Friday, October 29, 2021

Protesting Medical Tyranny at the Kinus



23 Marcheshvan 5782
Erev Shabbos Mevorchim Kislev International Shluchim Convention


To the worldwide community of shluchim and Chabad chassidim, to each and every member of Anash יחיו:

Our Sages taught in Shabbos 54a: “Anyone who had the capability to protest the (inacceptable) conduct of the members of his household and did not protest, he himself is held responsible on account of the members of his household. If he is in a position to protest the conduct of the people of his town (and fails to do so), he is held responsible on account of the people of his town. If he is in a position to protest the conduct of the whole world (and fails to do so), he is held responsible on account of the whole world.”

The Rambam rules accordingly in Hilchos Deos 6:7, and so does the Ramo (in Yoreh Deoh 157:1).

Therefore, it is incumbent upon every single shliach and chossid to vehemently protest the recent misdeed and public chilul Hashem committed by the administration of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch and the annual Kinus Hashluchim. We refer here to the recent announcement* that effectively bans unvaccinated shluchim from attending this year’s kinus, as per governmental mandates. No one has protested this grave action as of yet, and the silence is astonishing. Shomu Shomyaim.

Who dares to drive a wedge between a shliach and his Meshaleach, cutting him off from the source of living waters, with such cruelty and tyranny, with no halachic imprimatur, basis, or precedent? How dare they attempt to estrange beloved children from their father’s table and to cause an unprecedented division between shluchim in such a brazen and shocking manner? Who will take responsibility for the beloved emissaries of the Rebbe who have been “driven out today from cleaving to G-d’s heritage, saying, 'Go, worship other deities',” as King David lamented? This brazen action is a stab in the heart of chassidus Chabad as a whole, and in the heart of every single chossid individually.

How much more so must this act be protested during our current times, when we need Heavenly mercies more than ever before. How much more so must we be more careful than ever to ensure that no Jew be left behind and to preserve the fragile unity of our People and the unity of all chassidim and all shluchim. As we say: “Bless us, our Father, all of us together as one.” The Rebbe taught us that this means: “When does our Father bless us? Specifically when we are all together as one.” And from the positive, one may infer the negative, Heaven forfend.

What should the thousands of shluchim do who are thirsting to attend this year’s Kinus in the presence of the tzaddik, the leader of our generation, and to join in with others in the banquet and Farbrengins as is customary at this auspicious time?

How did the administration of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch dare to pressure these precious shluchim to comply to unreasonable and incomprehensible policy that calls on them to submit to an experimental drug that entails risk? Of course, Merkos is well aware that this medical procedure carries the risk of blood clot, lifelong injury, and death, and according to numerous medical experts, also carries the significant risk of lifelong infertility. Has Merkos all of a sudden become a medical organization that conducts medical experimentation on Chabad shluchim, attempting to coax and pressure them to receiving an injection has been linked to untold misery, lifelong injuries, blood clots, and death!? (According to the FDA’s own website, this product has NOT undergone usual testing normally required for full FDA approval, and the testing phase will not be concluded before 2023 according to the Gregorian calendar). Moreover, according to countless medical experts, this product is HIGHLY toxic and should be avoided at all costs. Is the hanholo of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch agreeing to bear responsibility for any and all side-effects that will be suffered by the shluchim as a result of this experimental product they are taking at Merkos’ behest!?

Surely Merkos is well aware of the psak din of the Alter Rebbe, the Baal HaTanya and Baal HaShulchan Aruch, and first Rebbe of Chabad, in Orach Chayim 618:5. In a place of possible mortal risk, we err to the side of caution. If there are two experts warning that fasting might present risk for a patient, it is categorically forbidden for him to fast, even if there are another hundred experts who maintain that fasting poses no such risk. It doesn’t matter, since we are required to heed the warnings of the two against the reassurances of the hundred with regard to possible mortal risk. How much more so in our case when the most qualified independent scientists and medical experts in our generation have cautioned earnestly about the dire risks associated with this product, and are begging people NOT to take it under ANY circumstances.

In light of the above, it is most astonishing that the administration of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch has brazenly seen fit to publicly endorse this experimental product and force it upon their adherents and tender youths!

The only possible explanation for this bizarre abuse of authority is that they had perhaps been advised by doctors to minimize the number of attendees due to alleged “public health policy” concerns. The thinking is that gatherings (and specifically religious gatherings) pose risk to all attendees and to the entire world. Oddly, this leftist-agenda philosophy seems to have influenced many in the population, and it seems that the administration of Merkos has fallen prey to it as well. Of course, this position is in stark opposition to our holy Torah. To the contrary, Judaism asserts that “B’rov am hadras Melech – The King’s majesty is demonstrated in large groups” (Mishlei 14:28, and cited in the Alter Rebbe’s Shluchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 90:10 and elsewhere).

The Rebbe’s talks and writings abound with the primary importance of gathering Jews together, especially during Hakhel but also at all times. How many countless times did the Rebbe instruct us to be “makhil kehilos b’rabim” (assemble Jews in public gatherings)? Gathering Jews is a quintessential tenet of our religion. It is not “non-essential” or superfluous, Heaven forfend. This concept ought to be elementary to every observant Jew who cherishes the Torah, and especially to every chossid Chabad in the seventh generation.

However, even if this were indeed the case, then the Kinus administration could have easily curtailed attendance another way without doing so in a way that is publicly perceived as coercive measures upon the shluchim to submit to this injection in order to be deemed worthy of attending this year’s kinus in person. Alas, as of this writing, it’s been reported that hundreds of shluchim have already lined up to get this dubious injection in compliance with the decree from Merkos. Hashem yishmor.

In case this action was at the behest of the city or state officials, let’s recall the Rebbe’s timeless words spoken on Shabbos Parshas Bereishis, 5752: “The principle dina d’malchusa dina – ‘The law of the land is your law’ – applies only in regard to specific material matters, e.g., business law, taxes, and the like, but not in regard to the Torah and its mitzvos. In regard to the latter, we have the clear assurance of the Previous Rebbe that “our souls were not sent into exile… The principle, ‘Do not challenge the nations’ is not relevant in this context, for this principle can never override an explicit teaching of Torah law.” The principle of “B’rov am hadras Melech” is an explicit teaching of Torah law and oft-repeated in halacha.

In light of the magnitude of recklessness that this debased policy represents, we hereby turn to every single member of the administrations of Merkos and of the Kinus, and to the worldwide family of shluchim and Chabad chassidim – since, as mentioned above, whoever does not speak out against this breach and public chilul Hashem effectively communicates his tacit approval, rachmono litzlan –

Consequently, we the undersigned hereby protest with every fiber of our being against the reckless deeds of those responsible for this insolent exploitation of the Rebbe’s shluchim. We call upon them to immediately cease and desist and annul this shocking decree at once.

We conclude with a prayer for the true and complete Redemption, the geulah of each and every single Jewish person without any exception, as it states: “And you shall be gathered one by one, O children of Israel” (Isaiah 27:12) “We shall go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters” (Ex 10:9) and “a great multitude will return there” (Jer 31:7).


Rabbi Daniel Green

Rabbi Michoel Green

* "At this stage the State of New York requires people attending large gatherings to be vaccinated. The Kinus will be conducted following all applicable laws and government regulations."

Protesting Medical Tyranny at the Kinus -- Hebrew


כ"ג מרחשון ה'תשפ"ב

ו' לסדר השמר לך פן תשיב את בני שמה
ערב שבת מברכים כסלו, כינוס השלוחים העולמי

לכבוד אגודת חסידי חב"ד העולמי, כאו"א מאנ"ש והשלוחים שיחיו:

בשמחה רבה שמח קהל עדת החסידים על בואם של שלוחי המלך להתאסף יחד בכינוס השלוחים העולמי, כבכל שנה ושנה. אלא שמתוך צער ויגון שמענו ראינו* (בשבועות שלפני הכינוס) פקודתם של מנהלי הכינוס, לא להרשות לשלוחים להשתתף אם לא יקבלו הזריקה נגד מחלת קורונה. היינו בטוחים לראות איזשהו שינוי בעמדתם זו, שהיא מנוגדת לדעת רבינו לחלוטין (כמו שיתבאר לקמן) בהימים שלפני התחלת הכינוס, אך לצערנו הרב אין קול ואין קשב ועוד ידם נטויה.

והנה, על כגון דא איתא בשבת דף נ"ד ע"ב: "כל מי שאפשר למחות לאנשי ביתו ולא מיחה, נתפס על אנשי ביתו. באנשי עירו, נתפס על אנשי עירו. בכל העולם כולו, נתפס על כל העולם כולו" .וכן פסק הרמב"ם בהלכות דעות פרק ו' הלכה ז': "וכל שאפשר בידו למחות ואינו מוחה – הוא נתפש בעון אלו כיון שאפשר לו למחות בהם". וכן פסק הרמ"א ביו"ד סי' קנז ס"א.

אשר על כן, יש לכל חסיד חב"ד למחות בכל התוקף נגד הנהלת מרכז לענייני חינוך – על אשר אסרו לשלוחים מלהשתתף ברוב עם אם לא שיקבלו את הזריקה הכרוכה בסכנות נוראות המתועדות היטב. ואין פוצה פה ומצפצף נגד גזירה מזעזעת זו. שומו שמים.

מי הוא זה ואי זה הוא שמרהיב עוז בנפשו להפריד בין שליח למשלח ולמונעו ממקור מים חיים ר"ל באכזריות ובעריצות, ללא שום היתר או בסיס הלכתי – להרחיק בנים יקרים מעל שולחן אביהם, ולגרום לפירוד לבבות בין שלוחי הרבי באופן כה מבהיל וחסר תקדים. אין זה אלא דקירה בלב עדת החסידים בכלל ובלב כאו"א בפרט.

ובמכש"כ בתקופה זו שזקוקים אנו לרחמי שמים שעלינו ליזהר ביותר שלא יחסר ח"ו באחדות ישראל באחדות החסידים ובאחדות השלוחים, כמו שאומרים ברכנו אבינו (כאשר) כולנו כאחד דוקא, ומכלל הן אתה שומע לאו היל"ת.

ומה יעשו אלפי השלוחים הצמאים להסתופף בצל ד' אמותיו של צדיק עליון נשיא דורנו ולהתחבר יחד באהבת רעים אמיתית כנהוג בהכינוס, הבאנקעט ובהתוועדויות חסידיות שלאחריו, להתחזק בהתקשרותם האיתנה לכ"ק אדמו"ר נשיא דורנו ולהתמסר למילוי שליחותם ביתר שאת וביתר עז? איכה העיזה הנהלת מל"ח ללחוץ על שלוחים אלו להיכנע ולציית להוראה אבסורדית ובלתי מובנת להשתתף בנסוי רפואי הכרוך עם חשש סכנה בפועל ו(עכ"פ לדעת מומחים ידועים בתחום)עלול להזיק לפוריות, לגרום להתקף לב, לקרישי דם, ואף להיפך החיים ר"ל?

האם הנהלת מלע"ח הפכה פתאום למוסד מדעי רפואי, המבצע ניסיונות על שלוחי הרבי, ואף מסיתם/מכריחם לקבל זריקה שלא ניבדקה לאורך זמן ושעל פי דיווחים רבים ועדויות אישיות רבות, הביא לאלפים רבים של תופעות לוואי חמורות? לפי התחזית של חברת פייזר, הניסויים אינם צפויים להסתיים לפני שנת 2023. האם הנהלת מל"ח נושאת אחריות לכל היזק שלא יגרם לשלוחים ואנ"ש ע"י זריקה נסיונית זו עם סיכוניה הרבים -- לפי עדות מאות רופאים מומחים מכל קצווי תבל?

ובפרט ע"פ פס"ד אדה"ז בשולחנו ס' תריח סעי' ה אשר במקום ספק סכנת נפשות אין הולכין אחר רוב חכמה ולא אחר רוב מנין דעות להחמיר (להתענות ביוה"כ) אלא כיון ששני בקיאים עכ"פ חוששים שתענית יכולה להביאו לידי סכנה, חייבים לשמוע לעדותם מול מאה רופאים המעידים שלא יזיק לו, ואפי' אם הרוב הם יותר מומחים, ועאכו"כ בנידון דידן שכמה וכמה רופאים מהמומחים הגדולים ביותר שבדורנו ומופלגים בחכמת החיסונים צווחים ככרוכיא על הסכנה הנוראה שבזריקה זו. ולכן תמוה ביותר שהנהלת מל"ח מצאה לנכון לתמוך בזריקה מסוכנת זו ומכש"כ להעניש את כל אלו הנזהרים שלא לקבלה.

ואם כוונתם של מנהלי המל"ח בגזירתם היא למעט מספר המתאספים לאסיפת קודש זו, כתורת הפילוסופים השמאלנים שכנראה מצליחים להטעות כמה וכמה מתושבי מדינתנו, שלהתאסף (ובפרט) לענייני דת מהווה סכנה למתאספים וסכנה לכל העולם כולו - הרי עמדה זו היא נגד דעת תורתנו הקדושה. ואדרבא – מקרא מלא דיבר הכתוב, "ברוב עם הדרת מלך" (משלי יד:כח, כמובא בשוע"ר או"ח סי' צ' ס"י ובכמה מקומות) וכידוע בשיחות רבות של נשיא דורנו בענין הקהל, שהוא ענין עיקרי וחיוני באמונתנו,ועד כמה הורנו להקהיל קהילות ברבים ואין צורך להאריך בדבר הפשוט לכל מחבבי תורתנו הקדושה ושומרי מצוה ועאכו"כ לכל חסיד חב"ד בדור השביעי.

ועוד: אאת"ל שעשו זאת ע"פ עצת כמה רופאים או שצייתו לפקודת הממשלה בזה [אבל להעיר מדברי כ"ק אדמו"ר בשיחת ש"ק פ' בראשית תשנ"ב סעי' ז: ש"דינא דמלכותא דינא" ה"ז רק בנוגע לענינים גשמיים מסויימים (דיני ממונות, מיסים וארנוניות וכיו"ב), אך לא בנוגע לעניני תורה ומצוות שעליהם יש הוראה ברורה בתורה (ובלשון כ"ק מו"ח אדמו"ר: נשמותינו לגלות לא גורשו ולשעבוד מלכיות לא נמסרו) עכ"ל], מ"מ היה להם להגביל מספר המתאספים באופן אחר, לא באופן המתפרש ככפיה על שלוחי הרבי לקבל זריקה זו כדי לזכות להגיע לכינוס השלוחים העולמי, שהרי לע"ע כבר מאות שלוחים הולכים וכבר הלכו לקבל זריקה זו כתוצאה מגזרת המל"ח הנ"ל היל"ת ה' ישמרנו.

ולאור גודל הפשע שבהחלטה זו פונים אנו לכל א' וא' מהנהלת המלע"ח ולעדת אגו"ח העולמי בכלל  –

שהרי כל מי שלא מביע דעתו נגד מזימה זו ואינו מוחה מעומק ליבו ובמר נפשו ש"מ דניחא לי' ר"ל  –


אנו, החתומים מטה, מוחים בכל התוקף נגד אלו שהעיזו לעשות כן ועליהם לבטל גזירתם זו מיד, ולפרסם זאת ברבים.

בתפילה לגאולה האמיתית והשלימה, גאולת כל אחד ואחת מישראל, ללא יוצא מן הכלל, כמ"ש ואתם תלקטו לאחד אחד בני ישראל, בנערינו ובזקנינו בבנינו ובבנותינו, קהל גדול ישובו הנה.

שבתא טבא

הר' דניאל גרין הר' מיכאל גרין

* באתר

"At this stage the State of New York requires people attending large gatherings to be vaccinated. The Kinus will be conducted following all applicable laws and government regulations." (image below)


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Cruelty of Covid Vaccines -- References

Covid vaccines were produced and/or tested with morally dubious ingredients:

  • Aborted Fetal Cell Lines
  • Fetal Bovine Serum


    • Abortion is tantamount to murder, a grave violation of Genesis 9:6.
    • Deriving benefit thereof and  compensating the company for this product, thereby funding future research and development of new fetal cell lines, is a grave violation of Torah Law. (Maimonides Mishne Torah, Laws of Murder 2:1)
    • The desecration of any human corpse is a violation of Deuteronomy 21:23.

The following references document that Aborted Fetal Cell Lines were used in the production and/or testing of the covid-19 vaccines:


1.      1. Pfizer:

Aborted fetal cell line HEK293 was used:

Arunachalam, P.S., Scott, M.K.D., Hagan, T. et al. Systems vaccinology of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in humans. Nature 596, 410–416 (2021). [SEE “REPORTING SUMMARY”]

HEK293 is a fetal cell line, derived from kidney tissue of an aborted female embryo in 1973:


2.      2. Moderna:

Aborted fetal cell line HEK293 was used: 

Corbett, K.S., Edwards, D.K., Leist, S.R. et al. SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine design enabled by prototype pathogen preparedness. Nature 586567–571 (2020). 


3.      3. Johnson & Johnson:

Aborted fetal cell line PER.C6 was used:

·  Tostanoski, L.H., Wegmann, F., Martinot, A.J. et al. Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 severe clinical disease in hamsters. Nat Med 26, 1694–1700 (2020).

·   Johnson&Johnson. (2020, March 30). Johnson & Johnson Announces a Lead Vaccine Candidate for COVID-19; Landmark New Partnership with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; and Commitment to Supply One Billion Vaccines Worldwide for Emergency Pandemic Use. Retrieved August 22, 2021 from Johnson & Johnson Announces a Lead Vaccine Candidate for COVID-19; Landmark New Partnership with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; and Commitment to Supply One Billion Vaccines Worldwide for Emergency Pandemic Use | Johnson & Johnson (

·   Janssen Pharmaceutica. (2021, August 19). Our Innovative Vaccine Technology Platforms – Advac and Per.C6. Janssen. Retrieved August 22, 2021 from Janssen Vaccine Technologies | Janssen EMEA

·   PER.C6 is a fetal cell line, derived from the retinal tissue of a healthy 18-week-old fetus aborted in 1985: PER.C6 Cell Lines - Creative Biolabs The abortion was willfully induced, a "socially indicated abortus -- abortus provocatus," performed "simply because the woman wanted to get rid of the fetus…" Dr. Alex van der Eb See quoting from


Note: Pfizer’s and Moderna’s products are mRNA vaccines. Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is Recombinant Adenovirus Serotype 26 (Ad26).

For a list of other medications that were produced and/or tested using aborted fetal cell lines, see below [footnote 2]


  • Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) is inhumanely collected from live calves without anesthesia.
  • This practice (live dissection of animals) is a grave violation of Genesis 9:4.
  • Causing excessive suffering to animals is a violation of Exodus 23:5

The following references document that Fetal Bovine Serum was used in the production of the covid-19 vaccines:

1.      1. Pfizer:

Arunachalam, P.S., Scott, M.K.D., Hagan, T. et al. Systems vaccinology of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in humans. Nature 596, 410–416 (2021).


2.      2. Moderna:

Corbett, K.S., Edwards, D.K., Leist, S.R. et al. SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine design enabled by prototype pathogen preparedness. Nature 586567–571 (2020). 


3.      3. Johnson & Johnson:

Mercado, N.B., Zahn, R., Wegmann, F. et al. Single-shot Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. Nature 586, 583–588 (2020).

The following references discuss the ethical dilemma of how Fetal Bovine Serum is produced:

[1] Abstract: “Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is a common component of animal cell culture media. It is harvested from bovine fetuses taken from pregnant cows during slaughter. FBS is commonly harvested by means of a cardiac puncture without any form of anaesthesia. Fetuses are probably exposed to pain and/or discomfort, so the current practice of fetal blood harvesting is inhumane. Apart from moral concerns, several scientific and technical problems exist with regard to the use of FBS in cell culture. Efforts should be made to reduce the use of FBS or, preferably, to replace it with synthetic alternatives.”

[2] Some other common medicines that were reportedly developed and/or tested using Aborted Fetal Cell Lines. Please note that some of these medicines existed and were in use long before they were tested on Fetal Cell Lines. Furthermore, these medicines are curative/therapeutic, not preventative. Regarding whether one should make use of any of these medications, please consult your local rabbi who has researched contemporary fetal cell line development. (Most sadly haven't)

Friday, October 8, 2021

Masks and Chilul Hashem


Is it a chilul Hashem (desecration of the Divine Name) for a Torah-observant person to not wear a mask in public? Since the public perceives it as recklessly endangering others and might cause people to dislike Jews, doesn’t that effectively desecrate G-d’s Name? And wouldn’t it be a kidush Hashem (sanctification of the Divine Name) to dutifully comply with these policies that are publicly associated with being responsible, conscientious, and respectful to others’ wellbeing?


It's a kiddush Hashem to keep G-d's law even if people disagree or don't understand. This is the very first law in the Code of Jewish Law: “Do not be embarrassed of the scoffers…” i.e. don’t desist from doing what’s right even if others look askance, disapprove, or are scornful.

It's a chilul Hashem to comply with policies that violate G-d's law, and it's a public chilul Hashem to violate G-d's law in public.

There is a common misconception about "chilul Hashem." It does NOT mean doing something that society disapproves of or deems reckless. There is indeed a concept of "mar’is ayin" – i.e. to avoid doing something that gives people the impression that one is committing a sin [1] but that's only when the specific action that the public presumes was committed is a deed specifically prohibited by the Torah.

Likewise, a Torah scholar who committed an action that the public perceives as sinful has desecrated G-d’s Name [2] only when:

1) that specific action (i.e. taking a purchased item but not paying for it right away, etc.) has objective value that the Torah recognizes as unbecoming, and more importantly

2) it does not itself violate the Torah. For example, many probably argued that Mordechai was causing a "chilul Hashem" for defying the government’s order to bow before Prime Minister Haman, but in reality, the opposite was true.

Mask-wearing is not an objective value in Judaic Law, but just the opposite. Covering one’s face is prohibited by halacha and falls within the rubric of “darkei Emori”[3] – i.e. any man-made ideology, policy, or dogma that’s societally enforced and may not be questioned, since our religion regards such reverential compliance to man-made ideas or policies as idolatrous.

Public policies aside, there are numerous other Judaic problems with wearing masks as mentioned in rabbinic texts. [4]

There is objective Judaic value to exposing one’s face and not masking it:

When Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (the previous Rebbe of Lubavitch) was fleeing the Nazis -- may their name be erased -- his son-in-law R. Shmaryahu Gurary suggested he cover his face so he not be seen.

The Rebbe responded: "Ah yid darf zich nisht shemen mit zain tzura -- a Jew should not be ashamed with his face."

Covering one's face is a chilul Hashem. Covering one's face in public is a public chilul HaShem.

It is a kidush Hashem to expose one’s face. Doing so in public is an act of public kidush Hashem.

Don't be ashamed.

Sanctify G-d's Name and show your face.


[1] The Talmud derives this principle from the verse “And you shall be clean, from G-d and from Israel.” (Bamidbar 32:22)

[2] Sefer Hachinuch commandment 295

[3] Such practices are called darkei emori, “ways of the Amorites.” Leviticus 18:3, Sifra ibid. Shabbat 67a.; Masoret Moshe, page 313; Responsa of the Rashba, 1:413 and Beit Yosef on Yoreh Deah 179:20. “If there is actual curative benefit “רפואה” to the particular custom, then the prohibition of darkei emori doesn’t apply – this means that its curative benefit must be perceivable to a person by natural observation. Otherwise, it is forbidden.” If a policy’s alleged medical benefit to the individual cannot be unambiguously demonstrated by natural observation – i.e. empirical evidence, or in legal parlance, strict scrutiny – then blind adherence to it is categorically prohibited under the rubric of darkei emori, irrespective of alleged societal benefit.


Masks raise numerous halachic and hashkafic concerns:

a) It is categorically forbidden to wear a mask outdoors on Shabbos unless within an eruv. Even when worn on one’s face, a mask is not considered a garment or an ornament, but a load. [Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 301:20. Shabbos 66a; Rif ibid 30b. Or Zarua Hilchos Shabbos 84.]

b) It is forbidden to wear a mask during prayer. [Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch in a recent responsum.] It is not appropriate to stand before a king wearing a mask on one’s face. How much more so before the King of kings, the Holy One blessed be He. Furthermore, one is prohibited from praying whilst holding a load that isn’t for the purpose of prayer. [Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 96:1.] A mask is a load according to halacha.

c)One may not wear a mask while teaching or learning Torah. This principle is derived from Moses removing his veil when he taught Torah to the Children of Israel. [Exodus 34:35. Torah Shleima vol.21, pages 179 and 183 in miluim siman 6. Note that Rabbi Shlomo Parchin wrote that Moses’ veil had openings for his eyes, nose, and mouth.] Students need to see the face and mouth of their teacher. This is for the benefit of both the student and the teacher. The world stands on the merit of the breath of children learning Torah that ascends heavenward. A mask blocks this breath.

d) It’s forbidden to get an Aliyah or read from the Torah in a mask.  [Torah Shleima ibid cites Sefer Chasidim that early elders would expose their faces during Torah reading.]

e) A Jew is required to greet every individual with a smiling face, בסבר פנים יפות (Avot 1:15). A mask violates this principle by making it impossible.

(f) It's not a Jewish practice to wear a mask. Masks were never mentioned in Tanach, and only appear in halacha for the dubious and discouraged function of frightening children. (Shulchan Aruch O.C. 301:20). Masks are commonplace in pagan worship, and have polytheistic origin. As such, wearing a mask amounts to אביזרייהו דעבודה זרה, and should be discouraged among G-d fearing Jews.

Hashkafic concerns:

1. In kabala, one’s mouth and nose should never be covered. [Likutei Torah (by Rabbi Yitzchak Luria) states that there is no garment for the mouth or nose. Similarly, Rabbi Shalom DovBer of Lubavtich writes in Sefer Maamorim 5665, that there is no garment for the mouth. Rabbi Moses Cordovero writes in Tomer Devorah that one’s mouth and nose should always remain uncovered, in resemblance of the Divine.]

2. Masks ominously symbolize idolatry, division and estrangement from G-d. [Ohr Hachaim Leviticus 19:4]

3. In esoteric Judaic thought, a person’s face is the tselem Elokim, a reflection of the Divine Face. Placing any barrier or blockage over one’s face is an act of obscuring the tselem Elokim in Whose image the human face was fashioned, and reduces a human being to a faceless droid, as the prophet lamented: “They turned their back to me, and not their face.” [Jeremiah 2:27]

4. Hiding one’s face is reminiscent of G-d hiding His face from us [Deuteronomy 31:17-18]

See also: