“Chief rabbi urges keeping lips off hands touching mezuzahs; European rabbinical group bans those feeling unwell from synagogue, even to recite the Kaddish prayer for the dead”

Coronavirus takes toll on religious life as rabbis advise against ritual kissing
by Stuart Winer
March 4, 2020

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau on Wednesday said Israelis should avoid touching and kissing mezuzahs affixed to doorframes, as religious figures took steps to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus via Jewish rites. At a time when “we are witnesses to the spread of a serious disease, there is no doubt that one should not kiss or touch the mezuzah at all,” Lau wrote in a statement. “It is enough for a person to think about it during his entering and exiting.”…There is a Jewish custom to touch the mezuzah when entering or leaving a room, and many also then kiss their fingers afterward. READ MORE

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