Saturday, January 30, 2021

He’s Israel’s ‘prince of Torah.’ But to some, he’s the king of Covid.

The backlash exaggerates both the rabbi’s role and that of the ultra-Orthodox in general. Ultra-Orthodox society is not monolithic, and other prominent leaders were far quicker to comply with antivirus regulations.

Ultra-Orthodox leaders say most of their followers have obeyed the rules, although their typically large families, living in tight quarters under what is now the third national lockdown, have inevitably contributed to the spread of the contagion.

Rabbi Kanievsky’s position has also been more nuanced than sometimes portrayed. But he has nonetheless contributed to one of the biggest-ever showdowns between the Israeli mainstream and the ultra-Orthodox.


  1. The fury may be more towards the extremists who started violent riots, burning buses and attempting to murder police and bus drivers.

    Rav Kanievsky suffers from the same problem that all gedolim have suffered, and that is their gabbaim, in his case, his grandson.

    Otherwise, he has been one of the most peaceful Gedolim of the hareidi world for half a century, not attacking other branches of orthodoxy, and being pragmatic towards the army. This is not publicized in Haaretz, which is totally anti Judaic, and wants the destruction of Zionism, just like Iran and Neturei karta.

  2. Brisker levayah - more risk of dying of disease by attending funeral, than by visiting a Dutch brothel.

  3. This is the Hospital that R' Meshullam Soloveitchk was treated in:

    "From 1948 to 1962, Hadassah hospital operated in rented quarters in five different locations in Jerusalem,[27]
    including what is now the Anglican International School on Street of
    the Prophets in Jerusalem. In 1961, a new medical complex was built in
    Ein Karem in southwest Jerusalem under the direction of then-director
    general Kalman Mann.
    The Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America again assisted
    with funding,
    and the somewhat out-of-the-way location was chosen in
    part because an appropriate site was difficult to obtain in the
    city-center, and Hadassah owned a large plot in Ein Kerem.[citation needed] The hospital was designed by Joseph Neufeld, a pioneer of International Style architecture in Israel.[28]"

    Prior to the opening of a 19-story hospital tower in 2012,
    Hadassah Ein Karem had 700 inpatient beds. The hospital complex consists
    of 22 buildings, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing,
    public health and pharmacology.

  4. Perception matters. The majority of Chareidim could be strictly following the rules. One picture from one funeral undermines all that and paints the community with an image that can only lead to hardship for them.


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