Karlin-Stolin Rebbe contracts coronavirus

In Karlin chassidus, restrictions are adhered to meticulously. Haredi confidence in following the rules is now likely to plummet.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

If social distancing doesn't work, why bother?
If social distancing doesn't work, why bother?

The Admor of Karlin-Stolin has been hospitalized in Laniado hospital in Netanya, after developing pneumonia as a complication from coronavirus. According to a statement from the Rebbe’s residence, the Rebbe will be remaining in hospital for the next few days under close supervision, as per the instructions of the doctors.

The Rebbe, who is 65 years old, had been in isolation for the past few days, after two of his sons were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

The news will be a severe blow not only to Karlin-Stolin chassidus, but also to the government itself, even if it doesn’t realize it yet. Among chassidim and in the haredi world in general, Karlin-Stolin has stood out as exceptionally stringent regarding adherence to the government’s coronavirus guidelines. While some Chassidic courts held prayers in large numbers over the High Holidays, Karlin-Stolin chassidim prayed in tiny capsules, meticulously adhering to social distancing and wearing of face masks, and many prayed alone at home.

Now, with the Rebbe having contracted the coronavirus along with several family members, haredi confidence in the efficacy of the government’s measures is likely to plummet to an all-time low. The Rebbe’s diagnosis follows similar disillusionments in other groups – for instance, among Gerrer chassidim, who also meticulously adhered to guidelines regarding capsules, social distancing and mask wearing, and investing millions in providing the physical infrastructure necessary to do so – and despite this, experienced a large coronavirus outbreak in the last few weeks. Gerrer chassidus is also known for the severity it has accorded to following the government’s guidelines.

From Laniado hospital, the Karlin-Stolin Rebbe sent a message to his chassidim, urging them to “be happy during the upcoming Yom Tov, the ‘time of our rejoicing,’ despite the difficult situation in which we now find ourselves.” He added that his chassidim should “continue to follow the guidelines.”