Apr 22, 2021

Interesting Psak: Bring the Children to shul!

Technically right now in Israel shuls are open according to the Green Passport guidelines - only people vaccinated or recovered are allowed in. And in shuls numbers of people are limited, with the requirement of distancing and mask wearing.

I dont know any national numbers, but from what I see and what i have heard from other people, my impression is that in many/most Haredi shuls Corona is treated mostly as being behind us,  with children being allowed in, masks not enforced, etc. in National Religious shuls it seems to be keeping mostly with the rules of the Health Ministry, and because of that many are still having outdoor minyanim, because the children cannot go to shul.

A National Religious-affiliated shul representative posed a question to Rav Aryeh Stern, former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, asking what to do with the children, if the rules of the Health Ministry should still be adhered to or if they should now be brought back to shul even against the rules.

Rav Stern replied saying that after seeing what is happening now in the streets of Jerusalem, we should immediately open the shuls to children under 16, and it is crucial.

It is unacceptable that all restrictions on children in schools have now been lifted, and they can also go to malls and restaurants with everyone together, both adults and children, but only in shuls children are still not allowed.

Now that it is no longer cold, the children should be in shul, and the windows should be left open with distancing and masks worn.
source: Kipa

A confidante of the rav is quoted in Kikar saying that while by the Haredim this has been the situation already for a while, it is unusual among the Dati Leumi for an official call to act against the rules of the State.




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5 comments:

  1. I think the main problem would be that letting the kids back inside, means losing a certain amount of control. In restaurants it is also inside only for vaccinated. The rest are outside. Actually i saw a kid inside out shul, and asked his Dad about him. He told me his son had recovered from Corona and so was eligible. One week there was a Barmitzvah on a rainy Shabbat. And the minyanim switched round. The vaccinated were outside and the rest inside.

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  2. I think the main problem would be that letting the kids back inside, means losing a certain amount of control. In restaurants it is also inside only for vaccinated. The rest are outside. Actually i saw a kid inside our shul, and asked his Dad about him. He told me his son had recovered from Corona and so was eligible. One week there was a Barmitzvah on a rainy Shabbat. And the minyanim switched round. The vaccinated were outside and the rest inside.

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  3. I don't understand ...

    Most shuls in Modi'in have outdoor space for children or anyone unvaccinated. Or minyanim with less than 20 people so there is no requirement for everyone to be vaccinated.
    Recently the outdoor space has become more popular as masks are not required in the outdoor area, but are still required indoors.

    It is possible to bring kids to shul within the government guidelines and without additional risk.

    The fact that the kids are going to school, even though this presents a risk is a reason NOT to let your kids into shul. I have neighbors with kids in Bidiud because someone in their class tested positive. If those kids had also gone to shul, it would not only be the kids in their class in Bidud, but also all the kids in shul, and would potentially spread the virus to other schools.

    We should be looking for ways to minimize risk, not excuses that because X is OK, then everything else should be ok.

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    Replies
    1. it was my impression, and just my impression, that his concern is that davening now outside is problematic, maybe for tzniyus reasons as the weather warms up. That is what is seems to me he meant (by saying what is happening in the streets of Jerusalem)...

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    2. Michael, with all due respect, it seems like you are stuck in early covid thinking. At this point, with the older population vaccinated, covid is not something we need to overly worry about. Covid for kids is simply not a serious issue. Just like we don't make special rules in shul/school to avoid getting the flu. There's a general suffering by not having normalcy. B"H we've reached a point where covid is not a threat at the level which we have to upend our lives anymore. It's time to step back and re-evaluate the dangers of covid. And yes, if the government is too slow, then Rabbis and others will have to step in and do it on their own.

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