Beis Din Issues ‘Stern Warning’ to Crown Heights Visitors

The Beis Din of Crown Heights issued a letter strongly discouraging visits for Tishrei or for yeshiva, except as allowed by local doctors. They also asked not to call and ask for exceptions.

By reporter

The Beis Din of Crown Heights issued a letter on Thursday strongly discouraging visits for Tishrei or for yeshiva.

The letter, signed by Harav Avraham Osdoba and Harav Yosef Braun, was issued in response to many who requested permission to travel to Crown Heights.

“We reiterate what we wrote many times that one should not visit Crown Heights unless under the conditions specified by the local doctors,” they wrote.

The statement of the Beis Din follows on the heels of guidelines published by the Gedaliah Society and Dr. Eli Rosen on Wednesday that one may only visit Crown Heights if they had a positive viral test dated more than 10 days prior to arriving in Crown Heights, or positive antibodies.

The guidelines were backed by the Rabbonim, who wrote a short letter affirming their support. The letter issued on Thursday elaborated more on that topic.


Free Translation
Wednesday, 29 Menachem Av.

In response to the many inquiries regarding visiting Crown Heights, for the coming school-year and for the Tishrei season:

  1. We hereby reaffirm that which was previously stated, numerous times, not to visit Crown Heights for the foreseeable future, unless meeting the medical requirements set forth in the guidelines provided by the community doctors. These guidelines were made public in a separate document, along with an endorsement from the undersigned.
  2. Please do not call the Beis Din offices to further inquire about this matter, for our opinion in this matter has already been clarified many times, both verbally and in writing: everything depends upon the opinion of the community doctors and all matters should be decided by them.
  3. Needless to say, one must be cautious in listening to medical instructions, and not try to outsmart or circumvent them in any way Chas Vesholom. The importance of following doctors’ orders is stated in many of the Rebbe’s Sichos and letters. This is especially true now, when we are faced with a potential concern of endangering lives R”L, regarding which the Torah states that one is not allowed to (directly or indirectly) place himself and certainly not others in a situation of even remotely potential danger, since the laws pertaining to the prevention of danger are even more stringent than those regarding outright prohibitions (Issurim).
  4. The words of Rabbi Akiva Eiger regarding such matters have already been publicized (Igros Sofrim ch. 30): “I have issued warning after warning that their conduct etc. must be in accordance with the rulings set forth by the doctors, [that one be extremely cautious] and distance oneself from this [danger] as one would distance himself from prohibited food, and that one should not stray from the doctors instructions, not even one hairbreadth, as is inferred from the verse “Guard yourself from all that is bad”. One who transgresses the doctors ruling of how to conduct oneself in this matter is a terrible sinner in the eyes of Hashem, since laws pertaining to the prevention of danger are even more stringent than those regarding outright prohibitions, especially in a situation of potential danger to oneself and others, which can CV cause a spread of disease in the city, for which the sin is too great to bear.”

    [It should also be noted from the Tzemach Tzedek’s responsa, who mentions many medical directives with regard to protecting one’s health, and issues many halachic leniencies in order to prevent the spread of a plague, and writes: “there is absolutely no room for Chumros [in this matter] for being Machmir is considered a leniency when it results in even a remote possibility of danger, for it is written “you should live by them [the Mitzvos]” and not that they [the Mitzvos] be erroneously used as a source of even remote potential (a Safek of a Safek of) danger.

May it be the will of Hashem that we merit the fulfillment of the beracha “All of the sickness that you have known will never reach you” and there should not remain even a remnant of this sickness, as if it was never here, with the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, Mamash now!

With blessings to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year

Horav Avrohom Osdoba – Member of Badatz
Horav Yosef Braun – Member of Badatz

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