Leading rabbi says those who don't wear masks in synagogue 'are murderers'

Leading Sephardic rabbi says those who attend synagogue without a mask should be 'chased out.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Men pray in the synagogue, wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus
Men pray in the synagogue, wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus
Gershon Elinson/Flash90

Rabbi Ben-Tzion Mutzafi, one of the leading Sephardic halakhic (relating to Jewish law - ed.) authorities, on Tuesday morning harshly criticized those who attend synagogue without wearing a mask, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

"Those who come to the house of G-d without masks, and endanger the synagogue with a fine and closure - aren't they guilty of wasting time which should be spent learning Torah?" one of Rabbi Mutzafi's students asked.

In response, Rabbi Mutzafi said, "What waste of time? They are murderers! Today there are over 4,000 people ill, hundreds of people dead, and much suffering and financial loss, horrible suffering for the entire family. And we haven't even talked about the tens of thousands who were required to quarantine!"

"Woe betide those [who don't wear masks] from Heaven, in another three months it will be the Day of Judgement, when the three Books are opened."

When asked how to handle those who refuse to wear masks in the synagogue, even after being asked to do so, Rabbi Mutzafi responded, "Chase them out of there, they are murderers."

On Monday, Elad's Rabbi Mordechai Malka ruled that anyone arriving at the synagogue without a mask should not be called up to the Torah or allowed to lead the prayers.

"In the case of someone who is not strict about the commandment to protect your lives, and purposely violates a Torah law, we are forbidden from calling him up to the Torah and asking him to lead the prayers, and we must make certain not to allow him into the synagogue," he said.

"Just like a person is strict to pray with a quorum of ten and perform other commandments, he must be strict about wearing a mask."