Question:

I daven in a certain shul in Yerushalayim and I have asked people to please put on a mask. There is a sign in the shul that the mask is obligatory. Many have refused. No reason given. They refused to give a reason. “I don’t want.” I and others cannot daven there any longer. I had to find minyanim outside. Hot and inconvenient. Everyone in shul must wear a mask, and if they have some reason they don’t want to, they should make their own minyan, not the regular minyan of the shul. I’m a member just as much as they are and they are stealing my right to daven in the shul.
How can I force them to put on masks. They are potential mazikim and because of them we have had to run away from shul, so they are rodefim. What can we do? We need a psak and if they don’t follow the psak we should be able to take them to a din Torah.

Answer:

I can relate very well to your problem, and I agree with you that they should all put on a mask, but even if you would get a “psak” from Dinonline, I don’t think this is going to help you much, and they will not be convinced. Yes, it is possible that they have a din of a mazik and rodeif, but that is not going to help you personally. What I can tell you, is a story that happened to Hagoan Horav Zaidel Epstein zt”l who used to be the mashgiach of Torah Ohr. There was once a person from one of the buildings in the neighborhood, that had a complaint that someone was planning on building in a way that he was not happy about it, and he wanted R’ Zaidel to sign that what the person was doing was wrong. R’ Zaidel brushed the person off with some sort of excuse why he technically couldn’t do it. The second the person left his apartment, R’ Zaidel started to scream, “machleikes! machleikes! antleif! antleif!!” – translated into English, “a fight! a fight! escape! escape!!” Run away from it as if it is a fire…. Of course this case is quite different as you are not trying to create any machlokes you are just trying to do what is right. Nevertheless since the outcome will undoubtedly cause ill feelings, it is better that the Gabbai of the shul decide if something should be done. Practically on your part, true you are frustrated and correct, but in our trying times we also have to be extra careful not to a make a fight.

May HKB”H help that you and you family should pull through these trying times healthy in all ways.

 

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