As Crown Heights is moved to "yellow light" mode, Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba and Rabbi Yosef Braun reiterate their call to the public to take "necessary…
By COLlive reporter
The Crown Heights neighborhood has returned to the “Yellow Light” mode with regards to social distancing, masks, and gatherings, the Gedaliah Society and Dr. Eli Rosen announced on Thursday.
The move was announced due to reports of reinfection of Covid-19 in Crown Heights, as well as more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases in the U.S. on Wednesday – a record high for a single day.
In response, Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba and Rabbi Yosef Braun of Badatz Crown Heights issued a new letter on Thursday calling on the public to adhere to the instructions of health officials.
“We are alerting all that listen to our voice to take the caution necessary according to Torah to listen to doctor’s instructions and do all that we can with distancing etc. to avoid the spread of the illness,” they wrote.
Rabbis Osdoba and Braun specified that this must be done even “if it comes with difficulty for physical and spiritual matters.”
As reported on COLlive.com, the health experts of Gedaliah Society advised the following for Crown Heights:
• Please be extremely cautious with respect to social distancing, mask use, and handwashing. This is for everyone in the community, whether or not you’ve been sick already and whether or not you’re in a high risk category.
• Please avoid crowded indoor settings. This applies to shuls as well, which according to NYS guidelines should currently be operating at reduced (25%) capacity. In addition, mask use is of particular importance in the indoor setting such as shuls and the like. Large shuls where there is significant crowding, visitors from elsewhere, and lack of mask-wearing are a very worrisome phenomenon and should be avoided.
• Kiddushim/farbrengens in shul causes an additional concern, given the inevitable crowding, lack of mask use, and potential for shared secretions. These should be avoided at this time. The after-davening kiddush where everyone is finally relaxing and has their guard down is not the place to be for anyone who is safety-minded.
• Those from other communities – please, avoid visiting Crown Heights for the time being. This is even more critical when involving those from the “hotspot” states such as Florida and California, where cases are unfortunately surging. NY State requires a 14-day quarantine for all those from those regions. Similarly, those currently living in Crown Heights are advised to not visit those hotspot states for the time being, and they must quarantine on their return if they do so.
• If anyone has any new COVID symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, loss of smell, muscle aches, etc), regardless of whether you may have had COVID already before, please arrange to get tested for the virus.
B”H, Thursday Parashas Balak (“Behold, a people who shall dwell alone”), 10 Tammuz, the days preceding the Festival of Redemption, 12-13 Tammuz, 5780
To all residents of our neighborhood, Hashem has commanded blessing upon us, Hashem bless you all.
Since new information has been received regarding the spread of the known virus, may Hashem protect us, we wish herewith to encourage all about the necessary precautions according to Torah law to abide by the doctors’ instructions to do all within our power in order to prevent the spread of the sickness, may Hashem protect us that this should not occur. We’ve already expressed our position about the severity of this matter, most particularly about visitors from outside the community.
It is most obvious that doing the above to protect our and other’s health is included in the mitzvah of “Venishmartem me’od l’nafshoisaichem” (be very careful about your lives), and hence it is a must to do so even if comes across difficult due to physical or spiritual reasons.
It shall be pleasant for those who listen and a blessing of goodness shall come upon them.
May Hashem say enough to our sorrows and may we merit the fulfillment of the promise “all the sicknesses which I placed etc. I will not place upon you from the beginning, because I Hashem am your healer”, “Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction”. Redemption is adjacent to healing, liberation in the seventh blessing and healing in the eighth blessing, and from Redemption to Redemption, a star shall rise from Isreal, with the ultimate and true Redemption through Moshiach Tzidkeinu, now Mamosh
Horav Avrohom Osdoba Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun
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