Aug 17, 2022
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As Israel lifts its indoor mask mandate, the rest of the world moves tentatively towards following suit. But some power mongers are trying to hold onto masking, a behavior that has disturbing Biblical precedents.

Israel lifts mask mandate.

On Saturday night, Israel lifted its two-year mask mandate. It was lifted for ten days in June last year but was reinstated at a resurgence in the pandemic.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that masking will still be required “at places with high contagion potential,” among which it listed hospitals, senior living facilities, and during air travel.

First imposed in April 2020, the mandate required Israelis to wear masks at all times indoors. Coincidentally, the masks came off at the end of the holiday of Passover, celebrating the Jews’ freedom from the tyrannical rule in Egypt. Israel initially instituted an outdoor mandate but dropped it one year ago.

US lifts travel masks, but Biden persists.

The US is still struggling to free itself from a mandate that requires masks on flights. President Biden imposed the mandate for airplanes and other public transport methods. Still, a federal judge in Florida struck it down on ruling that it exceeded the statutory authority of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and because its implementation violated administrative law. Biden’s Justice Department immediately appealed the ruling.

This leaves very few indoor masking requirements in the US. 

Damaging behavior

The use of masks during the pandemic has had unanticipated effects. Canadian and Israeli researchers joined in a study of the impact of COVID masks on children. A recent study led by researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba and York University in Toronto found that wearing a mask hindered facial recognition in adults. The recent study concluded that this problem is even worse in children and could lead to social difficulties. 

Biblical masks

This psychological impact is described in spiritual terms in the Bible. After speaking with God, Moses’ face glowed intensely (Exodus 34:33). Moses wore a veil on his face to mitigate this phenomenon, but he was careful to remove it when addressing the Children of Israel or when speaking with God. Clearly, the mask interfered with full communications.

It is interesting to note that despite the mask presenting a spiritual impediment, the Union of Orthodox rabbis ruled that a surgical mask should be placed over the open end of a shofar when blown in the synagogue. Other halachic authorities disagreed and ruled that masks should not be worn during prayers. ‘

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb in Jerusalem, noted that the Prophet Isaiah predicted that such a study leading to the removal of masks would emerge from Israel. He cited the verse:

And He will destroy on this mount the shroud That is drawn over the faces of all the peoples And the covering that is spread Over all the nations: Isaiah 25:7

The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘shroud’ is masecha (מַּסֵּכָה) which literally means a mask.

“The Prophet Isaiah is telling us that the key to removing the masks will be focused on Israel, more specifically, Jerusalem,” Rabb Berger said. “Israel is a tiny country, but we have played a major role in the global pandemic with the nations watching us carefully. And nothing has united that world like this pandemic. Everyone in the world knows what COVID is. This unifying experience is preparing the world for when ‘God will be One, and His name will be One.”

“Taking off the masks is the first step towards ending the pandemic,” Rabbi Berger said, citing the following verse in Isaiah.

He will destroy death forever. My Hashem will wipe the tears away From all faces And will put an end to the reproach of His people Over all the earth— For it is Hashem who has spoken. Isaiah 25:8

“Isaiah is describing the final ingathering when all the nations come to Jerusalem to praise Hashem,” Rabbi Berger said. “But, as the Prophet Isaiah stated, nobody can come to Jerusalem wearing a mask. This is an allegory, meaning that people must come as their true selves, but also literally. We are already seeing that these masks are a visible declaration of a person’s belief. We are already seeing a new global community of people who believe in God who are easily identifiable by not wearing masks.”