JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a letter signed by Rabbi Chaim Kanievski and Rabbi Gershon Edelstein and published Sunday, the two leaders of Lithuanian Jewry reiterated their position that the Yeshivos and Talmud Torahs should not be closed despite the corona virus but set out guidelines for how they should behave in the present situation.
The letter stresses that there was never a time in Jewish history that Yeshivos ceased to exist and that the world exists because of children studying Torah “and they are the biggest protection which can prevent the plague from entering Jewish homes.”
However since “danger is more stringent than prohibited behavior”, efforts should be made to maintain official guidelines such as learning in small groups and maintaining social distances in order to prevent mass infection. Moreover the study rooms should be properly ventilated and monitors should be appointed to maintain proper hygiene.
The letter adds that “anyone who has even the slightest doubt that he or a member of his family may be sick or in quarantine should not enter the Beis Midrash in order not to infect others.
The letter concludes by emphasizing that “calamities come because of Israel” and we should therefore repent and add more study of Torah and good deeds.