Leader of ultra-Orthodox world calls for lone prayer due to coronavirus

JERUSALEM POST

Rabbi Kanievsky ruled that anyone not obeying social-distancing orders is like someone trying to murder another, is responsible for causing their death; permits reporting them to secular authorities.

After weeks of stalling, the most senior rabbinic leader of the ultra-Orthodox world, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, has ordered members of the community to obey social-distancing orders, pray alone instead of in a prayer quorum and report anyone who violates the orders to the police. Kanievsky’s instructions were notable for the level of trust they imparted to officials and experts regarding the coronavirus epidemic in contrast to previous comments the rabbi has made, as well as to a prevailing attitude in the community itself which often puts greater trust in rabbis than officials of any other kind, including state and medical ones.

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