What is the Torah Perspective on Wearing a Mask and Social Distancing?
July 20, 2020
What is the Torah perspective on wearing a mask and social distancing?
That you should do it.
Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
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Editor’s Note: While Rabbi Abramowitz asked that we publish his response immediately and verbatim, and we agree that it is as impactful a response as any, we want to note that several key rabbinical authorities have emphasized the importance of mask-wearing. According to the Israeli newspaper Kikar Shabbos, Rav Chaim Kanievsky said, ‘So why are you saying the government [obligates you]? Say the Mishnah Berurah. At a time when there’s a mageifah (plague) even when it’s not in full force, you must wear a mask.’” Per Arutz Sheva, Sephardic Rav Rabbi Ben-Tzion Mutzafi said “those who don’t wear masks in synagogue ‘are murderers.'” Rav Asher Weiss, Rav Gershon Edelstein, Lubavitch posek Rav Yosef Braun, the Orthodox Union and others have also ruled accordingly.
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Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, Jew in the City's Educational Correspondent, is the editor of OU Torah (www.ou.org/torah) . He is the author of six books including The Taryag Companion and The God Book. For more Q&A, follow his new video series, Ask Rabbi Jack, on YouTube.