Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Jews Fleeing Irma May Travel On Shabbat: Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi

(JTA) — An influential Ashkenazi rabbi said Jews may travel on Shabbat to escape Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm that is expected to hit Florida over the weekend.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, who receives thousands of followers annually at his home in Bnei Brak, Israel, from various haredi communities around the world,  issued the call in an interview with a follower, that one of his aides filmed and posted online Wednesday.

Kanievsky’s ruling came as people in parts of three Florida counties faced mandatory evacuation orders Thursday and officials in two other counties issued voluntary orders to leave in advance of Hurricane Irma, a storm that could create one of the largest mass exoduses in US history as additional evacuations are announced. Orthodox Jewish law permits the violation of Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, only in life-threatening or otherwise severe emergencies.

Evacuation orders led to the closure on Wednesday afternoon of the Lubavitch Educational Center, where some 1,500 students from preschool through high school are enrolled.

The path the storm will take as it rolls up Florida remains unclear Some models show the storm’s eye bending a bit, just to the east of the Florida coast, while other models take the storm directly over Miami Beach.

 

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.