Social Distancing during Epidemics Has Ample Precedent in Rabbinic Law

March 25 2020

In recent weeks, there has been much discussion in synagogues and Jewish communities about how to enforce the measures recommended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which in some locales are being enforced by police. While some rabbis courted controversy by insisting that schools and yeshivas stay open, others have issued rulings unprecedented in their halakhic leniency in order to ensure that religious life can continue without increasing risks of contagion. Jeremy Brown turns to talmudic and medieval writings to see how rabbis responded to plagues in the past:

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Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Coronavirus, Halakhah, Shulhan Arukh, Talmud

 

With Its Threats against Israel, the EU Undermines International Law

The office of the European Union’s president, along with several member states, have made clear that they will consider taking punitive actions against Jerusalem should it go through with plans to extend its sovereignty over parts of the West Bank. In the assessment of EU diplomats, Israel has no legitimate claims to land outside the 1949 armistice lines—the so-called “1967 lines”—and any attempt to act as if it does violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. But, to David Wurmser, this entire argument is based on a poor reading of the law:

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Read more at National Review

More about: European Union, International Law, West Bank