B”H, 10 Sivan 5780
Related to travel (for the foreseeable future, including Gimmel Tammuz):
At this time, we do not regard air travel as safe for anyone except the lowest risk individuals on essential business.
Susceptible individuals who travel outside the community are at risk of becoming ill in a setting where cases are still prevalent. Thus, when they return to Crown Heights, they should continue to separate themselves from vulnerable others, and monitor themselves closely, immediately reporting any suspicious symptoms.
Particularly concerning are those travelling to Crown Heights, who may not have had the virus and who live elsewhere in places where there may still be sporadic cases occurring, and who are inadvertently carrying the illness with them. In order for all the members of our community (including the vulnerable) to attempt a cautious return to socialization, we must ask those intending to visit Crown Heights to postpone their trips for the foreseeable future. This might not work out with your plans, but it is for our protection. Thank you in advance for being considerate.
The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr. Rosen
In light with the above, and based on testimony from professional doctors regarding the potential danger (may Hashem protect us) as a result of guests traveling to our community, we wish to inform all who heed our voice, especially those who don’t live in our community (and many who don’t understand English), the following Halachic ruling, as many have requested us:
1) According to Torah, it is forbidden to be the cause of placing oneself, and all the more so others, in a potential danger (R”L), even if it is a far-fetched distant risk.
2) It is well known the many directives in Sichos and Igros about the great necessity to listen to doctors’ orders.
3) Certainly, one may not treat these orders with contempt, especially when this causes harm to others.
4) Based on all the above, we request all our Jewish Brethren who conduct themselves according to Torah’s directives, and to whom the lives of the thousands of our community members is precious, to refrain from all travel to this community, especially in large groups, without explicit permission from our local doctors. This is relevant to guests who plan on visiting for weddings, Gimmel Tamuz and Tishrei etc.
5) The Shulchan Aruch writes: “One who violates these principles and says ‘I am comfortable causing danger to myself and why should others care about this’ is culpable of lashes. One who observes these principles will receive blessings of goodness”. The Rama states: “One must be cautious about all matters that cause danger as danger is more severe than issur. It is forbidden to rely on a miracle and allow oneself to be endangered”.
It is our fervent hope that we merit the time when Hashem will eradicate all illness from our midst with the coming of Moshiach Now!