Author Topic: Lakewood covid cases  (Read 171063 times)

Offline AsherO

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3930 on: April 07, 2021, 07:11:22 PM »
Repost from Tehillim thread:
מזל טוב

She had a baby girl a few hours ago!

BH mazal tov! Hope mother and baby are well bez”h!

Offline Euclid

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3931 on: April 08, 2021, 04:18:24 PM »
Quote
Article Published by Torah Bytes for the Jewish Soul

Interview with Rabbi Avrohom Lefkowitz Shlita, Rav and Rosh Kollel of Kollel Bnei Torah, Lakewood, NJ


"Unfortunately, people talk about Lakewood and social distancing without knowing the facts. While social distancing is important, it is equally important for people to socially distance themselves from negative online chats and discussions that disparage Lakewood and are potentially more dangerous than the pandemic itself."

How has the pandemic impacted your kehillah?

We were affected like every kehillah, but I’d like to focus on the positive effects. Our kehillah bonded together in a significant way to support each other when mispallelim were sick, providing for their needs and being mevaker choleh. And the connection between mispallel and Rav was strengthened due to the many she’eilos that came up. The olam was given the opportunity to understand the importance of consulting with a Rav and recognizing that the Rav is and will be there for them.

From my own perspective, I was able to be mechazek everyone at a time when we were all anxious. Our Daf Hayomi shiur continued over the phone, as was done in other kehillos, and it will, b’ezras Hashem, go down in history as a continuation of this sacred limud in the most challenging of times. I was able to offer shiurim that never would have been offered otherwise, like a Zoom Pesach shiur showing how to kasher each part of the kitchen [with Zoom being also accessible using a traditional phone]. And my Rebbetzin was able to help out with her many messages of chizuk and guidance.

Can you comment on the divergent approaches between Lakewood and other communities regarding handling the pandemic?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of negative talk that needs clarification. From generations dating back to the Dor Hamidbar, there have been differences of opinion. But the general rule that binds us is that we listen to chachamim. There is no singular voice; we don’t have Moshe Rabbeinu to give us guidance. Each community needs to listen to its Rav. This is critical, because if we are to decide that a particular Rav is incorrect, it results in a total disregard for authority.

Each community, like Teaneck or Brooklyn, should follow its Rabbanim and doctors, and I would hope and expect that those communities feel the same about Lakewood. If Lakewood Rabbanim and doctors feel that the social distance policies we are following are safe, then I listen to them. When we have tax issues, we go to our accountant; when a health issue arises, we go to our doctor. No one ever doubts their instructions. It should be the same with responsible Rabbanim. We should accord them the same respect and trust as we do professionals.

How do you respond to criticism of Lakewood’s seeming leniency toward social distancing?

I think there needs to be reeducation about how Lakewood dealt with this pandemic. We were hit tremendously hard because there was no warning beforehand. But the minute the state instructed us to close down, we did. Lakewood Rabbanim fully supported state and health department mandates. Yeshivos, kollelim and shuls closed down. In my kehillah, as in most Lakewood kehillos, we did not go to shul until Hatzolah and the Rabbanim advised us to. By and large, everyone listened to the Rabbanim and authorities, and we can’t be held responsible for those who did not.

Unfortunately, people talk about Lakewood and social distancing without knowing the facts. While social distancing is important, it is equally important for people to socially distance themselves from negative online chats and discussions that disparage Lakewood and are potentially more dangerous than the pandemic itself. Bashing a community of close to one hundred thousand frum Jews has absolutely no to’eles and is a form of pure lashon hara.

Furthermore, we have to distinguish between Lakewood proper and out of Lakewood. No frum Yid would walk into a secular establishment without a mask and without strictly adhering to government and health department regulations. What we do inside our mosdos and shuls is an internal matter and we can’t control the media when they unjustly disparage our community.


In what way did the pandemic affect Lakewood’s vast chinuch network?

Chinuch was definitely affected but only in the short term, because Lakewood got their schools back up earlier than others. I think this really benefited the talmidim and saved their parents’ sanity. Before opening up, Lakewood mosdos also decided against introducing Zoom and exposing children to technology. Instead, they relied on using the phone.

Although this method is not as effective as Zoom, in the long run it protects against possible exposure to the internet, which is more hazardous than COVID. Baruch Hashem, we have not had the sort of interruptions that exist in other communities, to the credit of askanim, and particularly Agudas Yisrael, who intervened on behalf of yeshivos and served as liaisons with government officials.

What overriding message from this ordeal do you impart to your community?

The mesorah of the Gedolim after the Holocaust was not to say this happened because of a particular reason. Rather, the Rambam says that when there is a tzaarah in the world, a person should daven and take it to heart. Otherwise, he is considered to be an achzari. Hashem is sending a message.

Offline aygart

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3932 on: April 08, 2021, 05:34:34 PM »
Quote
What overriding message from this ordeal do you impart to your community?

The mesorah of the Gedolim after the Holocaust was not to say this happened because of a particular reason. Rather, the Rambam says that when there is a tzaarah in the world, a person should daven and take it to heart. Otherwise, he is considered to be an achzari. Hashem is sending a message.
Not sure where he gets this from. I can find a number of gedolim who did point to particular items.
Feelings don't care about your facts

Offline Traveler718

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3933 on: April 08, 2021, 06:07:03 PM »
If Lakewood Rabbanim and doctors feel that the social distance policies we are following are safe, then I listen to them.

Are there any Lakewood doctors on record as "feeling that the social distance policies we are following are safe?" The only signed letters I've seen from Lakewood doctors over the past year encourage mask-wearing and social distancing. Even if some are firmer than others, I haven't seen any medical professional saying that 500-person unmasked weddings are prudent or safe. What am I missing?

Offline Jellybelly

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3934 on: April 08, 2021, 06:17:17 PM »
If Lakewood Rabbanim and doctors feel that the social distance policies we are following are safe, then I listen to them.

Are there any Lakewood doctors on record as "feeling that the social distance policies we are following are safe?" The only signed letters I've seen from Lakewood doctors over the past year encourage mask-wearing and social distancing. Even if some are firmer than others, I haven't seen any medical professional saying that 500-person unmasked weddings are prudent or safe. What am I missing?
So basically you only listen to Rabbis when you understand them.
Got it

Offline Euclid

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3935 on: April 08, 2021, 06:24:32 PM »
So basically you only listen to Rabbis when you understand them.
Got it
R' Lefkowitz is the one who said to listen to Rabbonim and doctors.

Offline PlatinumGuy

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3936 on: April 08, 2021, 06:26:14 PM »
So basically you only listen to Rabbis when you understand them.
Got it
You only listen to Rebbes when they make sense and the question is within the spectrum their opinion is intended to decide. See dedicated thread for proof.

As the article says, just like you don’t follow your accountant or doctor if you know they’re wrong or divergent from prevailing beliefs, you don’t follow your rabbi.

במקום חילול ה׳ אין חולקים כבוד לרב
״וזה כלל גדול: שישנא אדם כל דבר שקר. וכל מה שיוסיף שנאה לדרכי השקר – יוסיף אהבה לתורה.״ - אורחות צדיקים

Offline avromie7

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3937 on: April 09, 2021, 09:59:08 AM »
If Lakewood Rabbanim and doctors feel that the social distance policies we are following are safe, then I listen to them.

Are there any Lakewood doctors on record as "feeling that the social distance policies we are following are safe?" The only signed letters I've seen from Lakewood doctors over the past year encourage mask-wearing and social distancing. Even if some are firmer than others, I haven't seen any medical professional saying that 500-person unmasked weddings are prudent or safe. What am I missing?
Not everything could and should be in a signed public letter.
I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.

Offline iwlw2

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3938 on: April 09, 2021, 11:22:34 AM »
Not everything could and should be in a signed public letter.
That's a bit of a copout. I don't believe that there is a single doctor in town that would have signed off on the weddings that were taking place through the summer and beginning of the winter, had someone asked them. The question is if anyone asked them....

Offline avromie7

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3939 on: April 09, 2021, 11:26:01 AM »
That's a bit of a copout. I don't believe that there is a single doctor in town that would have signed off on the weddings that were taking place through the summer and beginning of the winter, had someone asked them. The question is if anyone asked them....
IDK about the doctors, but many rabbanim participated in them.
I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.

Offline yelped

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3940 on: April 09, 2021, 11:30:25 AM »
IDK about the doctors, but many rabbanim participated in them.
I'm sure that means they also approve of the music and wild dancing, too, right?

Offline Traveler718

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3941 on: April 09, 2021, 11:35:16 AM »
IDK about the doctors, but many rabbanim participated in them.

Not everything could and should be in a signed public letter.

I specifically picked up on the claim to backing of not only local Rabbonim, but also doctors.

You're right that they have to be careful about what they put out publicly, but when I made a Bar Mitzvah this year, I called up a prominent Lakewood doctor who's been mentioned several times in this thread and asked him for safety guidelines for the event. His response was, "Don't do anything remotely like the hefkerus tha's going on here (in Lakewood), and you should hopefully be fine."

Offline iwlw2

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3942 on: April 09, 2021, 11:40:46 AM »
IDK about the doctors, but many rabbanim participated in them.
Thats a kasha not a terutz.....

Offline iwlw2

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3943 on: April 09, 2021, 11:52:35 AM »
IDK about the doctors, but many rabbanim participated in them.
Also worthwhile to point out, that when the Vaad Rabbanei Corona put out their letter during the uptick in cases, they specifically called out weddings and other simchas as a source of spread.

Offline aygart

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Re: Lakewood covid cases
« Reply #3944 on: April 09, 2021, 11:55:23 AM »
IDK about the doctors, but many rabbanim participated in them.
I am sure that when the doctors cousin got married he also went. That does not mean that they are condoning it or approve of it.
Feelings don't care about your facts