Jul 21, 2020

Interesting Psak: Woman wearing a tallis and "Lo Tilbash"

Behadrei is reporting on a weird story involving Corona, quarantine, police and a tallis led to an interesting psak.

An avreich in Bnei Braq needed to be in quarantine after an alleged exposure to someone infected with CoronaVirus. The fellow claimed that the exposure detection was a mistake in the GPS signal tracking by the Ministry of Health from his cellphone and that he was never actually exposed.

Because he felt it was in error, he did not keep strictly to the quarantine. he went out one day to go to shul. While he was in shul, his wife at home answered the phone and it was the police checking that he was keeping to the rules of quarantine. They asked to speak to him, to make sure he is home, but she explained that he is in the middle of davening, at home, and cannot come to the phone. The police officer said he is downstairs in front of the building and will wait a bit and check in again soon.

no, it likely did not look like this
Several minutes later they called again and she answered again that he is still davening. By now the police doubted the veracity of her story and said that he should stick his hand out the window, while davening, and wave to them so they can see him. This way they would not come up and disturb him during his prayers, but at the same time confirming visually that he is at home as per the quarantine orders.

Mrs Quarantine came up with an idea quickly. She found her husband's Shabbos tallis and wrapped it around herself, went to the window and stuck out her hand and waved. I guess the police accepted that and moved on. It is a good thing she probably was not wearing nail polish.

The question was then raised and sent to some local rabbis if by doing this she had transgressed the prohibition of a woman wearing the clothing of a man. I don't know why she did not also ask if it is permitted to lie in such a situation to avoid a fine, but so be it.

According to Behadrei, the rabbis did not want to answer the question so it should not appear that they are supporting people breaking quarantine, even if the claim is that the need for quarantine was mistaken. In the end they did issue a psak that the wife had not transgressed the prohibition of Lo Tilbash, of a woman wearing the clothing of a man.

The Women of the Wall and other women who like to wear the tallis for davening surely all apreciate the psak of the rabbis from Bnei Braq...





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5 comments:

  1. I can't speak to this specific story, but I am aware of several instances where the GPS cellphone tracking was wrong - some where people were in the same building, but in different apartments/stores where there was no access from one to the other, and others where the people in question were nowhere near each other. I'm aware of one person who was able to get the quarantine order cancelled by showing that he was at home at the time he was purported to have been elsewhere, but someone else I know wasn't able to do so. Overall, I agree that using GPS tracking makes sense as a starting point, but it shouldn't be the be-all and end-all.

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    1. there are many such stories of the tracking being wrong, but that is besides the point...
      (I myself got rid of the Magen app after it warned me numerous times that i might have been in place x with a corona patient, and I hadnt been. I didnt need the headache. but that was also not a definitive order from the ministry of health to quarantine. that was the app asking me if I was there and me responding no.

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  2. Can we call her אשת און בן פלת? (I'm not saying that the Israeli police are compared to קרח, but it's too similar not to point out.)

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    Replies
    1. Why is there a stupid question in every little matter. The wife naturally did the proper and correct thing by protecting her husband! There is no common sense today so questions like did she commit a sin for wearing a man's garment (talit), duh! This is not like the WoW whackos wearing talit and tefilim. They are sinning because they have only an agenda to destroy Torah,c'v.

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