BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — In the past month a number of rulings were issued in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein, the son-in-law of Rabbi Elyashiv and Rav of the Ramat Elchanan neighborhood in Bnei Brak, including one in which he allegedly said that one should not pray for a person who showed contempt for regulations and was then infected with COVID-19. Another ruling claimed that it is an obligation to call the police when one finds a Jewish person ignoring the health ministry’s regulations. VINnews did not publish these “rulings” since they did not have the official authorization of Rabbi Zilberstein, and it has now become apparent that he did not concur with these rulings.
Regarding the first issue Rav Zilberstein’s associates said that he feels the opposite is the case. It is an obligation to pray for every Jew and one must not take into consideration whether he kept the regulations or violated them, especially in light of the fact that there is major confusion regarding the health regulations. Many people do not know the exact laws and many hear misleading information in the name of doctors.
Regarding reporting violations to police, this could cause people to desecrate Shabbos in order to summon police as well as causing people to receive unnecessary fines for not wearing masks and therefore such violations should not be reported.
Moreover, Rabbi Zilberstein stressed that a man in shul without a mask cannot be shamed for this and those who are not comfortable with it should leave the shul.
Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, head of the Eda Charedis’s rabbinical court, ruled further that one who informs police about yeshivas and Talmud Torahs opening or about illegal weddings cannot be included in a minyan.
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