On Tuesday evening, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein visited the home of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Bnei Brak, Harav Yisrael Hager, shlita, to update the Rebbe on the current status of the coronavirus infections in Israel and to request the Rebbe’s aid in ensuring the chareidi community adheres to the regulations to help stem the outbreak.
The Rebbe asked the health minister regarding the necessity of the new lockdowns, expressing his concern that closing down schools and yeshivos would cause unnecessary bitul Torah. In response, Edelstein said that schools and yeshivos are still allowed to remain open, adding that if the guidelines are strictly adhered to, it will be possible to remove the lockdown quicker.
Edelstein also noted that the purpose of his visit was to try to prevent lockdowns in additional chareidi cities, adding that there is talk of further lockdowns. He said that the class of a confirmed coronavirus patient will not be closed for more than two days, during which testing would be conducted on the other students in the class.
Accompanying the health minister was Chairman of the Committee for Public Petitions MK Rabbi Yaakov Tesler (UTJ).
The Vizhnitzer Rebbe blessed the health minister for his work for the public and his efforts to stop the coronavirus from spreading, and said, “It is a mitzvah and an obligation to adhere all of the Health Ministry’s regulations, and especially to wear a face mask. Anyone who takes this lightly endangers others. We have said this from the onset of the pandemic, and we warned that people should not take this issue lightly. There is no room to compromise when it comes to protecting people’s lives.”