Coronavirus Pandemic Halachic Directives-Part 1-Talmud Torah of children, Mikveh for men, Missing Minyan

Coronavirus Pandemic Halachic Directives-Part 1

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Talmud Torah of children:[1]

Although a child is exempt from all the Mitzvos, and even the father is not Biblically obligated to educate him in Mitzvos, but rather only Rabbinically, nevertheless, teaching Torah is a Biblical positive command. The father is commanded to teach his son Torah, even though the son himself is not obligated [to learn Torah or keep Mitzvos, and has not yet even reached the age of Chinuch[2]].[3] This Mitzvah is commonly fulfilled today by sending one’s son to cheder, in which the Milameid serves as the emissary of the father to teach his son Torah.[4] If the child remains home and does not go to school, then the obligation reverts back onto the father for him to either teach his son to or directly or to hire a teacher at home.[5] [Accordingly, all those who have sons who are being kept at home due to the closing of the schools amid the coronavirus fears must make a schedule for their sons for them to learn Torah daily, and fulfill this positive command. The father can either directly teach his son or appoint an older brother to do so. While this Biblical obligation does not extend towards daughters[6], parents should certainly also endeavor to set up a schedule for their daughters to also learn Torah during the period of time that they are out of school.[7]]

Mikveh for men:

Men who are unable to immerse in a Mikveh either due to their closure in one’s locality [as has been decreed in Israel] or due being placed in quarantine, can perform the following alternatives in place of Mikveh:

  1. Immerse in a swimming pool
  2. Shower for several minutes
  3. Wash one’s hands forty times
  4. Learn Mishnayos Mikvaos

See here for the full details of this matter!

 

Missing Minyan:[8]

Those who are unable to participate in the local Minyan due to quarantine or occupancy restrictions, are nonetheless to strive to pray at home at the same time as the Minyan, and doing so is considered as if one has prayed with the Minyan, with regards to the auspiciousness of the hour and the acceptance of his prayers above.

Limit news intake:

Keeping up with all the coronavirus news can be very time consuming as well as mentally stressful. The W.H.O. Organization advises one to limit his news intake in order to reduce panic and stress. Set a time in the morning and/or evening to dedicate for updates rather than to be on the clock standby for news updates which stops one from getting things done and continuing a normal life.

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[1] Admur Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:1; Michaber Y.D. 245:5; Rambam 1:5; Braisa Kiddushin 29a

[2] See Piskei Dinim Tzemach Tzedek 350

[3] The reason: As the verse states “Ulimadetem Osam Es Bneichem Lidaber Bam.” [ibid]

[4] See Admur 1:1 and 4

[5] See Admur 1:1 and 4 and 8

[6] Admur 1:14

[7] See Admur ibid regarding Halachos Hatzerichos

[8] See Admur 90:10; 591:14; Michaber 90:9; Brachos 8a

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