From the Rabbi's Study

The current actions and reactions to governmental instructions and information about the Covid plague that currently has a tight grip on the people of our country are a terrific study in population dynamics. I am compelled to speak to our members and their families as well as my own family when I say, "we’re not paying enough attention to halting the spread of this potentially deadly

disease!" All one needs to do is watch any local or national news broadcast or read any nationally distributed newspaper to get a sense of the health mayhem that has spread across our land. I am sick and tired of seeing a few of our political leaders moving about their days, meeting with groups both foreign and domestic, speaking before various audiences, or being interviewed by the press all the while not protecting others by not wearing a face mask.

When one examines the disease figures by country, the United States unfortunately ranks first despite being the most advanced country in the world. All the countries in Europe plus Japan and S.

Korea have been able to control the virus by insisting upon and enforcing a quarantine. I’m certain their citizens carped and complained but the results are now evident. Their citizens are generally free to work, eat, play, swim, and congregate with relative safety while we in the U.S. languish behind our front doors or go blasting across our beaches and parks and crowd into our local bars without wearing masks. So where is the problem?

It is a given that all young people from age 18 to 35 are invincible. I felt that way when I was that age and so did you. But I’m considerably older now and the devil make care attitude now resides in my grandchildren. 90% of our citizens are good, and thinking people who are reasonably aware of the safety issues to avoid spreading the Covid virus, but the remaining 10% are who really frighten me. The people in the bars. The beach goers and the picnics. The people in the grocery stores who will not wear a mask and poo poo anyone who does wear one. These and many other similar situations are what frighten me and I hope they frighten you too.

Essentially there is no national leadership. Most of our country’s leadership on the Corona virus issue is coming from the medical community but since there is little or no coordination, the messages are becoming mixed. The same goes for our governors who, for the most part, are trying to administer the situation often with one hand tied behind their backs.

At this writing, only 6 states mandate the wearing of face masks in public - period! Illinois being one of them! Most other states “recommend” a face mask in public. How can the Center for Disease Control possibly see a positive outcome to the pandemic if the general population can opt out of wearing a face mask in public if they so desire! Do they have some sort of death wish? I want to see such a person, lying in an ICU with the Corona virus, tell the nurse they don’t want to wear a face mask!

Please know that your Temple Board is working on plans to reopen our Sanctuary soon for Shabbat Services using as many distancing rules as we can and wearing a proper face mask will be

mandatory. Several elements of our religious service will have to be eliminated and others will see major adjustments, albeit temporary, but this must be done to insure the health safety of

everyone attending. Just know that scientists are working around the clock to develop an effective vaccine. We all hope and pray that they will see good success soon and we can safely return to

our lifestyles both Jewish and secular. However, until then, wear your face mask in public!

Rabbi Rubovits

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Joliet Jewish Congregation

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Joliet, IL  60435