Photo Credit: Yossi Aloni / Flash 90
Orthodox Jewish residents in the central Israeli city of Elad, April 7, 2020.

If you are male and you live in the Jewish community of Elad, you may have already learned that it is a good idea to remember to wear a face mask outside the home, even if you don’t enjoy it.

Men without masks in Elad are no longer going to be allowed the privilege of an Aliyah to the Torah in synagogue during the reading of the portion of the week. Nor will they be allowed to lead prayers in any minyan as sheliach tzibur (Hebrew, “public representative” in the traditional quorum of 10 men).


The above were two of the decisions reached Tuesday at an emergency conference of all the rabbis in the city, held by Rabbi Mordechai Malka, chief rabbi of Elad. The city is populated by approximately 50,000 observant Jews in central Israel.

The chief rabbi asked the community rabbis to speak with each of their congregations about the importance of adhering to the Health Ministry guidelines.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein met with the chief rabbi in recent days to discuss the rise in the number of residents with COVID-19.

On Monday evening (June 22) there were 46 people currently ill with COVID-19 in the city, in addition to the 379 residents who had already recovered from the virus.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.