President Trump Declares That Places Of Worship Are Deemed Essential, Will You Go Back Now?

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President Trump announced today that the federal government deems places of worship to be essential and that he would override governors that don’t allow them to open. Whether he can actually do that is another question.

He decried that some states have their liquor stores open while not allowing places of worship to open.

Of course essential doesn’t necessarily mean safe.

Prolonged indoor exposure is simply riskier than other activity.

Orthodox Jews are particularly at risk due to tight knit communities with communal prayers 3 times a day.

That being said, with proper precautions and protocols, like wearing a mask and social distancing, those risks should be able to be minimized.

What precautions will your house of worship take and how will they be enforced?

Will you be returning to your place of worship when it opens?

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You can discuss coronavirus and how it’s affecting your life on the dedicated COVID-19 board on DDF here.

HT: Leon F.

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156 Comments On "President Trump Declares That Places Of Worship Are Deemed Essential, Will You Go Back Now?"

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Trump is not my Rav. I’ll wait until the Shulchan Aruch says it’s safe.


Your Shulchan Aruch will never let you go back unless you want to.
For that no waiting is or was necessary.


The writer of the shulchan aruch does not live in times


Both of you can use some primers in the English language. I have no idea what you’re trying to say.


We go according our local Rabbonim with this issue. The author of the Shulchan Aruch is deceased.


The author of the SA discusses these type of situations.


And so the authors of the Mishnayos, Gemoroh, Tehillim, Zohar, Tanya….
Do you only open R’ Meilich Bidermans Gilyon, because he is alive??

Jack out of the Box

The Shulchan Aruch is the source of halachic knowledge for all situations in all times. True it does not discuss every possible scenario which may ever happen. That is why we need our poskim in every generation – to interpret the halacha for any new issue which arises. Someone who chooses not to follow the psak of any deceased posek just for the fact that they are deceased may be considered a heretic. זאת התורה לא תהי מוחלפת.


My local Rsbbanim do consult with the Shulchan Orech


If you are a frum person then I have no idea what that statement means. Can you please elaborate?


You were ordered on prime and might be deceased in prime


And neither does Moshe Rabbeinu. Therefore?
And if lehavdil Yoshke was alive today than what?

The torah never changes.


I’m that case you were never supposed to stop … you don’t wanna go the whole year now you have an excuse


Trump is my LOR


You forgot one poll option: “Never going back”


That would have been my vote too!

ah giten



Yeah, honestly, I don’t miss it. But to each his own.


That’s very sad. I hope that was just a bad attempt at humor


The never going back the one waiting till after the pandemic!!!


Yitz don’t ever give up hashem loves us all


Or “Never Stopped going…”


Pls add an option: “I will ask my Rav”. We shouldn’t be making such decisions on our own.


You are making a decision on your own to ask your Rav. Considering how the rabbanim in my community botched this the first time around they are the last people I will be seeking out for advice.


Well, my Rav instructed me not to join, even porch minyanim. You should reconsider who you Rav is, if you don’t feel confident in your current own.


unfortunately the Rabbonim are afraid to lead in many cases, and are deferring to the scientists/medical folks (who were way off in their predictions) – many of whom are liberal and want the economy (and Trump) to fail


Gedalya, I don’t think it is correct to phrase it that way. You can’t say “the Rabbonim” in a way the collectively puts all Rabbonim in this category.


He said in many cases. That is not a generalization.


You think the medical professionals were off because they predicted more deaths and due to people following rules there were less? Do you gAve house insurance? If you never have a fire or robbery do you think it’s a waste of money?


Then if you gather in crowds I hope you carry a card telling the medical people not to put themselves at risk taking care of you if you get sick. (Whatever happened to being proud of our doctors?)


Because you have so much respect for dr. And nurses. Please stay in your house until 120! going out increases your chances of being hit by a car, catch the flu, and get struck by lightning.


It still amazes me, how anybody could think that anything that comes out of Trump’s mouth isn’t self-serving; and more often than not, simply a ridiculous lie.


Yeah, like when we were told we’d be lucky if the death toll stayed below 100,000. We’re not even at 98,000 yet. Waaaay off!


Did not enough jews in our communities die? How far can your worship of trump take you??


Because Trump made the coronavirus?


Lol, meanwhile Wuhan was allowing international travel while closing itself off to the rest of China…Use your noodles Rabbosai


If the “scientists/medical folks” were way off in their predictions, then the rabbonim were WAY WAY WAY WAY off in their own predictions. We aren’t really asking anyone to be prophets or make accurate predictions are we? The halacha requires deferring to medical experts on medical questions. How would that be a failure to lead?

By the same logic, wasn’t instruction to “Go on about life as normal” (or just not saying anything at all about coronavirus) up through Purim time a failure to lead as well?


DAN please dot allow this post to turn into a Rabbanim bashing Lashon horah fest.


If my shull is open what more do I have to ask my Rav?


My shul was opened by the board of directors. The rav had to send out a special letter asking people not to attend minyanim in his own shul…


That is a terrible issue. Without getting into details, I would advise you to look for a new Shull that the ruv/das Torah is the one that has the final decision and he is not afraid of the board members.


This is not a government investigation, this is a poll on a milage junkie website, OK don’t take this literally.

Learner burner 613

To prevent chilul Hashem please disable comments for this post.

Listen to Your Rabbis

You missed an important poll option, “I”ll wait until the Rabbis in my community deem it safe to re-open shuls. Because that, at the end of the day, is the most important factor IMO. Here in Chicago we have the Agudah, that just announced slowly restarting minyanim capped at 10 people, and the CRC saying they are going to continue to monitor and wait. These are the important opinions IMO, not the President.


I voted wait a while. There are no guarantees but my decision is based on my senior citizen age.


Yes, we will be back! Open the doors! It is past time! TY POTUS


He also has no authority to do this. And Cumo already issued guidelines for this. 10 only with masks and social Distancing

Stay home forever

He’s the president of the United States, he has full authority to do whatever he wants

Its A Mad Mad World

If you think that, I assume you live in Russia where that is true but this post is geared towards Americans. The US President does not have ‘full authority to do whatever he wants’.

Please read the US Constitution where it delineates the powers of the US federal government, states and individual rights.

There is a Halachic obligation to Pikuach Ha’nefesh to protect your own life as well as go out of your way to protect other people’s lives.


It’s sad that we have “situational distancing” so Costco, box stores, etc. are open for business but many small businesses are not, their families and employee’s parnosa is deemed irrelevant.

Its ok to fly next to someone 5-6 hrs on a plane but not davan even if you can stay 6-10′ apart.

Even more mesuga, that despite shelter in place so many in NYC were dying at home from COVID, yet they sheltered in place.


So they caught from the moon?




i think more options are needed in the vote. i will only be returning to a small shul with 20 ppl. and minyan factories should definitely stay closed for the time being if not for safety at least for chilul hashem


Abey, agreed, some of us faithfully attend shul; it’s just on the High holy days, 😉

Robert Ferrer

At my house of worship demographics lean heavily toward elderly – – the group considered most at risk. To allow the potential of even one congegrant harm is a violation of our basic tenets regarding the sanctity and preservation of life.


All those who are at risk should stay home! Those within your community who aren’t should have the ability to daven with a minyan and a sefer Torah.

Robert Ferrer

People will come anyway…. It doesn’t obviate us from our responsibility to each other.


Many if not most Rabbonim (following medical guidance) haven’t deemed it safe

We\'re not in your basket

“Many if not most Dr. Rabiners”


Option for I’ll wait to see what the community decides to do together? On the Vaad Harabanim perhaps. When we stopped going to shul, it was not because the president said so, the Vaad Harbanim decided that, way before the country shut down, we followed their advice going into it, and thank god have done rather well in baltimore, and we’ll do it going out of it.

+1 for Baltimore doing a terrific job. Unity only matched by Passaic and haRav Meir Ster Shlita. BH we have minyanim again though… (and for many krias hatorah as well YMMV)

Jokeal oneal

Gematrios are non essential sweet desert but non essential


Shuls are more dangerous because of hand shaking? Are people davening with a minyan shaking hands now?


No. They are not shaking hands.

But they are making kiddushim!


I would like him & his political friends to put their money where their mouth is and all of them go to church first! If they say it so safe then they should be the examples. If after a few weeks if none of the sick I may consider going back to church.

Stay at home dad

As much as I personally would go back. I urge all 60 plus to wait out this crisis. And the rabonim should make sure that all older mispalilim still have a minyan on their porch etc. Because if all of the young go back to shul. Leaving the older generation to rot at home, many of them will not be able to stay at home. Leaving for just a drop of socializing….


Not to be a jerk… but people didn’t listen when they were told not to go, when they hear Trump say it’s OK to go to pray (at shul) they will run to go back! I just hope people are smart about it and create a good system before going back to shul’s and church’s, etc…


No, only when it is safe for the congregation. As much as we want to get together we need to have patience. HA Kadosh BaruchHu is testing us, can we do what is best or will we be ‘to religious’ to stay painfully apart.


I agree with all those that are saying “I’ll wait until our communities Rabbonim and Doctors say it’s safe”.

All 3 options you offered are based on rationalization.
As little as the doctors know, they are the ones who should be making these decisions.


Just a political stunt. The prez has no authority on this. It’s all show to placate the minions.

Thank you!

Exactly right. It blows my mind that ppl still fall for his bs. The guy has no authority and he comes out now, after so many States have already done this. Literally a joke of a leader.


He’s just giving places of worship permission, not obligating you lol calm down, TDS is dangerous to mental health.

Many places of worship have the space and ability to implement greater social distancing than other places of business.


The president can direct the justice department to sue states that don’t allow houses of worship to open because of freedom of religion.


Would be pretty pointless to do that. Oops! Never mind. Another TV reality show moment!


So waste taxpayer funds on a stunt lawsuit just to take attention away from his response to the pandemic?


You mean like impeachment?! SMH


Most people in NYC have antibodies,
So yes i will go back asap,
With social distancing.


If by most people you mean 18% of the population has antibodies. 18% isn’t most .


And 85% of BP and Willi is most




i know many people who do NOT, including my wife and I…

Ben from Rockaway

The whole premise of the question is wrong, simply because most of the readership is going back based on what their particular RAV is suggesting or allowing…
what Trump says or doesn’t say clearly has no effect regarding returning to shul….


From Andy Slavitt:

We have some evidence that crowding older people into tight spaces that are poorly ventilated, and having them sing isn’t a great idea.


People should learn to treat shuls with respect as religious institutions. They aren’t locker rooms, bars, or country clubs. People should be going, davening, saying polite greetings, and leaving. Not back slapping, shmoozing, hugging, kissing, yenta-ing, and having 50 people dancing around the shulchan every aliyah for a simcha. This is true regardless of COVID-19.


@reb yid,
Sounds like you don’t like your shul.
You can come to mine. No backslapping no drinking no drugs no talking.


not so sure

Liam K. Nuj

I’m going only because my Rav okayed it and is closely overseeing that it’s done responsibly and according to the government regulations (this is a smallish Litvish shtiebel in Brooklyn, not a large Modern Orthodox shul in Teaneck).
Trump’s pandering proclamation is not, has not, nor ever likely will be, the impetus for me to take any significant action in life.


By “pandering proclamation” do you mean gracious allowance? Trump isn’t forcing anyone into church or synagogue haha it’s so sad to see people’s unreasonable reaction to everything he says…his main point is there are a lot of places opening (liquor stores etc) that don’t have priority


Why would I base a medical decision based on comments from someone who suggested this is a hoax, it’ll go away in April or we should inject bleach?

Harry Azcrac

I’ve been holding minyanim in my backyard for weeks!




I will wait about 20 year’s


You’re staying home for 20 years?
Great, can you please watch my kids?


Learning from the Spanish which lasted two years and 3 waves, with the most fatalities in the 2nd wave, I say we tough it out for now. Short term pain for long term gain for everyone.


And they had limited knowledge and/or germ prevention that we have today. Not a great comparison. Look at South Korea where all establishments stayed open provided that they followed social distancing. Masks, space, and antibacterial cleansers eliminate virtually all of the virus. It was people not even following these basic steps that put us where we were a month ago. Move on wisely.


This comment is so close yet so far. They didn’t shut down the economy but bars and restaurants were not the same in South Korea for a while. (Hence the new outbreak recently due to a bar hopper after restrictions loosened). Everyone wore masks immediately, not 2 months late. *What they did most effectively was mass testing with contact tracing and isolation.* That’s the key point you omitted. That is also how they rather quickly and easily contained the recent new outbreak! They mandated citizens download a phone app that made the process possible. This is the key to containing the virus. For americans that’s anathema because “Muh freedom!”
Anti bacterial kills bacteria not viruses. There is no need for bactericide in any sanitizing/cleaning effort made against coronavirus.
I’m sure they all tried to wash their hands more, but that isn’t the key to containment, as we all found out in NYC


Btw there was not even one Shul closed by the Spanish flu!!!!!


I’ll follow my Rav who guides based on psak. I’m desperate to go back but I try to practice my religion based on what G-d wants – not what I would like.


actually neither the states nor the feds have the right to close houses of worship. Even for a Pandemic. It is unconstitutional.


if H” was enjoying the scent of your korbonos there wouldn’t have been covid to begin with

get the message and its not only your davening with a minyan that needs improvement


I would say if you are above a certain age or medically compromised there is no way youre going back unless there is a vaccine. If youre younger and/or healthier then why not. The statistics or on your side. I would estimate that over 95% of the deaths were in the 1st category.

ah krenk

Ever since this Trump Drasha of keeping the Shuls opened. Signatures are being collected to push Trump for the new available position of Rosh Agudas Yisroel.


And what about him becoming the head counsellor of all the camps this summer?
It will be fun. Nobody makes fun like him.

(And as a side benefit, we can probably get government funding to put air conditions in the bunkhouses)


you dont need to shake hands


Here in the Five Towns on Long Island, our Rabbis issued a letter yesterday stating that the saving of lives is more important than davening in Shul.


The president has no authority to make such a declaration, and you’re irresponsible for posting this.


Don’t know what’s going on all over, but in Boro park and Williamsburg minyanim are all up and running at full capacity without people wearing these stupid masks, from after pesach.


So why really happened is we used to be part of a Kehilla, now we’re part of a herd!


So far Rabbonim were wrong. The only authority is the medical professionals.
Just remember that over 1000 frum people and Rabbonim died in the US.

Dr. Cohen

Trump is the least religious President ever. All he cares about is himself and his reelection!


Turn off CNN child


As do ALL politicians. He is just more overt and open about it. But don’t kid yourself that ANY politician cares more about you than about his position in office!


I’d like to know what JJ’s Chief of Infectious Diseases father-in-law thinks of places of worship re-opening.


Trump is just trying to curry favor with the evangelicals, who are fool enough to worship him. He couldn’t care less about worship, or about other people’s lives. He only cares about himself.
When the community rabbanim say ‘ok’, we’ll go back. Unfortunately, you didn’t give that as an option. Our rabbis shut down early, b’H.

Dr. Cohen

The Trumpster also said that he would over ride any Governor that did not open houses of worships. Another one of 8000+ lies…he has No constitutional authority to do so!


It’s the first amendment in the constitution and it is very clear. There are no exemptions including a pandemic.


Rattle off a list? Just because the MSM media keeps reporting that, does not mean it’s true. But hey, you can keep your doctor and Bengazi was a result of a internet video. You poor people can’t think for yourself and are deathly afraid of the golden calf Obama losing his crappy legacy. Do yourself a favor and have your TDS check out by a physician


This poll is missing the crucial option of “when my rabbonim and poskim say it’s safe”.

Trump isn’t a posek. Him saying something is essential doesn’t make it safe.


Unfortunately the Corona doesn’t care what trump opinion is.. Follow your שכל הישר if you have one..


But the Constitution and the Bill of Rights do and this is at the heart of what our country was founded upon.


So…spread the virus while praying to the Almighty that somehow didn’t prevent the virus from killing all those adherents in the first place? Anything wrong with that picture?

pho tastee

the only God he worships is on the dollar bill. nobody is stupid enough to think it is not political with the exception of his idiot redhat followers will do anything he says.

Mitch Cumstein

Trump is a posek!


Allow people to make choices, government shall not dictate out life.


No, I am not going to risk my life or selfishly risk the lives of others. I am kind of shocked that only the Catholic Church seems to be proceeding with caution. In South Korea, some of the earliest cases of COVID-19 go back to church gatherings. Because you can be a carrier with no symptoms, I cannot live with potentially killing someone.

Live free or die

Glad you mentioned S. Korea. They’re down to the 46th position of highest number of cases. In comparison, they have a population 5x that of Israel (38th position) but 5,000 less cases (60 %) !!!! This whole lockdown is pointless.


Yiddishe kinderlach, listen to your jewish heart and you’ll know the truth! Of course we should all be running back!
The Rabonim can only say what they believe is right if they are given the right!
Were have we fallen to that Trump or DeBlasio (or Cuomo when he wakes up…) have to first allow them to??!!


Yes, right away.
I davened in Shul this Shabbos for the first time in quite a while. It really felt great to be back.


Shilchon oruch doesn’t give a rav authority to rule on pokuach nefesh

Fed up from non sence

Anyone here who went to Walmart or target or best buy to buy anything but food is now mchyev to go to shul and stop with the stupidity


where is the option for “the epidemic has ended”
there is no proof for a second wave.
use your own seichel when making decisions


where is the option for “i never stopped davening with minyan”
as my rav has paskend to daven with minyan

nat h

your rav is probably rav cuomo shlita


Typical pandering to the religious. Especially those who consider themselves “victims” having their “rights” violated, will eat this up. Yeah! Freedom! Murica! I’m such a victim and my rights are so violated by public safety measures meant to contain a terrible infectious disease.

Meanwhile, they test every person entering the White House, every single day, and then isolate and contact trace for anyone testing positive.
We will not be afforded the same luxuries to keep our congregants safe. But the White House knows exactly what is necessary to operate safely. Governors and state and local govts will not implement commonsense containment procedures despite having worked well in several countries. Because Freedom!!! And it’s just too hard!

nat h

thank hkb”h for trump. bezras hashem he will be re-elected for 4 more years. never mind what these liberal low lifes say . he is right in this situation as well. any torah yid knows our power is in our mouth – prayer- tinokos shel bais rabon- otherwise we look like all these around us. those who daven at home, well enough said