Rabbi Ben Zion Mutzafi
Rabbi Ben Zion MutzafiYonatan Sindel/Flash90

A leading Sephardic haredi rabbi ruled Monday that prayer groups must exclude worshippers who aren’t wearing face masks, calling their prayers “an abomination”.

Rabbi Ben Zion Mutzafi said during his weekly lecture at the Musayof synagogue in Jerusalem that it is “forbidden” to pray with people who don’t have masks on during prayer.

“There are people outside who don’t have masks. You can’t include these people in prayer quorums [minyanim], it is forbidden to pray with them.”

“Their prayers are an abomination, since they are hurting others, God help us. They may have a beard, sidelocks, a long jacket, a gartel [prayer belt] and who knows what else – they can put on a shtreimel too even on a weekday, it won’t help.”

In June, Rabbi Mutzafi compared worshippers who attend synagogue prayers without a mask to “murderers”.

“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."