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Mar 18, 2020

CoronaVirus and Shabbos observance

There isn't that much public transportation operating on Shabbos in Israel. It operates in parts of Haifa, but that is mostly it. A number of cities have been operating limited bus lines on Shabbos over the past year, generally just to the beaches and other entertainment districts.

As part of the attempt to halt or slow the spread of COVID-19, CoronaVirus, the State decided yesterday to significantly cut down the amount fo public transportation in operation, with many bus and train lines being slashed and others being halted during the nights. Also, buses and trains wont be operational from Thursday night at 8pm until Sunday morning. (source: Ynet)

That means, this Shabbos, and probably for many more in the foreseeable future, there will be no public transportation at all, anywhere in Israel, on Shabbos. It seems that this is the first time ever that this is happening.

That is a lovely side benefit of the spread of the CoronaVirus.

A less lovely side effect is all the yeshivas and shuls that have been shut down because of the spread of CoronaVirus. The inability to host guests over Shabbos and probably for the upcoming Pesach. The curtailed chessed. The sick people, especially the elderly, and those who have died (not yet in Israel but elsewhere) and will die.

That being said, Rabbi Chananya Weissman pointed out the following to encourage keeping this Shabbos at almost no "expense":

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