Only Outdoor Minyanim Allowed During Lockdown

YERUSHALAYIM -
A minyan in Bnei Brak during the lockdown in September. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

The national lockdown due to start at midnight on Thursday will prohibit indoor gatherings of more than five people, effectively preventing minyanim inside shuls for the two-week duration.

Outdoors, the Health Ministry has said that gatherings must be limited to ten, thus forcing larger minyanim to scatter and stagger their schedules.

Currently, the regulations allow for 10 people indoors, 20 outside.

A new Health Ministry campaign being mounted in the religious neighborhoods includes posters and notices specifically mentioning the highly contagious variant of COVID-19, the so-called “British mutation,” and its potentially high rate of infection.

“Listen to the great rabbis who have called [on the public] to obey the regulations of the Health Ministry, take advantage of the [current] pleasant weather and pray in open spaces,” reads one advertisement.

Rabbanim in Israel have advised the public throughout the pandemic to comply with the Health Ministry’s rules.

On Thursday, Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, and Hagaon Harav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, signed a joint letter to close down Talmudei Torah as part of the upcoming lockdown.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called several of leading Gedolim, or their representatives, to obtain their cooperation for the upcoming coronavirus lockdown.