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Op-Ed: Unmasking Why I Wear a Mask

by Shaina Ponim

I’m a simple person. I ain’t no doctor. I ain’t no Rov.

I can’t tell you if masks will stop/slow the virus or if masks are killing more people than Aunt ‘Rona. (It is a bug, no? I ain’t no immunologist either.)

But, I’ve been wearing a mask. Why? Well, because as a simple person, I see things simply:

The community doctor asked us to wear a mask – so I wear a mask.

The community Rov asked us to wear a mask – so I wear a mask.

Are they in on some conspiracy? Are they compelled by government pressure? Maybe, maybe not. But, they asked – so I listen. Simple, no?

Do I get confounded, tzumished, and tzutumuled by conducting my own ‘independent’ research (-with Google, everyone is now a certified “researcher”!) to see what other white coats claim? Do I feel the need to consider every yenta’s concocted theory and point of view?

Nope. I lead a simple life: My doctor asked – I listen. My Rov asked – I listen.

You know, on Chol Ha’moed I took my family to the zoo. There were Frum Jews representing every community there as well. Remarkably, they were all wearing masks the entire time. Why? Because the zookeepers were walking around asking them to.


When the zoo’s dung cleaners ask us to wear a mask – we listen.

When our local doctors and Rabbonim ask the same, we become an ‘Am Novoin’ – full of chochmas and dreidlach.

That is where a simple person like me gets confused about things.

[Did you notice the same? Did you go to the zoo or some other establishment – you know, the ones that still let Frum Jews in – and see more masks there than on our main streets or in our local grocery stores?]

Perhaps some will chide me for having a simple view. Perhaps I should be more ‘woke’ and ‘educated’ about how we are being controlled and manipulated by everyone who asks us to do something (government officials, police, doctors, Rabbonim, school administrators).

But, again, I see things simply: I am a “Tomim” – a “simple” person. I follow the advice – and pleadings – of my doctor and Rov.

Do you?

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