A Letter to the Residents of Bnei Brak on Tisha B’Av

YERUSHALAYIM -

In an open letter to the residents of Bnei Brak on Monday, Rabbi Chaim Yitzchak Isaac Landa and Rabbi Shevach Tzvi Rosenblat issued guidelines for proper conduct on Tisha B’av.

They call upon everyone to be especially careful on Tisha B’Av not to be harmed, nor to harm others, specifically urging all to wear masks, keep social distancing and wash hands.

Regarding washing, the use of hand sanitizer is not forbidden under the halachic rubric of washing or anointing, since it is intended to only remove dirt, which is certainly permitted and necessary during this time of danger.

Those in quarantine should fast as usual. One who has tested positive for coronavirus, but has no symptoms, should also fast.

However, anyone showing even light symptoms of the disease should not fast. Anyone who experiences the onset of coronavirus symptoms during the course of the fast—including fever, muscular aches, diarrhea, or loss of sense of smell or taste—should break the fast.

Anyone who suffered from a serious case of the coronavirus during the last two months, such as lung infection or respiratory problems, should not fast, even if there are currently no symptoms!

May Hashem in His great mercy save us from illness and speedily gladden us with the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash.