Agudah releases guidelines for Purim 5781

Agudah: As we prepare for this upcoming Purim, we can remind ourselves how this past year might have been different had we only known last Purim what we know now. We now do know, however, that Purim has the potential to be a “super-spreader” of the terrible pandemic, and are required to think of our neighbors’ and family members’ health and safety with great gravity and concern, especially as more highly infectious strains of the COVID-19 virus are proliferating.

We are, by now, all well-schooled in proper safety guidelines; in case anyone needs a reminder, please see here for the latest CDC guidance.

Based on consultation with our rabbinic leadership and medical specialists, the Agudah is providing the following recommended guidelines for the upcoming Purim. Specific areas that require mindfulness and care this year include:

Heightened Public Scrutiny: It is critical to remind ourselves that the eyes of the world are upon us, and will likely be watching us closely this Purim. Acting appropriately in public is always important; how much more so this Purim.

Mesibos and Seudos: Community Purim seudos, mesibos, or other gatherings, even with appropriate precautions, should be avoided.

Megillah Reading: Depending upon circumstances, and under the guidance of local rabbonim, shuls should consider adding extra sessions of Megillah reading to ensure that everyone can hear the Megillah without dangerous overcrowding.

Collecting and Distributing Tzedakah: Both givers and collectors of tzedakah funds in each community should minimize contact and social interaction this Purim. Of course, matanos l’evyonim and tzedakah should remain at least at the same level as previous years. Bochurim should not go out in groups to collect money. Mosdos whose talmidim usually circulate through communities might consider, this year, setting up a phone bank where the bochurim can call the yeshiva’s supporters for donations.

Drinking: In light of the extra need to be careful with COVID-19 transmission, and with the imperative of avoiding chillul Hashem, it is even more important that bochurim, and those hosting them, follow the established guidelines of the gedolim about not getting drunk on Purim, available here.

Mishloach Manos: In fulfilling the mitzvah of mishloach manos, it would be prudent to limit our mishloach manos giving and to minimize social interaction with the people to whom we give.

Suspected Illness: Anyone suspected positive for COVID-19 or who has been exposed to COVID-19 must not go to shul, regardless of past COVID-19 history or vaccination status. Consult with your rav on how to fulfill the mitzvos of Purim while keeping the appropriate doctor-approved precautions.

May we be zoche to observe Purim this year properly and safely with a full measure of simchah shel mitzvah!

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 15,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp group!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.

Check out the latest on TLS instagram


    • What you should want to see is MORE people adhering the guidelines. Not every logical, common sense guideline or suggestion needs to come with signatures to convince you to follow them. That is why H-shem gave you seichel hayashar. Just as it’s understood that you don’t need a “signature” to advise you to wear a coat when its chilly outside, you don’t need a signature to tell you to protect yourself from infection. A basic guideline that might just make it more imperative to follow the recommendations? Note the sad number of Covid casualties that left families bereft this past year.

  1. Something so incredibly controversial like asking people to take basic precautions during a pandemic must have a long list of signatures if people are expected to take it seriously.

  2. if someone who has not vaccinated and tested negative for antibodies forgot his Tallis in shul and in the morning the shul is full of people not practicing social distancing, is he permitted to go and put on Tefillin in shul in order to do the mitzvah of Kriyas Shema [ 3 d’oraysos]?
    the answer is: it is FORBIDDEN for him to even attempt to do this. one MAY not be moser nefesh for any d’oraysa or derabbanan unless it is one of the “3” or it is a sh’as gezeirah or other similar situation.

    • That’s assuming that not social distancing is skanas nafashus. According to most poskim elevated risk is not pikuch nefesh. There has to be a 1 in 500 or 1 in a 1,000 mortality rate. That’s not the case here. The overwhelming majorty of people who get covid don’t die and its not certain that he/she will get covid..

      If the person is a senior or has pre existing conditions then I’d say maybe you have a point. Even then only maybe.

Comments are closed.