From the desk of Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda) Blank, MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
So many things are going on in the world today. Some exciting, some frightening, some it can’t be true, some I cannot believe it is so. Whatever the case, we always’ say everything is minhashamayim and if you ask our Gedolim, they will say that is so and we should continue to have Emunah true faith and Btochim in the Aibershta. But, we also must do our hishtadlis. We have to do our part in doing what is best, what is correct, what is the right thing to do. For instance, dealing with medical issues, concerns and decisions – we often seek advice from the rabbi’s who we are familiar with and surely those who are knowledgeable in various areas of halacha and medical expertise. Should a rabbi not be familiar with certain medical information, he would be willing with permission of the patient or health care proxy to speak to a doctor or medical team when necessary and discuss the situation with the patient and or health care proxy.
Recently, many are very concerned about the Coronavirus and surprisingly not as much about influenza. Both are truly serious illnesses. I don’t know about your neighborhood, but where I live on the Lower East Side which is near a large Chinese community you will see many people walking the streets wearing some type of a face mask. Some time ago, when entering a medical facility you either would be asked or would see large signs if you had or have certain type of symptoms, traveled to certain parts of the world or came in contact with someone due to the flu, the measles and now because of the newest Coronavirus.
But, what about in our own neighborhoods- are we concerned ? Do we really know what to do, what precautions we should take, what medical or even halachic implications and information we should know about ? What can we do to prevent ourselves from getting ill if possible or from spreading illnesses to others.
We are truly very fortunate to have in our midst a very special rav and professional who could and will answer many of these questions. He is Rabbi Aaron Glatt MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA. Not only is he the Assistant Rabbi of the Young Israel of Woodmere who has authored books and articles on medical related halachic issues, he is also a Professor of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, Chair of the Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Chief of Infectious Diseases, and is the hospital’s Epidemiologist.
In addition to the attached audio interview he recently gave (please see the link below to that interview) there will be in the forthcoming days an announcement about a special major conference call by the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim and the National Council of Young Israel featuring Rabbi Dr Glatt who will be discussing important implications of both the halachic and medical aspects of the Coronavirus and influenza. He will be sharing information many might not be aware of. You will be receiving a special email about this major conference call.
Here is the link to the audio interview with Rabbi Glatt MD: Click here
(For information about TTI, CAHE, YIELP see attached flyers below)