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Minyan and “essentials”

Question:

Considering that all the “essential” stores are open, especially the highly “essential” liquor stores, and people are shopping there, and the “essential” busses and trains are running and are packed with people, and the “essential” parks are open and packed, and some people are taking “essential” walks without masks and without being makpid on social distancing, why is it that one cannot daven with a minyan at this time, even with social distancing? Why is it OK to shop in the “essential” liquor stores and to ride on the “essential” busses but not OK to daven with a minyan as required by halacha?

Answer:

The idea over here is that due to the current situation, where coming in contact with other people can cause the spread of the disease, which can cause either, a sakana for the person themself, or a danger to other people, we are therefore obligated min hatorah to be extra (meod) careful. Davening with a minyan when there are ten people together for an amount of time, has danger to it, coupled with the fact that unfortunately not everyone is careful and not everyone keeps to the guidlines. The fact that people are going all over the place on the false premise that what he/she is doing is essential and it warrents the risk to themself or others, does not mean  the it indeed is the correct thing to do. On the contrary, since we see the the gedolim, who understand the tremendous importance of davening with a minyan, and that when we daven with a minyan our tefilloh  is much stronger, nevertheless, they have said that it is still not owrth the risk to human life. Then it shuld be obvious that we should not be going around claiming that all of these other things are “essential”. The fact that there are certain people in political positions that are more concerned with the ecomoy, then about people dying, will not change the torah’s outlook and a Jew’s obligation at this time. Our objective here is the presevation of life, “ushemartem  meod l’nafshoseichem”.

May H-shem have mercy on Klal Yisroel  and take away this terrible decree.

 

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