Israel | Mind, Body & Spirit

Haredi rabbinic leader calls on followers to pray alone

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a prominent leader in the haredi Orthodox community, called on his followers to pray alone without a prayer quorum.

The ruling on Sunday came after a steep rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Bnei Brak, a mostly haredi city in Israel, and following a funeral early Sunday morning of Rabbi Tzvi Shinker, which was attended by hundreds of people despite Health Ministry directives limiting funerals to only 20 people.

Kanievsky said that refraining from praying with others is a matter of “pikuach nefesh,” or saving a life, according to reports.

Rabbis in Bnei Brak were expected to release their own letters reiterating Kanievsky’s order.

Two weeks ago, Kanievsky called for haredi schools and yeshivas to remain open despite Ministry of Health limitations.