After consulting with Ashkenazi, Sefardi and Chassidic Rabbanim (all recognized halachic authorities), the Chief Rabbinate of Lostisland issues the following guidelines:
- Men should not, even if allowed by the local health authorities and government, pray with a minyan. As it is a question of Pekuach Nefesh, it is recommended to rather pray alone at home. For those that feel the need to still pray with a minyan, the Rabbonim stressed that doing so, the person might even be considered an aveira (sin) rather than a mitzvah.
- Do not visit anybody and do not receive guests. To do so increases the risk of infection and, as such, endangers the life of you and others. Again, this is a case of Pikuach Nefesh, and those visiting others and receiving visitors will put their lives and the lives of others in danger.
- When leaving one’s home, one MUST wear a face mask. Those that refuse to wear a mask are considered a RODEF (somebody that is looking to kill a person). Such a person should not be allowed to be called up to the Seder Torah when it will be possible again.
- Keep your children at home. The Rabbonim have stressed that it is NOT the time to sending our children to cheder, gan, etc. yet. Doing so would endanger their lives and, as such, is assur (forbidden).
- Women should not be forced to attend the mikveh, should they not feel comfortable to do so. Immersion in a bathtub, long shower or any other combination DOES NOT replace the mikveh and women, until immersion in a kosher mikveh, will remain in her state of Niddah and forbidden to their husbands.
- New Keilim (cutlery, plates, etc.), needs to be immersed into a mikveh before being allowed to be used. Should the Keili Mikveh be closed, one can immerse the Keilim in a river or lake (consult with a local rabbi about the nature of the lake). Should those not be available, one can undergo a sale of one’s kelim, to a non-Jew (consult with a local rabbi or contact the Chief Rabbi’s office for guidance).
It is our hope and prayer, that Hashem will send an end to the Mageifa and speedy refuah to all the cholim (sick) amongst our People.
Reb Mordechai Linhart
Chief Rabbi of Lostisland