Haredi: It’s OK to use the phone on Shabbat

April 5, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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ZAKA Search and Rescue volunteers visited the homes of over 60 confirmed coronavirus cases among haredi communities in Israel during this Shabbat in order to ensure they immediately self-isolate.

ZAKA at work

The visits were prompted by their not answering a phone call from the Israeli Ministry of Health to confirm that they have the virus, even though the community rabbis ruled that phones should be answered on Shabbat.

ZAKA volunteers visited homes in Ashdod, Jerusalem, Petach Tikva, Elad, Rosh Haayin, Bnei Brak, Emmanuel, Ariel, Givat Shmuel, Beit Shemesh and Moshav Sapir. The volunteers knocked on their doors, informed them of the positive testing and advised them and their family to immediately self-isolate.

ZAKA calls on the ultra-Orthodox communities to leave their phones open on Shabbat, and answer when there is a ring, in accordance with Rabbinical rulings. This is a true case of Pikuach Nefesh, where the imperative to save lives takes precedence over Shabbat. A ZAKA spokesperson said: “Each moment is critical.”

ZAKA is Israel’s primary rescue and recovery volunteer organization.

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