In a remarkable decision, prominent Orthodox rabbis have allowed people to use Zoom, a video conferencing program, for the Seder meal , writes the Jerusalem Post.
Seder is the term for the feast that begins the Jewish Pesach . Normally, many in the family will gather for this meal, but this year, many families will be separated because of Corona. Now many of them can still “be together” during dinner – at least electronically.
Normally, religious Jews are not allowed to use electronics during Shabbat and holidays, but now Rabbi Eliyahu Abergil, a highly respected scholar of Jewish law, has said that it will be possible to use Zoom under certain restrictions due to the “state of emergency” in world. Several rabbis support this justification.
Religious Jews have asked the rabbis for advice and have been told that they can use Zoom during the Seder meal if they turn on the electronic equipment and the Zoom program before the time of the holiday.
Many Orthodox rabbis banned the use of electronics on Shabbat and public holidays when electricity began to be used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The ban has since become common practice throughout the Orthodox world.
The fact that the rabbis now allow the use of Zoom during the Seder meal, even under the restrictions that have been set, is a very startling decision. here.