Rav Shalom Cohen
Rav Shalom CohenFlash 90

Following the increase in coronavirus morbidity and the increase in the number of critically ill and deceased, the Shas Council of Sages, headed by Rabbi Shalom Cohen, issued a special holy directive with halakhic guidelines for the days of Sukkot.

In the directive, Council members state unequivocally:

"As the plague of coronavirus is sadly increasing, and every day more and more patients are added and even the number of those who die in the plague increases, it is clear that everyone must strengthen themselves with all their might in order to maintain and adhere to all health guidelines, each and every one of them, without any laxness at all, so that they not harm nor be harmed, and G-d forbid come to possibly be responsible for murder, for great is that sin. And to the admonisher and the admonished may You grant peace like the waters of a river," they added.

The Council members further detail the protocol and guidelines on how to conduct oneself during the holidays, and rule that it is obligatory to hold all prayers only in open space, and that prayers should not be held indoors:

"During the holidays only in the open space, in a limited quorum, keeping distance, and wearing a mask throughout the prayer, and they should keep a close eye on the distance even during the hoshaanot and hakafa circuts, and no prayers should be held indoors, as 'danger is more stringent than proscriptions'.

"On Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, caution must be exercised, and care must be taken not to transfer the Torah scrolls from one to another. It goes without saying that they should not dance together in circles, etc., rather, also during hakafot one should keep distance and leap and jump in one's place in joy while clapping hands. And despite our great love for the Torah - do not kiss the Torah scroll in any way, and all prayers and hakafot must be done quickly and that is sufficient," they emphasized.