Coronavirus doesn’t favor any group over another, so we shouldn’t with money

I had several blog posts half-written and want to finish them, but I’ve been too busy with other things, including reconstructing posts in this blog that were moved over from another host.

But I do want to publish this, since it’s being considered “urgent.”

Today’s “Urgent Action Memo” email begins with:

“The core mission of the OU Advocacy Center is to protect and promote the interests of the Orthodox Jewish community in the realm of public policy.” 

This is what I received at 1:38pm.

Only after the first paragraph does this organization — which represents a subset of Orthodox Jews, who are a subset of Jewish people in America — start sounding more like something the public would favor, which is on its website.

To be perfectly frank, money should go to fighting the virus and to people who are out of jobs due to no fault of their own, which could involve loans to their employers.

I don’t see how the Orthodox Jewish community — or any religious community — is helping in a special way that requires any more money.

Anybody can live-stream religious services with their phone, and that doesn’t cost anything. The Orthodox may usually pray together as a minyan of ten men (women don’t count) but even the men who lead their organizations decided to forgo that practice for now.

(Women have no say on Orthodox Jewish law, or as leaders would say, “Jewish law,” since their beliefs and traditions are correct for all Jewish people, and woman can’t become rabbis in order to make rulings.)

But those men are right in this case. This is war and we can only afford to focus our concentration on the most necessary things for survival.

So maybe Orthodox Jews won’t be able to “make a minyan” but they can live-stream their services every day except the Sabbath, and that’s how they choose to live. And they wouldn’t be making money on the Sabbath, anyway.

As far as kids go, there are many computer programs for all students to continue learning while schools are closed. Any school has the right to “take it or leave it” when it comes to any program, or develop their own. Heck, any educational system that feels so strongly can live-stream classes: teachers in a room while students watch from home.

Read how their advocacy organization felt about this court decision from just four months ago — and please let me know in the Comments section below whether you agree or disagree with them and their thinking.

Isn’t it interesting how some in the religious community — of various faiths — feel they should get special protection (think Hobby Lobby) because religion is protected by the First Amendment?

Aren’t some (but not enough) discriminatory practices toward their neighbors and fellow Americans — along with violating a version of the Hippocratic Oath they may have sworn to or affirmed — just as legally wrong, and also very morally wrong?

I’d like to see great public schools for every child, along with great health care, and also a speedy end to the Coronavirus. Then, religious groups can “protect and promote” their own interests.


  1. Schools are closed, yet “Orthodox Union Welcomes U.S. Education Dept. Rollout of Billions of Dollars to Support K-12 Schools; Shall Include Equitable Support for Jewish and Other Nonpublic Schools” – How about simple reading, writing and ‘rithmetic good enough for all so it costs less?

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