Q. As the situation changes rapidly, I wanted to know whether at this time TorontoGrapevine should allow posts of items for sale and for giveaways – putting social distancing criteria into place such as pick up only outside and payment via etransfer – so money doesn’t need to change hands -and reminders to disinfect items before bringing into home . I am unsure whether it would be considered a necessary reason to go out. People might need items now – especially if they never made pesach – that people would like to sell/give away. What is the Rov’s advice regarding including these items at this time?
A. As we already mentioned on question 2582 and 2578, Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that one should follow the (updated) professional medical and government advise for workplaces, places of worship and schools to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. such as washing hands, and avoiding touching faces and eyes etc.
The Rov strongly advises not to neglect the indispensable and essential help for the elderly and the needy especially during these difficult times. And as we mentioned then; A crisis can bring out and should bring out the very best in people.
Therefore the Rov advises that the great and numerous good deeds and mitzvos that the Toronto Grapevine has constantly achieved, should continue in order to help the ones in need in a time of great need.
However the effort should be concentrated to the needs of this particular time so close to Pesach and deflect other items not essential now.
Great care should be taken to ensure that the items given and collected are clean and disinfected. A principle to follow anyway on anything bought in any store these days where other customers and store workers also handle the merchandise offered.
As you mention if there are payment transfers, they should be done with all the caution necessary
Needless to repeat that everything should be done under competent medical and professional supervision to avoid any potential spread of the virus.
Tizku Leharbe Mitzvos and Maasim Tovim and a prompt Yeshua for all of us.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a