Halachot Related to Coronavirus
All rabbinim agree that one should be cautious with all the health guidelines and social distancing set up by the government and other local insitutions in order to stay safe and help prevent getting others sick. Corona virus as it causes a serious health threat to some people, inhibits any social gatherings and semachot, and has severely damaged the economy and livelihood of certain people, poses a serious challenge to everyone. We all need to daven and take advantage of the circumstances in order to best serve Hashem. As a thoughtful Jew it is incumbent upon a person to take to heart some important lessons of life and restrengthen himself in his commitments.  Additionally, on a practical level COVID19 has many implications for people and here is a small collection of the relevant halacha.
- 1 Tefillah
- 2 Minyan via Porches or Technology
- 3 Netilat Yadayim
- 4 Friday Night
- 5 Kriyat Hatorah
- 6 Hagomel
- 7 Bedikat Chametz and Biur Chametz
- 8 Selling Chametz
- 9 Buying for Pesach
- 10 Kitniyot
- 11 Kashering for Pesach
- 12 Pesach Davening
- 13 Machine Matza
- 14 Eruv Tavshilin and Eruv Chatzerot
- 15 Tefillat HaTal
- 16 Birchat Ha'ilanot
- 17 Tanit Bechorot
- 18 Birkat Halevana
- 19 Chol Hamoed
- 20 Using Zoom for the Seder
- 21 Sefirat Haomer
- 22 Mikveh
- 23 Tevilat Kelim
- 24 Brit Milah
- 25 Naming a Girl
- 26 Bar Mitzvah's
- 27 Weddings
- 28 Fast Days
- 29 Mezuzah
- 30 Shalom Bayit
- 31 Laid off Workers Because of Corona
- 32 Bikur Cholim
- 33 Burial
- 34 Kibbud Av Vem
- 35 Violating Shabbat for Pikuach Nefesh
- 36 Mesira and Rodef
- 37 Links
- 38 Sources
When davening at home one should be cognizant of the following ideas:
- The best time to pray is Netz. According to many poskim this is equivalent to praying with a minyan.
- A person should daven in a makom kavuah.
- A person should daven in front of a wall so that there's no distractions in front of him.
- A person can and should daven near a window that serves as a means of being inspired to look towards heaven.
- A person can daven Shemona Esrei aloud if it helps his kavana. It also serves as a role model for children.
- A person shouldn't daven in a room that is usually used for frivolity.
- A person shouldn't daven in front of an open bathroom.
- At a time of a plague such as our times it is advisable to say ketoret which has the power to end a plague.
- According to some, at this time a person should recite Avinu Malkenu in Shacharit and Mincha, while others emphasize how one must focus on Teshuvah and reciting all parts of the regular seder haTefillah first. Avinu Malkenu should not be recited during Nissan.
- Eating a meal before davening when the time comes to daven a certain tefillah should be avoided since generally we are lenient about this since we go to established minyanim but for when that isn't possible we should be more strict about this. See details here about eating and doing activities before davening.
- When davening as a family, in a temporary fashion, some hold that it isn't necessary to have a mechitza and the men and women can simply daven on different sides of the room. See Mechitza for more details.
- A person shouldn't forget to recite Birkat Halevana by themselves when they see the moon. It can be said from indoors. See Birkat Halevana page for details.
Parts of Davening to Skip
- On Friday night an individual doesn't recite Magen Avot after Shemona Esrei of Maariv. However, one should recite Vayechulu.
- One doesn't recite Baruch Shemey when praying by oneself since it is part of the activity of removing the Sefer Torah.
Minyan via Porches or Technology
- It is forbidden to have a minyan in person whether it is in a shul, shteibel, home, or backyard.
- If there ten people standing on their own porches and can see one another, some say that one can not create a minyan in such a manner, while others hold that one can.
- You can't create a minyan with a video (e.g. zoom or skype) or phone call but one can join a minyan of ten men in one room with a video or phone call in order to answer dvarim shebekedusha.
- It isn't considered a minyan for people to join together to daven on a video conference but it is still somewhat spiritually valuable.
- Even if there is a time delay between the person reciting the bracha and the one answering it that wouldn't be considered an Amen Yetoma.
- There is a major dispute if a person could fulfill their mitzvah of listening to the megillah on the phone or through watching a live streamed video. Some rabbanim advised this, while others hold that one can't fulfill one's mitzvah at all. See this topic explained more fully here: Brachot_Through_a_Microphone.
- If a person wants to wash his hands with soap and wash Netilat Yadayim for a meal, one should first wash Netilat Yadyaim for the meal, dry the hands, recite the bracha, and then wash one's hands with soap and then recite the Hamotzei.
- Although the reason for reciting Shalom Alechem on a Friday night is that the angels accompany you home from shul and you welcome them to your home, if one was unable to attend shul on a Friday night, he would still sing Shalom Alechem.
- A person who is at home and can't be at shul should nonetheless read the parsha from a chumash between Shacharit and Mussaf as a way of remembering the concept of kriyat hatorah. He can use that reading as part of his reading of Shenayim Mikra Vechad Targum. Some think this doesn't accomplish anything.
- When the congregation misses a kriyat hatorah they can make it up by reading two parshiyot next week in Shul. However, if they miss multiple weeks there is a discussion if they should or could make up all of the parshiyot that they missed.
- A person should not move a sefer torah out of a Shul for a home minyan. See Respecting_a_Sefer_Torah#Transporting_a_Sefer_Torah for more details.
- There still is an obligation of Shenayim Mikra Vechad Targum when the there is no congregation doing the Kriyat Hatorah in shul.
- A person who was quarantined and got out of quarantine doesn't recite Hagomel since they were in no danger.
- A person needs to recite hagomel in front of a minyan of ten men. Some suggest that this can be recited before ten people listening on a video or phone call and can answer amen. Even though they aren't present, the minyan in this context is purely to publicize the idea so it is permissible. Others disagree and as long as the minyan isn't in the same room one can not recite hagomel.
- According to Ashkenazim, if a person is ill with a sickness to the point that he is a choleh sheyesh bo sakana, a concern of mortal danger, he should recite Hagomel, but if he less sick than that there is no need to recite Hagomel. Sephardic tradition is to recite Hagomel anytime someone was sick in bed such as with a flu or bad cold even for a short period of time.
- A person should do bedikat chametz after praying by oneself at Tzet Hakochavim and then immediately begin the bedika. They should not have a meal within a half hour of the bedika.
- Because one can't do a large communal Chametz burning because gatherings aren't safe and even doing it with a few people at a time can look to non-Jews as unsafe. Rather one should just do biur chametz with a Kezayit by flushing it down the toilet.
- A person should sell chametz in the house or office if he left there before he had the chance to do a bedikat chametz. By selling the chametz there he is absolving himself of having to do bedikat chametz.
- If a person doesn't usually sell chametz and is afraid that if he doesn't sell chametz one year he isn't going to have food afterwards he can sell his chametz. He wouldn't require a hatarat nedarim.
- A person can sell his chametz on the phone or online and if possible a kinyan can be made virtually in order to appoint the rabbi to sell the chametz. The kinyan would take place as follows: the rabbi would ask if there's someone standing next to the one who wants to appoint the rabbi and if there is then that person can give a pen or a utensil to the one who wants to appoint the rabbi as his shaliach. This is considered a valid kinyan between the person standing there and the one who wants to appoint the rabbi on behalf of the rabbi to be appointed. If that isn't feasible it isn't necessary. Nonetheless, one could stipulate in the document that this appointment of the rabbi is done with the full knowledge of its legal ramifications and it is accepted completely.
- There is no issue with the selling of Chametz even though the Chametz is in a locked building or in a place that isn't accessible to the non-Jew because of the coronavirus situation.
- Some poskim allow ordering chametz on Pesach if one is certain that it will only be delivered after pesach.
Buying for Pesach
- If you have raw chicken or raw meat you don't have to worry that it is chametz even if it was processed in a place where there was chametz. You can simply wash it off to solve any question.
- Out of a concern of the coronavirus, this year some poskim permit taking vitamins which have additives of kitniyot in order to stay healthy and to strength one's immune system.
- Someone with Crohn's disease and needs to drink an enriched milk with kiniyot additives for his health can do so on Pesach. Also, he can do so within 6 hours after eating meat (see Waiting between Meat and Milk).
- Some poskim allow kashering a dishwasher for Pesach even though there are plastic and other materials in there that are questionable to kosher. One should wait 24 hours without using it and then use with just hot water and no soap. According to Ashkenazim this should be used to kosher it from Chametz but not from meat to parve or milk or vice versa.
- Some hold that one can kasher plastic, while others disagree. See on the Kashering_the_Kitchen_for_Pesach#Which_materials_can_be_kashered.3F page.
Hallel Pesach Night
- There is a custom of Sephardic and some Ashkenazic communities to recite Hallel Pesach night in Shul. However, being that the current situation demands that a person needs to remain inside there is no way to fulfill this minhag and should not recite Hallel after davening. Rather one should only recite it at the Seder.
- According to Sephardim, one should recite Hallel the night of the seder after davening with a bracha even though one is davening at home.
Shir Hashirim on Chol Hamoed
- Ashkenazim generally have the custom to read Shir Hashirim on Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach. This year since there is no minyanim available, when one davens at home individually, there is no obligation to read Shir Hashirim. One may do so but it isn't in fulfillment of the minhag.
- It is permitted under extenuating circumstances to use machine matza for the mitzvah of eating matzah on the seder night.
- Some say that there's no concern to have the hand baked matzot this year.
- A rabbi should establish an eruv tavshilin on behalf of his whole community. Even though usually he acquires it to another person who isn't a family member on behalf of the community, this year because of social distancing one can acquire it to one's wife. 
- An eruv tavshilin works to allow cooking from Yom Tov to Shabbat even though it isn't possible to have guests in most cases.
- The communal eruv chatzerot continues to be effective even though the communal box of matzah's might not be accessible.
- One can recite the piyut for tal on Pesach was only instituted for a congregation, however if one wants to recite it one may do so.
- In Mussaf everyone should stop saying Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem and instead recite Morid Hatal. After Mussaf, starting with Mincha, one should follow their regular minhag if they usually recite Morid Hatal or not.
- One can recite birkat hailanot from indoors if one can see the trees but one may not recite them by seeing the trees on a video. See the Birchat HaIlanot for more details and sources.
- A person should try to finish a short masecheta to make his own siyum but if he can't he can rely on a siyum over the phone.
- Ideally one should recite birkat halevana outdoors. If one can not do so one can recite Birkat Halevana from inside but initially one should open the window. See the Birkat HaLevana page.
- One can't buy stocks or sell them on Chol Hamoed, however, if not selling them could lead to a loss of one's original capital that one invested one can sell it.
See Chol Hamoed for many details.
Using Zoom for the Seder
- Although a minority of rabbis allow using Zoom for this emergency situation in a very extenuating circumstance where an elderly single person is alone for the seder away from family because of the quarantines to use technology to leave a video conference going for Yom Tov to join with a family seder, most rabbis consider this to be a breach of halacha. There is a discussion if the firstgroup of rabbis retracted.
- It is suggested to perform a pre-pesach zoom seder for people who you can't invite to your seder in order to share divrei torah, songs, and the experience of the seder before Yom Tov.
- For someone who is clinically depressed to the point that there is a concern of suicide or just losing one's mind it is permitted to use a phone to call him to cheer him up and check on him. However, if there's a way to check the patient before Pesach one should do so. A person should check with his rabbi in each case.
- A person should recite Ha lachma anya this year as one would any other year, even though that phrase is a call for inviting guests and this year that is impossible.
- If someone couldn't get a hair cut because the barbers were all closed before Pesach, then if one reached the point when it very noticeably long and people would tell him to get a haircut he can take a haircut during Sefira. Today it can be estimated that if it has been more than 2 months since his last haircut he can take a haircut during the Sefira.
- Each community rabbi needs to decide these sort of questions however in theory it is possible for the Mikva to remain open and allow women who aren't having symptoms or aren't quarantined to go to Mikva. They should be extra careful about hygiene and prepare completely at home, go to the Mikva where there is no contact with anyone besides a brief contact with the water which has chemicals for cleanliness. Then upon returning home there are poskim who allow the woman to take a shower when she gets home to clean herself off.
- The OU has established health guidelines in order to allow a mikveh to remain open.
- The RCBC also stated that Mikva's are remaining open for the time.
- The men's mikveh's should be closed at this time. Even if a person is careful to go to mikveh each day he can fulfill this custom by taking a 5 minute shower. See Preparations_for_Davening#Going_to_Mikveh for details.
- Each community should decide whether or not close the kli mikveh out of a safety concern. You can do the tevilat kelim in the ocean.
- Alternatively, one can use tevilat kelim in the mikvah while wearing gloves, then throw out the gloves, wash off the kelim with soap and water. If the community has other procedures for safety one should observe them.
- As a last resort one can avoid tevilat kelim by giving the pots to a non-Jew and borrowing them back. One can rely on this until the virus passes. If one can't sell or gift the pots to a non-Jew oneself one can do so online through Zomet.
- Another option is for a person to declare the pots that need tevilat kelim to be ownerless (hefker) in front of 3 Jews. One has to have full intent that the pots are ownerless and if someone took them one would have no claim upon them. If these Jews can't be there in person it is sufficient if they are present through social media technology but they should be people who live in the neighborhood. They should then leave the pots outside their house for a few minutes so that if someone wanted to take them they could.  Others disagree.
- If there's are no solutions, some poskim would allow using the pots without tevilat kelim in this extenuating circumstance.
- Regarding a seder plate and kos shel eliyahu requiring tevilah, see Tevilat Kelim page.
- A Brit Milah can be done without a minyan since gatherings aren't safe.
- A grandfather or someone else involved in a brit milah via zoom can recite the naming of the baby but he should not recite the bracha of asher kidash yadid mbeten.
Naming a Girl
- Although normally we try to name a baby girl at an aliya to the Torah, a person doesn't need a minyan in order to name a girl and under the circumstances should do so without delay.
- A message for Bar Mitzvah Boys in the Lockdown by Rabbi Pesach Krohn
- A bar mitzvah boy who missed the opportunity to read his parsha in shul when he became bar mitzvah'ed when it is next possible to go to shul he can add his parsha as a hosafa and read it then. Additionally, the haftorah can follow that hosafa.
- The father of a Bar Mitzvah boy who couldn't layn should wait until he can do something that shows he's Bar Mitzvah like layn or daven as Shaliach Tzibbur to make such a bracha.
- Ideally a wedding shouldn't be pushed off if both parties are ready even though it means having a tiny wedding.
- A rabbi should not officiate at a wedding that isn't abiding by the CDC guidelines of health because he is furthering unsafe practices.
- It has been asked whether or not the poskim are more lenient this year regarding weddings during Sefira but the answer is that it is not determined because the situation is still unclear. Some are lenient but it is best to schedule for Rosh Chodesh.
- If in this dire situation it isn't possible to have a minyan, it is possible to have a wedding nonetheless without Sheva Brachot.
- A minyan for sheva brachot can not be created via Zoom. Additionally, one can't recite a bracha of sheva brachot for the couple via Zoom.
- If the rabbis declare a half fast day until Chatzot according to Ashkenazim an individual can recite Anenu in Mincha Shemona Esrei assuming he is still fasting when he prays Mincha. According to Sephardim one can only recite anenu if one fasts the entire day.
- A person should accept the fast from the day before, as is traditionally done at mincha time. If one didn't do so, according to Sephardim one shouldn't recite anenu, but according to Ashkenazim one can recite anenu.
- A person should not kiss any mezuzah, or any siddur or chumash of a shul or a public area at this time because of concern of spreading COVID19.
- It is critical to be mindful of other people when everyone is under stress and no one is completely comfortable. Dr. Pelcovitz discusses the implications quarantine can have Shalom Bayit.
- It is forbidden for a couple to have tashmish at a night of famine since everyone is in distress it is incumbent on everyone to take upon himself an aspect of distress. The same is true for any time of societal distresses. Others disagree.
- It is permitted to have tashmish on mikvah night.
- It is permitted to have tashmish for a couple who didn't yet fulfill pru urevu. Once his wife is pregnant this leniency doesn't apply.
- If he has a strong yetzer hara and there is a concern of hashchatat zera it is permitted.
- There is what to rely upon to have tashmish at a time of war and there is no midat chasidut to be strict, especially for young couples even for someone who fulfilled pru urevu.
- During the time then the plague of corona virus is rampant in the world there is a lot to rely upon to have tashmish. Someone who wants to be strict can do so.
Laid off Workers Because of Corona
- If there's a employee that is unable to work because of a societal or national crisis the employees should continue to be paid by the employers according to many opinions or at least they should make a compromise.
- This applies to contractors for cancelled events as well.
- If someone rented out an apartment to someone and then he wants to retract because of a concern that the potential tenants have the virus, some say that it is forbidden to back out of the contract.
- A person doesn't have to and shouldn't visit someone who has a virus that contagious such as corona.
- A person fulfills the mitzvah of bikur cholim on the phone according to many poskim.
- Each place should follow the guidelines that are in place for safety. If a minyan isn't possible, then the next thing that is to try to have is Jews doing the burial. If they don't even let that, then afterwards a Jew should check that the burial by the non-Jews was done properly in the ground. It is forbidden to cremate and it is still considered not dangerous to properly do a burial with no tahara and minimal involvement of the fewest people or simply the cemetery workers.
- At this time the chevra kadisha should not perform a tahara for the deceased since it could lead to danger.
- The rabbi could do the Kriyah for the mourner with gloves and a mask or he can simply tell the mourner to do it.
- If one's parents ask him to do something which the department of health has deemed unsafe a person should not listen to his parents in such a case and that isn't a breach of Kibbud Av Vem.
Violating Shabbat for Pikuach Nefesh
- It is a well established halacha that it is not only permitted but even a mitzvah to violate Shabbat in order to safe a life or to remove a situation that presents even a slight chance of danger. The question is how to define the threshold of danger.
- In certain cases of emergency regarding corona virus it would be allowed to violate Shabbat. Obviously every single case is different and one should learn the laws of Pikuach Nefesh from a rabbi in advance.
- If a person is discharged from the hospital on Shabbat and they need him to leave because of the lack of space that they have because of the numbers of people who are ill, his family member can drive to get him. They should do a Shinuy when turning on the car like turning the key with one's weaker hand, or pressing the button on the key with one's knuckle. Also, when turning off the car one should use a Shinuy.
- Regarding the larger issue of halachic triage see Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #15). Here is a relevant sourcesheet on Halachic Triage.
Mesira and Rodef
- If your doctor actually ascertains that there is a sakanat nefashot, mortal danger, involved with a certain large gathering that someone is doing then it is permitted to tell the authorities. However, otherwise it is forbidden because of informing upon another Jew (mesira). This can be a very difficult measure to actually properly assess.
- Some hold that if a person is supopsed to be in quarentine and they are not they are considered a rodef. However, obviously one should first speak to him and convince him to do what is safe.
- Rav Nevinsal Q&A about Corona
- Transcription of Q&A with Rav Schachter by Rabbi Dunner
- RCBC letter calling for the closing of Shuls and Schools
- TorahWeb hosts many resources for Corona halacha including Rav Schachter's Teshuvot
- KolCorona.com a Torah resource, initiated by Rabbi Reuven Taragin, for those affected by Corona
- Rav Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 34) interestingly describes the sources in general about the Jewish view on handshaking and whether it is a Chukot Hagoyim. The poskim hold that in it isn't however, at this time it is forbidden because of the health concerns.
- Rav Yitzchak Yosef, Rav Hershel Schachter, Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference March 22 2020), OU (March 20 2020), Rav Shmuel Fuerst (min 53), Rav Nevinsal, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Shlomo Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 34), and RCBC letters. An article on kikar.co.il describes how the gedolim are currently davening privately including: the Gerre rebbe, Rav Shalom Kohen, Rav Gershon Edelstein, Rav Moshe Shternbuch, Rav Yitzchak Yosef, Sanser Rebbe, Rav Bakshi Doron, Rav Dovid Yosef, Bavian Rebbe, and Rav Sheiner.
- Endangering Oneself to Learn Torah: Ketubot 77b records and praises the practice of Reish Lakish to teach Torah to those ill with tzarat, some translate as leprosy, even though it is contagious. The gemara explained that he did so out of his love for Torah. Daf Al Hadaf cites Mishnat Pikuach Nefesh 69:7 who asks how Reish Lakish could endanger himself and rely on a miracle. He answers that the disease he was concerned with was only dangerous to health but not life threatening.
- Rambam Taniyot 1:1-3, Rav Reuven Epstein emphasizes that we need to take a lesson from corona since it overtly a hardship for Jews and humanity and a sign from Hashem. Rabbi Penner discussed how we can revitalize our strength in mitzvot at this time based on better appreciating the lessons of Shema. Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference March 22, 2020) introduced his shiur by discussing how we can strengthen our commitment to Ben Adam Lchavero. Rav Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha) wrote many lengthy pieces on the hashkafic questions related to COVID19.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz, Laws of Praying Beyachid (Adar 5780) by Rabbi Yonatan Nacson p. 1 citing Yalkut Yosef 89:1
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz and Rabbi Moshe Heinemann around minutes 5-7
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
- Shulchan Aruch 90:4 writes that there should be windows in a place where one davens. Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz suggested that the same should be done for when we daven at home to daven in a place where there is a window.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
- Laws of Praying Beyachid by Rabbi Nacson p. 2, Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz citing Rabbi Akiva Eiger teshuva 71
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz quoting Rav Schachter
- Rav Bention Mutzafi (55:10)
- Rav Nevinsal stated that one should not recite Avinu Malkenu during Nissan. See Divrei Yatziv OC 75 for different minhagim about saying Avinu Malkenu during Nissan. See discussion page.
- Mishna Shabbat 9b, Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz. Rabbi Moshe Heinemann around minutes 5-7 says that if one sets an alarm, that should be sufficient
- Igrot Moshe 5:12:1 writes that regarding a Shabbos Sheva Brachos since it is just the family and it is a temporary situation no mechitza is necessary.
- Laws of Praying Beyachid p. 10 citing Shulchan Aruch O.C. 268:8
- Rabbi Moshe Heinemann at around 24:45. At around 34 minutes, he clarifies that this can be done even by yourself, though normally we try to say it with at least two
- Mishna Brurah 134:13
- OU. Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #14) writes that a person shouldn't try to make a minyan on his lawn spread out even if there's a small remote chance of spreading the virus. He also held that making a minyan with ten people standing on different balconies or porches doesn't count as a minyan. Rav Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 35) writes that certainly a person should not attend a minyan because of the danger and one may not rely on the zechut of a minyan to protect him, one needs to be safe.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #14) holds that it isn't a valid minyan. However, Rav Shternbuch (teshuva Nissan 8 5780) held that it is a valid minyan. To satisfy all the opinions the shaliach tzibur should have in mind that when he does chazarat hashatz that he could be praying a voluntary tefillah. They can't join if they're across the street and within ten tefachim of the ground. The shaliach tzibur needs to be able to see everyone. For kriyat hatorah that is done with porches initially one should call up the baal koreh or anyone on his porch, then one can even call up to an aliya someone on another porch as long as he can hear the baal koreh. The kohanim should leave before retzah because they can't say birkat kohanim. Someone davening alone doesn't have to hear kriyat hatorah since it is an obligation of the community and not individual. Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference with Aguda, April 2 2020) was also inclined to hold that it is possible to make a minyan with people on porches who can see each other.
- Mishna Brurah 55:48 based on Rashba responsa 1:96 holds that one can learn from the laws of zimmun that if people can see each other they can join for minyan.
- Rav Schachter (towards middle), Rabbi Nacson in Laws of Praying Beyachid p. 4 based on Yalkut Yosef 5775 ed Yamim Noraim p. 17, Yabia Omer 1:19:18, Chazon Ovadia Purim p. 56
- Rav Schachter (towards middle)
- Rav Schachter (towards middle), Rav Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 35), Rabbi Nacson in Laws of Praying Beyachid p. 4 based on Yalkut Yosef 5775 ed Yamim Noraim p. 17, Yabia Omer 1:19:18, Chazon Ovadia Purim p. 56
- Rav Schachter cited by Rav Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 35) and Rav Aviner agreed.
- Rav Dovid Feinstein cited by Rabbi Fink and Rav Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 35)
- Rav Willig (min 30-34)
- Rabbi Moshe Heinemann at around 28:30 in the name of Rav Moshe Feinstein, because Hashem will not punish you by not sending the angels when you weren't able to attend
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz quoting Rabbi Willig. Rabbi Moshe Heinemann around minutes 7-10 agrees that you should do so on Shabbat, but that it is not necessary on Monday and Thursday.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #8)
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz based on Rama and Magen Avraham
- Rabbi Yonatan Nacson in Laws of Praying Byachid (p. 10) citing Rav Asher Weiss
- [https://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/950291/rabbi-hershel-schachter/piskei-corona-8-krias-hatorah/ Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #8)
- Rav Schachter (towards middle), Rav Nevinsal
- Rav Schachter (towards middle)
- Divrei Dovid 4:3
- Rama 219:8, Rav Asher Weiss (March 15 2015, min 11)
- Rabbi Mansour ("Saying Birkat Hagomel Within 3 Days and Laws of Birkat Hagomel Following A Sickness")
- Rav Shmuel Fuerst (min 1-5),Rav Meir Elbaz (min 17-8)
- Rav Herschel Schachter (teshuva Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5780), Rav Nevinsal. Rav Yitzchak Yosef and Rav David Lau said that one should not go outside to burn chametz or kasher pots.
- Rav Elbaz (min 26), Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference, March 29 2020 11am)
- Rav Schachter (min 20), Rav Aryeh Lebowitz (min 9-11). Rav Herschel Schachter (teshuva Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5780) explained the reason why the hatarat nedarim isn't necessary. Rabbi Moshe Heinemann at around 46:45 agrees that if there is a big loss one can be lenient and sell chametz and it would not require hatarat nedarim, although he isn't so sure that it would be a big loss to an individual.
- Rav Hershel Schachter (Teshuva dated 28 Adar 5780 p. 2), Nefesh Harav p. 179, Rav Schachter (min 1-5) explained that the minhag is to make a kinyan to appoint a someone to sell something for you. This is classically done with a handing of a handkerchief from the rabbi to the one selling chametz. However, when they call on the phone that isn't possible. The Steipler held in such a case it isn't necessary to be careful about that minhag and simply have the person orally declare that he appoints the rabbi. However, Rav Soloveitchik felt that we should try to fulfill the minhag in any event. How can it be fulfilled? One can have someone standing in the room next to the person on the phone give something to the person on the phone on behalf of the rabbi. That is an effective halachic kinyan on behalf of the rabbi (see Kiddushin 7a). Rav Shmuel Fuerst (min 10) explained that one can appoint the rabbi to sell his chametz online. Rav Nevinsal allowed appointing the rabbi online if he is a talmid chacham.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #10)
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #17) explains that it isn't considered rotzeh bkiyumo, wanting the chametz to continue to exist, to order the chametz since one doesn't insist on any particular box of chametz that the company provides. However, one certainly may not acquire it with a kinyan such as picking it up or moving it. Even if it is delivered into one's property if one has intention not to acquire it, one doesn't acquire it. Yet, one can't even protect it since doing so is an issue of rotzeh bkiyumo. Rav Willig (April 1 2020, min 0-2) agreed in technical terms.
- Rav Aryeh Lebowitz (min 11-15)
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #7)
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #7)
- Rav Herschel Schachter (teshuva Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5780)
- Rav Hershel Schachter (Piskei Corona #9)
- Yachava Daat 5:34, Teshuva written by Rabbi Mordechai Lebhar author of Magen Avot (Erev Shabbat Hagadol 5780), Kaf Hachaim 487:38-42
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #13)
- Rav Schachter (towards beginning). This is acceptable for Sephardim as well even with a bracha as described by Rav Ovadia Yosef in Yachava Daat 1:14 and Chazon Ovadia (Pesach Hilchot Leil Haseder 5763 Edition p. 76). Rav Ben Chaim holds that one should really used hand baked matzah but if one can't acquire any then one can use machine matzah. Rav Willig (min 2) has a similar approach.
- Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference March 22 2020, min 19) said that there's no concern to use the hand-baked matzot since they were baked earlier in the year. His personal minhag is to have only hand baked matzot. In terms of using machine matzah he felt that it is only a chumra not to use them even for the mitzvah of motzei matzah and one could use them if there's no other option.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #19)
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #19) explained that usually we use the concept of hoil, since guests might arrive who can eat the food one cooked, to permit cooking from one day of Yom Tov to Shabbat. However, this year that seems not to be applicable. Rav Schachter explained based on the Maharam Chalavah that hoil doesn't necessitate that one actually have guests or even have the ability to have guests, it is rather a halachic principle since objectively it is possible to have guests the eruv is effective.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #19) explained that since theoretically it is possible to get the box alone for a few minutes it isn't completely inaccessible (see Har Tzvi OC 2:16).
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #9)
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #9)
- Ateret Paz p. 154-6
- Rav Hershel Schachter (Teshuva dated 28 Adar 5780 p. 2). Rav Schachter (towards beginning). Rav Aryeh Lebowitz (min 1-4) explained that Rav Schachter and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach hold that it is enough to listen and join with the siyum over the phone or video call. However, other poskim don't like this leniency. Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference March 22 2020, min 7) agreed that one can be yotzei with a siyum over the phone or video for the tanit bechorot. Rav Shmuel Fuerst (min 6) agreed that this year you can be yotzei the siyum over the phone since it is an extenuating circumstance. Rav Avigdor Nevinsal agreed that you can be part of a siyum over the phone and the meal one has afterwards is a seudat mitzvah. Rav Ben Chaim holds that it is better to make a siyum oneself even on a tractate of mishna but if that's not possible one can listen on the phone.
- Rama 426:4
- Pri Megadim M"Z 426:4, Mishna Brurah 426:21
- Rav Ben Chaim]
- Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel and other rabbis
- Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference March 22 2020 11am, min 39), Rav Herschel Schachter (teshuva Adar 29 5780), Rav Mordechai Willig (min 20-22), Rav Yosef Tzvi Rimon. Rav Willig's held that it is absolutely forbidden and it is a tremendous zilzul Shabbat besides questions of others prohibitions of Shabbat.
- Rabbi Yair Hoffman describes how 3 of the original signers of the lenient ruling would only permit under life and death needs and not in general. However, another article describes how some of the original rabbis who were lenient confirmed their opinions.
- Rav Yosef Tzvi Rimon
- Rav Herschel Schachter (teshuva Adar 29 5780). Rav Willig (min 24) agrees that we violate Shabbat for someone who is suicidal but they can use the phone.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #21), Rav Nevinsal
- https://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/950659/rabbi-hershel-schachter/piskei-corona-16-haircuts-on-chol-hamoed-and-sefira/ Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #16)
- Rav Hershel Schachter (Piskei Corona #12), Rabbi Shay Tahan. Rav Asher Weiss (March 29 2020) said it is obviously permitted to overlook the chumra of not showering when the woman returns from mikveh at these times.
- RCBC letter on yeshivaworld.com
- Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference March 22 2020, min 12)
- Rav Aryeh Lebowitz (min 5-9), Rav Ben Chaim
- Rav Aryeh Lebowitz (min 5-9), Rav Mordechai Willig (min 3-4)
- Rav Aryeh Lebowitz (min 5-9), Rav Ben Chaim. Rav Nevinsal said that one could rely upon this if there was no other option. Rav Mordechai Willig (min 14-16) allows selling the kelim to a non-Jew. Rav Yosef Tzvi Rimon (teshuva dated Nisan 1 5780) recommended this.
- Rav Hershel Schachter (Teshuva dated 28 Adar 5780 p. 1)
- Rav Mordechai Willig (min 5-12) said that one shouldn't use the solution to make the pots hefker since you're using the kelim. See Sefer Tevilat Kelim p. 84 based on Maharil Diskin. See S"A Harav 445:1 that hefker that isn't meaningful since you plan to reacquire it isn't a solution. However, Rav Elyashiv and Rav Soloveitchik allowed it in extenuating circumstances.
- Rav Asher Weiss (Teleconference, March 22 2020 11am), Rav Yosef Tzvi Rimon (Teshuva dated Nisan 1 5780)
- Rav Nevinsal
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #22)
- Rav Neventzal, Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona Teshuva #11), Rabbi Moshe Heinemann at about 16:45
- Rav Schachter (towards end)
- Rav Nevinsal
- Rav Nevinsal, (Keter Yitanu Lecha p. 38)
- Rav Schachter (towards beginning)
- Rav Nevinsal
- Rav Ben Chaim
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #18) explained that although it isn't possible to recite Sheva Brachot and seemingly they forbid the couple to each other without Sheva Brachot in this extenuating circumstance one can rely upon the opinion that the wedding is valid and they are permitted even without Sheva Brachot (see Nodeh Beyehuda EH 1:56). For birkat erusin certainly having a minyan isn't critical (Shulchan Aruch E.H. 34:4) although it is preferable and in this circumstance unnecessary. From Bet Shmuel 64:4 it appears to be a dispute between the Shulchan Aruch and Rama whether one is allowed to have a wedding at all if it is extremely difficult to get a minyan, the Rama being lenient.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #22)
- Rama 562:1 writes that Ashkenazim hold that even for an incomplete fast one can recite anenu. Mishna Brurhah 562:48 references this Rama in discussing a fast that was accepted to fast until chatzot. The Mishna Brurah 562:7 cites a debate as to whether one should omit the words צום תעניתנו while reciting עננו in such a scenario as many poskim argue that a half fast is not considered a fast and therefore one would not want to risk speak falsely, particularly when he is speaking to Hashem.
- Rav Chaim Kanievsky declared a half fast on Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5780.
- Mishna Brurah 562:6
- Shulchan Aruch 562:10-11 holds that a incomplete fast is not considered a fast with respect to saying anenu. Therefore if one only fasts until chatzot one should not recite anenu.
- Shulchan Aruch and Rama 562:5
- Rav Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 35), Chief Rabbi Rabbi David Lau
- Gemara Tanit 11a, Shulchan Aruch O.C. 240:12
- Mishna Brurah 574:9
- Rama 240:12 based on Yerushalmi Tanit. Olot Tamid 240:6 (cited by Kaf Hachaim 240:85) understands the Rama to apply to any type of tragedy that we would declare a fast over.
- Shaarei Knesset Hagedola (Hagahot Tur 240:5) writes that tashmish is only forbidden during a famine, plague of the crops, locusts and the like which cause a famine but not for other tragedies or troubles. Kaf Hachaim 240:85 rules like the Shaarei Knesset Hagedola either because that is the explanation of the Yerushalmi or we don't follow the Yerushalmi.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 574:11 writes that it is permitted for a couple to have tashish on mikva night. Mishna Brurah 574:11 cites the Magen Avraham who argues with Shulchan Aruch but then he cites the Bigdei Yesha and Nahar Shalom who are lenient and there's what to rely on to follow Shulchan Aruch. Mishna Brurah concludes that certainly one can be lenient at a time when it isn't a famine and it is just another time of distress in the world.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 240:12, 574:4, Mishna Brurah 240:47
- Mishna Brurah 574:12
- Mishna Brurah 240:46
- Tzitz Eliezer 13:21
- Rabbi Ehrman on yutorah. Rav Asher Weiss (Zoom Conference, March 22 2020, 11am, min 15) was lenient he said that the situation presently isn't one that rises to the level where we need to declare a fast. Also, since domestic violence recently has been on the rise because of the quarantines one shouldn't be strict in this area.
- Rabbi Zylberman on yutorah. Mordechai b"m 343 writes that if there's a decree in the town that the teachers can't teach the teachers should still be paid. Rama C.M. 321:1 cites this Mordechai and applies it to any worker in 334:1. The Sama 334:2 argues with the Mordechai and holds that since the employee can't work and both aren't at fault and both couldn't foresee this the employer is exempt. Netivot 334:1 limits the idea of the Mordechai to a teacher and not other employers since a teacher is paid for sachar betela (see Laws_of_Learning_Torah#Taking_Money_for_Learning_and_Teaching_Torah). Shach 334 holds that this opinion of the Mordechai only applies if majority of the town ran away because of a crisis but if only a minority runs away then the employee isn't entitled to payment. Aruch Hashulchan 334:10 has another approach. If the situation prevents the worker from working then he is entitled to pay but if he runs away then he isn't. Rabbi Zylberman explained from Mishpat Poalim we think that this is a case of Hamotzei Mchavero Alav Harayah, whoever is holding onto the money can claim that he is exempt from paying or returning the money. Rav Asher Weiss in Minchat Asher 2:106 says that they should make a compromise, and Rav Bleich (Contemporary Halachic Problems v. 4) thinks that we follow the Rama. Once the Chatom Sofer had a case in his town and he felt that they should pay but he couldn't force everyone to pay it so he told them to pay half. Rav Yona Reiss had a case where they made a compromise.
- Rav Asher Weiss (Zoom Conference, March 22 2020, 11am, min 21-25) thought that one should compromise and give the workers who aren't working 30% of their pay. This applies Jewish and non-Jewish workers. This is based on the Rama and Sama CM 221. As for the day schools and daycares that are closed and not providing services one theoretically should be exempt. Since it might be devastating to the schools one needs to wait until the government makes a decision. Either way, we should wait until there is a major decision from the government or authorities and follow that. Until then for the schools we should pay so that the teachers can have a salary for their parnasa.
- Rabbi Zylberman on yutorah
- Rav Yakov Sinai based on Rama in teshuva, Shach CM 312 and other sources
- Rav Yakov Sinai (min 3) explains that although the Rama in a teshuva and Knesset Hagedola hold that one should visit the sick even if they have a contagious disease, the Shulchan Gavoha and others disagree and that is the halacha.
- Rav Shlomo Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 34) citing Igrot Moshe YD 1:223 and Tzitz Eliezer 8:5. Rav Aviner added that the main idea of bikur cholim is to do what is best for the patient and in our context that is to call.
- Rav Mordechai Willig (min 26-8). Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #20) said that they should specifically have as few people as possible for the burial and maybe just the workers and that too fulfills the mitzvah of burial.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #20)
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #20)
- Rav Willig (min 29)
- Rav Schachter (Teshuva Adar 29 5780), Rav Nevinsal
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 328:13
- Rav Asher Weiss (March 15 2020, min 18-22) to Beit Midrash Gavoha explained that the definition of danger in order to violate Shabbat isn't defined by statistics. For vaccinations we assume that it is a sakana not to vaccinate even though the odds of dying because of the measles is low. Since it is preventable it is incumbent upon us to vaccinate. He concludes that as long as it is a natural phenomenon and there is an action that we can do to prevent deaths we must do so.
- Rav Zilberstein allowed a patient to answer the phone on Shabbat with a shinuy only to hear the results of a test and answer questions for epidemiological investigation. If the test results that show that a patient has the virus are produced on Shabbat it is incumbent for the health department to deal with the quarantine then and it is permitted to answer the phone for that.
- Rav Schachter (Piskei Corona #6)
- Rav Willig (min 41)
- Rav Aviner (Keter Yitnu Lecha p. 36) citing Rav Zilberstein