58 A Short Thought and More Mask Police
Chananya Weissman
January 19, 2021, Hyehudi

The Torah writes ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם in reference to guarding oneself from idolatry. Not the best source to justify blind reliance on the establishment, cult-like behavior, and worship of science.


I had another doozy of an experience earlier today. I davened mincha outside an actual shul, but I was on a park bench on the street, outside the shul limits. Someone approached me after davening, introduced himself, and asked me to wear a mask in the future, as that is the practice of the shul. I told him there is no such thing in halacha and I am not bound by it, plus I'm outside the shul area. He asked me to do it "out of respect" for the other people.

I told him to pretend I was beating my wife or abusing children and look the other way. That was not the answer he was expecting. He said even people who already had corona wear the mask out of respect and I can talk to the rabbi if I want. I told him I'm not a confrontational person, I'm minding my own business, and I'm happy to have a conversation with anyone, but I'm not going to wear a mask.

I also noted that there were about 20 people at the minyan, which is against the current arbitrary guidelines. Why is that? Do they only follow some guidelines and not others? "Yes!" he answered. I told him that obviously doesn't make any sense. If anything, having more people there is a greater danger than having one person without a mask, so it's really just about bullying and controlling people. I said the real reason this bothers him is because if more than 10 people daven there, it doesn't make anyone look foolish, but if they're wearing masks and I'm not playing along, it makes them all look foolish.

He suddenly found himself in a hurry to go somewhere and scurried off. Score one for sanity and the good guys.