Use of take-home coronavirus tests is permissible even on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays, a rabbi has ruled, Israel Hayom reported Monday.
In response to a number of inquiries from other rabbis, the chairman of the Rabbanei Dereh Emunah organization, Rabbi Baruch Efrati, who also serves as a neighborhood rabbi in the town of Efrat, said that the rapid antigen tests for the coronavirus, which can be purchased and used at home, can be used during the upcoming holidays as well as on the Sabbath.
The ruling was made following consultations with Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, former Chief Rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem.
“The determination is that it is permissible to carry out home coronavirus tests such as this on the Sabbath or holidays,” Rabbi Efrati wrote. “There are no concerns that it may constitute measuring, painting, writing, tearing, or the preparation of medicine, muktzeh (moving an object not permitted on the Sabbath), kneading.”
However, Rabbi Efrati added, if the tests are not meant merely to identify possible infections but to enable children to return to school after the holiday or Sabbath, the tests should be conducted after the holiday or Sabbath.