Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Smith
Passaic Park, New Jersey
By the Grace of G-d
10 Elul 5780
August 30, 2020
L’chvod* HaRosh HaYeshiva, Rabbonim, Members of the Passaic-Clifton COVID-19 Task Force, Members of the Medical Committee of the Passaic-Clifton COVID-19 Task Force, Shlita:
It is imperative that this community be restored to a rightful setting where Torah is paramount, and individuals are respected.
In the ongoing debates about masks and coronavirus vaccines, I suggest that the masks and the prospect of vaccines are a valid concern but still is a distraction. The real issue is that the government has decreed who is essential and who is not essential. Essential people can make a living. Those decreed non-essential cannot make a living and either starve or become a ward of the state. There is no basis or definition in any law, just decrees. The fact that the Jews are not singled out is no comfort – this is war against humanity. The danger of such decrees cannot be overstated, and they must be rejected.
There is no place in Torah for a Jewish community to be governed by a committee of medical doctors. Nor by an unelected committee composed of Rabbonim, politicians and doctors.
The concept of a doctor in Torah, and the permission to heal, is based on a personal relationship between a doctor and an individual patient where the doctor is both an expert in a relevant disease and knows the patient personally. Such a doctor is a doctor that a Rov has permission to listen to and to take into consideration the medical insights of the doctor as to that patient. However, a doctor cannot make decrees for a community of individuals that he has never met, or knows nothing of their health, and/or regarding a disease that he has no personal experience with.
Civilization is going through the writhing pangs of the establishment of public health supremacy which intends to overrule all other considerations, including Torah. Public health is not ‘refuah’ in Torah. Public health is not a substitute for Torah.
In Round One of the Public Health decrees, the Rabbonim were overwhelmed with pressuring doctors and threats of ventilator shortages and news reports of hospitalizations and deaths and not given proper access to evaluate the metzius hadevorim and innocently made decisions accordingly. But there has now been plenty of time to become knowledgeable and there remains time to use the remaining days and weeks to become knowledgeable.
A Rov must educate himself in the metzius hadeovrim. He must also educate himself in the skills necessary to understand and evaluate the metzius hadevorim. For example, in the current situation, a Rov must learn basic statistics and understand a numerator and a denominator and the elements that contribute to the increase and decrease of each of those and what effect that has on such output numbers as infection rates and mortality rates. Just as a Rov cannot make a ruling in industrial kashrus without taking the time to investigate and understand modern food production methodologies, so too a Rov cannot merely ratify the recommendations of a doctor or a group of doctors who have been trained and influenced in universities and training programs to further the public health program.
Furthermore, a Rov must investigate alternative viewpoints. Science is predicated upon a process of hypothesis and challenge. It is impossible to claim that a decision is made based on ‘science’ if no challenge is allowed or investigated. Just as a Dayan cannot make a ruling without hearing the opposing side, decrees cannot be made upon the people, if they can be made at all, without a thorough investigation as to whether Torah and the metzius hadevorim support such a decree.
A Rov must research and understand the cruel history of public health and its methods and goals. That is part of the metzius hadevorim.
Throughout the period from Purim until now massive and destructive decrees have been issued without a metzius hadevorim that supports the rulings.
I hesitate to delve into the COVID-19 metzius hadevorim because the danger lies in buying into the idea that scientists and doctors should make decisions for everyone else. But to clarify matters it is necessary to shed light where there has only been darkness, confusion and doubt.
The COVID-19 metzius hadevorim is as follows: A ‘novel’ virus only means that its genetic code was not previously recorded in a database of viral code. There are many viruses in the world and in the human body that have never been studied or recorded in that database because they are harmless. It does not mean it is a new virus. People are misled into thinking that ‘novel’ means new and unknown and that since it is unknown it might behave differently than other viruses, which only sows fear and terror and conditions people to be willing to accept any decree so that they can be saved from the unknown ‘novel’ virus.
There was never a mortality rate of 3.4% in the population as a whole. Those numbers were created by testing only a very small population – the sick and dying in the hospitals – and then showing that 4 out of 100 died in those populations and then claiming that that would apply to the world as a whole. This trick is done by limiting the size of the denominator in the mortality rate. That is not science and it was and is entirely dishonest for anyone to say or imply that.
It is admitted by government officials that coronavirus deaths include anyone who tests positive for coronavirus when they are not even experiencing coronavirus symptoms. This trick increases the numerator in the mortality rate. This is falsification of the data.
Furthermore, it is undisputed that people who test negative are classified as coronavirus deaths because the doctors or hospital ‘suspect’ that it may have been coronavirus despite the negative test results. This trick increases the numerator in the mortality rate.
In some states positive antibody tests are being recorded as “new cases” of COVID-19 for people who were infected months ago. This trick increases the numerator and creates spikes and waves as more people are conditioned into being tested regularly and tested for antibodies.
We all know people who died over the last few months. Most of the deaths were unnecessary. I also know people who did not have coronavirus who were publicized in the frum websites as having died from coronavirus.
The early symptoms of a coronavirus infection are similar to panic attacks. Our Rabbonim and Rosh Yeshivas and elderly saw their minyonim that they have attended every day for decades destroyed before their eyes, were panicked at the onset of seasonal symptoms, rushed to hospitals, isolated, denied visitors, denied spouse and family, denied second opinions, denied chaplains, told they had a disease with no hope, no treatment and no cure, put on ventilators which hastened their death and then left to die without fluids or food or actively killed with morphine drips. In my own research, I have discovered the horror stories of the conditions of the bodies reaching the chevra kadishas and heard first hand testimony from true front line doctors (not oncologists, radiologists and other specialists) who report the ‘swooping’ of hospice care into the rooms of the COVID-19 patients in New Jersey urging morphine drips. I have heard first-hand accounts of patients not being given fluids because the doctors considered the patients ‘dead’ while they were still breathing. Aleihem Hashalom is not the way to refer to these victims but rather Hashem Yikum Damam.
Yet, people still persist in believing that coronavirus is especially dangerous and requires the shutting of shuls and yeshivas and schools and the wearing of masks, the obsessive compulsive washing of hands, reform of Jewish practice and human avoidance.
That persistent mistaken belief is understandable because the local Medical Committee releases vague and unverifiable information such as the recent email that there are “20 new cases” in Passaic driving more fear. No information is provided about those cases – are they positive virus tests, positive antibody tests, presumed cases even with negative test results? What are their symptoms, what other conditions do they have? Were other respiratory disease possibilities ruled out? All this information could be released without violating patient confidentiality, but it is not.
Venishmartem m’eod l’nafshoseichem is often thrown about as the reason to shut shuls and yeshivos. But this posuk is really referring to the need to cleave to Hashem and not be distracted by the worldly pressures into leaving Hashem and adopting foreign worldviews. In fact, the only time this posuk appears in the Gemora (Brochos 32b) it is the non-Jewish governor who uses this very posuk against the Jew to argue that davening should be interrupted because of ‘danger.’ The response of the proud confident Jew on behalf of Yiddishkeit is NO!, we will not even allow this possuk to be used to confuse us to interrupt even ONE tefillah. And, as the story concludes, continuing our Yiddishkeit without the slightest modification brings true respect from the non-Jews.
Instead of following the Gemara’s model Jewish behavior, our community has been treated as a ‘fantastic experiment’ by the infectious disease experts at Montefiore hospital as communal Judaism and chinuch is eviscerated without community member agreement in participating in the experiment, without access to the information tracked in the experiment and without any advance warning of what will be next in the experiment.
The Task Force primary message at the outset was to only access information through the Task Force. That should be enough of a warning sign. We have not heard from the Task Force information from the many, many distinguished scientists and doctors who have exposed the falsification of information, who have said that the restrictions on assembly and businesses are unnecessary and destructive, have called masking children ‘child abuse’ and called the current mindset ‘pandemic psychosis.’
We should know enough that committees in Jewish communities can be manipulated and through those committees the population can be led to terrible results. That’s even when they start with the best of intentions.
Here is what is unacceptable and cannot be repeated no matter how scary the metzius hadevorim is made to appear in future ‘spikes’ and ‘waves’:
There is more that is planned, G-d forbid, and it must be stopped now:
Now is the time to stop these measures. 
Justice will be served now and later. We can expect and hope that the children now victims of the public health measures, restrictions and experiments will later seek retribution and justice from the doctors, nurses and school administrators as they mature. Just like years and decades later the children that suffered sexual abuse came to pursue their predators, in the future those damaged by the health restrictions, mask wearing compulsion and vaccine experimentation will return with a vengeance and charge the health authorities, the school adminstrators, and enforcers, with abuse and breaking the Neurenberg war crimes code. For all those who are a community leader, the time to decide which part of history you are on is now!
People should educate themselves and consider not volunteering their information into the government database and not reporting their health symptoms and not testing because that information will be used as grounds for “appropriate interventions” in the words of the Task Force or in plain speak to take people away…
Dina d’malchusa dina does not apply here for various reasons including the nature and motivation of the government decrees and their uneven application. Even if it did, the Governor makes his rules and attempts to enforce his rules, which we have a right and obligation to challenge. We do not agree to local enforcement committees under the imprint of our Rabbonim.
There is no place in Torah where we find authority to make decisions for the people taking into consideration only one factor or one danger. The effect of the decrees include the destroyed spiritual service of G-d, destroyed or thwarted chinuch, spreading of terror about the air and other humans, social isolation, separation of families with the isolation of the elderly, families lacking income and food, millions out of work, and financial instability of the country. These are vital life and death – spiritual and physical – considerations that must be part of any decision.
Furthermore, over the last 100 years, over 500,000,000 human lives have been eliminated at the hands of governments in control of the lives of people, often using medical means, doctors and nurses to carry this out. The deadly dangers of all powerful governments far exceed, by many multiples, the danger of any disease, including COVID-19 even if it were to be as dangerous as the worst speculation. These are all factors that must be considered by a Rov in guiding an individual, family and community. In addition to a Rov’s obligation to his congregants, it is the obligation of a Jew in America to speak up about what is right for the country considering all these factors. 
A shul Rov is a guide for his congregation and it is questionable the extent to which he can make decrees on his own congregation. But even if he does, a congregant can leave. A shul Rov cannot make decrees for the population as a whole.
The Task Force has no authority and the Medical Committee has no authority. Both should be dismantled.
Each person should make their personal and family decisions with relevant input and guidance from their personal Rov and, for their personal health issues as needed, from their personal doctor, and as indicated, including obtaining a second medical opinion. 
Don’t be afraid, Hashem is with us. Some will feel that fleeing is the solution. G-d forbid that we come to that need. All that is needed is the common people to continue their lives fully, as they are entitled to do so, without regard to the decrees, no matter who issues them. There is no power held by those issuing the decrees other than that which is gifted to them through compliance. There are simply not enough government officers to enforce the decrees on the people. The fastest and best way to nullify a decree is not to volunteer for it in the first place.
Many available resources for further study on the points made here are available upon request.
No human is above errors or beyond reproach and I encourage your response pointing out any inaccuracies in Torah or the metzius hadevorim set forth here.
I also welcome in person face-to-face meetings with you in your individual capacities to further discuss this.
With blessings for a ksiva v’chasima tova, tefillos for a year of nullification of harsh decrees, refuas hanefesh v’refuas haguf and beas goal tzedek, כימי צאתך מארץ מצרים אראנו נפלאות and it should be with rachamim and b’simcha u’b’tuv levav.
Yitzchok Dovid Smith
L’chvod: An expression of honor.
HaRosh HaYeshiva: the leading rabbi of the Yeshiva.
Shlita: Hebrew acronym for “they should live and be well”.
Sholom u’vrocho: Peace and blessing.
Torah: The written and oral Torah transmitted by G-d Almighty on Mount Sinai to Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses, our Teacher) and the Jewish People. The Written Torah consists of the 5 Books of Moses and the 24 books of the Prophets and Writings. The Oral Torah consists of the oral transmission of the inner and detailed meaning of the Written Torah from generation to generation from Mount Sinai. Some of this was later written down in compilations such as the Talmud. The Torah includes writings of the G-d fearing rabbis throughout the generations.
Rabbonim: rabbis, plural.
Rov: practicing rabbi, generally the leader of a community or a congregation (as distinct from a rabbi who also has rabbinical ordination but may not be active as leader of a congregation or community).
Metzius hadevorim: the reality of things, the facts of the situation, to the exclusion of speculation, assumptions and conjecture.
Kashrus: the area of expertise involving certifying food products as kosher.
Rachmana litzlan: may the Merciful One save us.
Hashem: G-d A-lmighty.
Meturgeman: a person whose job is to transmit a message unchanged by repeating what the speaker says to a part of the audience that is too far away to hear the actual speaker (used before there were amplifiers).
Dayan: rabbinic judge.
Rosh Yeshivas: rabbis who are deans of Torah academies.
Aleihem hashalom: may peace be on them; may they rest in peace.
Hashem yikom damam: may G-d avenge their deaths.
Yeshivas: academies for immersement in the Written and Oral Torah.
Hatzolah: organization for private ambulances in the Jewish community.
Venishmartem meod l’nafshoseichem: A verse from the Torah, “Take great care to preserve/guard your souls” (Deut. 4:15). The context of this verse is Moses’ caution to the Jewish People not to be enticed by foreign ideologies, beliefs and images.
Brochos 32b: Talmudic tractate Brochos (Blessings).
Posuk: verse in the Hebrew Bible.
Davening: praying (Yiddish).
Tefillah: prayer, connecting to G-d A-lmighty (Hebrew).
Gemara: Talmud, compendium of Torah wisdom.
Chinuch: transmitting the vision, knowledge and practice of the way of life of Torah to the next generation, in person face-to-face
Mikvaos: Mikvaos (plural for mikvah), usually translated “ritual baths”, are an essential part of Jewish family life. A husband and wife must refrain from marital relations from the onset of menstruation until the wife immerses in a mikvah. Historically a target of public health officials who sought to shut down the Jewish way of life and prevent conception of Jewish children.
Yom Tov: Jewish holiday.
Seder: Passover meal reviewing and celebrating the Exodus from Egypt, involving a family gathering and many guests, especially welcoming those who are less fortunate.
Mechiras chometz: selling of leaven and leavened products before Passover, so as not to violate the Torah prohibition against owning such products on Passover.
Gevald: equivalent of OMG!
Shofar: ram’s horn blown on Rosh Hashanah to proclaim G-d Almighty King for all of Creation.
Rosh Hashanah: New Year’s Day, literally, the Head of the Year, which is the day on which Adam and Eve the first humans were created, the crowning achievement in G-d’s Creation.
Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement.
Hachnosas orchim: hospitality.
Zoche: worthy, privileged.
Daas Torah: true Torah-based understanding.
Chadorim: gathering of young children to continue the transmission of Torah, unchanged, to the next generation.
Achdus: communal unity.
Baal machlokes: trouble-maker, argumentative person.
Bikur cholim: visiting the sick.
Minyan: A prayer gathering, which requires a minimum of ten adult Jewish men.
Mesira: informing on fellow Jews to the non-Jewish authorities.
Chas v’shalom: heaven forfend, G-d forbid!
Pikuach nefesh: saving a life, one of the Torah’s highest values.
Malei rachamim: G-d is full of mercy, very merciful.
Yidden: Jews (sing. Yid).
Mitzvah/mitzvos: Torah commandment/s.
Hashem Yirachem: may G-d have mercy.
Abishter: Master of the world, a Yiddish word referring to G-d.
Pru u’revu: Torah commandment to “be fruitful and multiply”, incumbent upon all mankind, having children express faith in G-d’s beneficence and abundant ability to provide for all humanity.
Dina d’malchusa dina: “The law of the land is [Torah] law”. Torah law requires that the Jewish people follow proper laws of a proper government.
Emunas chachamim: faith in the Jewish sages.
Shul Rov: Rabbi of a congregation.
Sheva Mitzvos Bnai Noach: Seven Noahide Laws, given originally by G-d to Adam and Eve, then again by G-d to Noah and his family after the Flood, then again to all humanity by G-d on Mount Sinai through Moses. They are not to believe in any forces other than G-d A-lmighty, not to do the opposite of blessing G-d, not to murder, not to steal, not to be sexually immoral, not to eat the limb of a living animal, and to set up courts of justice. These are the basis of civilization and are accompanied by many additional commandments such as prayer, charity, respect for parents. For more information visit the Hope for Humanity You Tube Channel Link: https://bit.ly/2F3oV4k
Hameivin yavin: he who understands (thinks for himself) will understand.
Ksiva v’chasima tova: may all be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year.
Refuas hanefesh u’refuas haguf: healing of soul and healing of body.
Hebrew Verse in final paragraph: “As in the days of your going forth from Egypt, He will show them great wonders” (Micah) referring to the final Redemption.
Bi’as goel tzedek: the coming of the righteous Redeemer, i.e., Moshiach.
Rachmana litzlan: may the Merciful One save us.
Sakanas nafashos: danger to life.
Chinuch al taharas hakodesh: transmission of Torah teachings and values that safeguards the spiritual purity of the children.
Taharas hamishpacha: laws of family purity (mikvah, etc.).
Source: https://matzav.com/exposing-the-lies-weve-been-told-about-covid-shutting-shuls-supposed-upticks-and-more/ Kudos to Matzav for publishing the truth.