Rav Yosef and Rav Amar Call for Yom Taanis Because of Spreading Swine Flu


chacham-ovadiah-yosefOn a joint letter published by Rav Shlomo Amar and Chacham Ovadiah Yosef, the rabbonim have called for a yom taanis because of the rapidly spreading swine flu. The letters states that the disease had spread from Mexico over the entire world “because of our many aveiros.”

It calls for fighting the disease by “medical means and by maintaining excellent hygiene,” but also through fasting and davening  this coming Wednesday.

Those who are unable to do so, should fast at least half a day, or make a taanis for half a day, the letter says.

rabbi-shlomo-amar“We call upon everyone who is able to fast to accept upon himself a taanis this coming Wednesday, the 29th day of Av, 5769, and daven much and recite the yom kippur kotton tefillos on the afternoon of Tuesday, the twenty-eighty day of Av,” urged the letter, citing the date, month and year according to the Jewish calender.

Swine flu started out relatively slowly and mildly in Israel, with the first local contraction confirmed in May and the first death only late last month.

But, sparking belated widespread media attention and worry among the Israeli public, its spread has accelerated in August, with more than 2,000 cases and seven deaths now confirmed.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}