Hagaonim Harav Chaim Kanievsky and Rosh Yeshivah Harav Gershon Edelstein published a letter on Tuesday morning calling on the public to be mapkid on health regulations and to be mechazeik in kedushas beis ha’knesses in light of the rise of coronavirus cases in Israel.
“When due to our many sins, Shamayim has increased the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, we surely must arouse ourselves and be mechazeik ourselves,” the Gedolim wrote. “Each person knows in their heart what to work on and specifically, everyone should guard the kedushas batei knesseios and batei medrashios.”
“We also have to remember that at a time like this, the binding mitzvah upon us is guarding our health,” the Gedolim wrote. “‘Chamira sakanta mei’isura’ [one must be more machmir to avoid danger to life than violating issurim] and chalilah to become lax in this.”
“It is appropriate to guard [one’s health by adhering to regulations] and be mechazeik in this for the zechus and the protection of Am Yisrael. And everyone should make an effort to say pirkei Tehillim after tefillos, to appeal and implore the Ribono Shel Olam to remove this evil from our nation.”
Rosh Yeshivas Slabodka Hagaon Harav Dov Landau also spoke about the topic at the yeshivah, Kikar H’Shabbos reported. “It’s forbidden to relate to issues of pikuach nefesh like a type of game,” Harav Landau said. “To do things in violation of the doctors’ orders is a terrible avla (violation).”
“Wearing a mask during these times is a total obligation on each and every person without any exceptions. It’s a complete sin to refrain from wearing it.”