls would throw out people without masks, maybe more people would listen to their Rov.

  11. To “I ain’t no doctor I ain’t no rav”
    As simple and as tzumisht as you want to portray yourself, you don’t have to use nerdy words like Ain’t. You can say “AM NOT”. and for plain simple people like you: 2 negatives equals a positive. So you ain’t no doctor nor Rav? Then you’re both. And pretty stupid ones at that.
    Watch your grammar. We are the people of the book.
    And one more caveat: Believe half what you see and nothing that you hear. Especially the fake media hogwash.
    And this advice is free.
    You’re welcome.

  12. Shaina, you ain’t no simpleton! What a brilliantly elegant way of stating the obvious – we have lost our way. Love how you preempted every possible negative response. Like, what can even be said against this? Listen to your rov and doctor!

    You are like the ‘simple’ child who screams to the crowd that the emperor has no clothes (or mask!). Great work! Hopefully, it will make a dent in someone’s mind and get that person to reach for their mask.