Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

In the Age of Swine Flu, Please Refrain From Kissing the Torah

Here’s a High Holy Day dilemma for the H1N1 era: You think you might have the swine flu, but you don’t want to miss your Rosh Hashanah aliyah. What to do?

Forget about kissing the Torah or the ark covers, according to Israel’s health ministry. In an attempt to stem the spread of the sometimes Tamiflu-resistant swine flu, the ministry Thursday released a set of High Holy Day recommendations.

Haaretz reports: “The directives urge avoiding direct lip contact with public holy items, maintaining personal hygiene and sneezing and coughing into a tissue or a bent elbow, not into the palm.”

May we also suggest that coughing-sneezing-aching worshippers hold the yad with a tissue? Bring their own tallit? Or, better yet, stay home and rest?

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.