Coronavirus immunity offered to donors of charity linked to major rabbi

After donating NIS 3,000 donors will receive a protective amulet and a blessing from the rabbi protecting them from getting sick.

Ultra-Orthodox rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Ultra-Orthodox rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A charity organization run by one of the most senior rabbinic leaders of the ultra-Orthodox world, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, promises complete protection from the coronavirus in return for a donation of NIS 3,000.
The charity association named Kupat Ha’ir (City Fund) advertised on its Facebook page that anyone who donates NIS 3,000 will be protected from getting the coronavirus. The idea behind the website’s campaign is that by donating money to sick families and people in need, donors will be protected according to the Jewish halachic principle of middah k’neged middah or “measure for measure.”
The specific coronavirus charity advertised on the Facebook page leads with, “Join The Cause To Help Sick Men, Women, And Children, and Receive the Rabbi's Bracha Midah K’Neged Midah.”
The association has an annual budget of NIS 131 million, and the rabbis that help run the charity are said to be selected and supervised by Kanievsky.
The charity is based out of Bnei Brak, one of the cities with the highest concentration of coronavirus cases. With one in ten of its residents diagnosed with the virus, the city was one of several areas in Israel placed under lockdown.
Kanievsky, also known among his followers as the "Torah Minister", most recently made headlines for his joint decision with Rabbi Gershon Edelstein not to close ultra-Orthodox boys schools and yeshivas, because children studying Torah provide physical protection to the Jewish people. The decision was eventually overturned and Kanievsky together with Edelstein shut down all yeshivas and ordered followers to stop public prayer services.
In addition to other charities on the website, which state that in exchange for donations the donor and “members of his household will remain healthy and free of illness,” there is one set up specifically for the coronavirus. In exchange for a monthly payment of NIS 100 for 30 months, the donor will receive a silver amulet to place in his home, in addition to blessings from the rabbi, protecting the donor from the virus.
Over the course of several interviews held between Channel 12 and the association, a telephone receptionist from the charity said, “There’s the charity for the sick, which is blessed by Rabbi Chaim. Whoever donates to the sick, [by way of] measure for measure, will not get sick, and neither will his household. When the full donation of 3,000 shekels is paid, they will receive the amulet. This is for disease, as well as the coronavirus.”
They added that, “one of the fund managers asked him explicitly if the blessing also worked to ward off the coronavirus, and the rabbi said yes.”
When asked whether 3,000 was the minimum, they replied, “When the rabbi was asked this question, [he said] it has to be this exact amount. [He said] that NIS 3,000 is the minimum, as this is the amount that is given to each family affected by the virus.”