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Missing His Own Bar Mitzvah?

They faxed in the question to the home of Slabodbka Rosh Yeshivah Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch

They felt it wasn’t their decision to make, so after deliberating for several days, Rabbi Dovid Peretz and his wife decided they would ask a gadol b’Torah to guide them. Their question revolved around their son, who would become bar mitzvah just after Tishah B’Av. In recent weeks, several boys in his cheder and neighborhood have already been sent into isolation after being exposed to those who tested positively for the virus. Should they keep the boy home from school and even shul for the two weeks before the big day, in order to prevent exposure and the risk of having to miss his own bar mitzvah?

They faxed in the question to the home of Slabodbka Rosh Yeshivah Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch. The next night, the phone rang in the Peretz home. It was the Rosh Yeshivah on the line, advising them to keep the boy home — as his mother had suggested — for two weeks before the bar mitzvah, and not to rely on the hishtadlus of wearing a mask and keeping a distance.

“But what about the spiritual damage of missing Torah learning in cheder and davening alone, for a boy who has just started wearing tefillin?” the father wondered.

“If you understand how much a boy looks forward to the event, the simchah of his bar mitzvah, and the damage that can come from being forced into isolation and having to miss that, you will understand why it’s wiser to keep him at home,” the Rosh Yeshivah explained.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 818)

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