Staying at home during pandemic is a ‘moral imperative’, says Chief Rabbi

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Staying at home during pandemic is a ‘moral imperative’, says Chief Rabbi

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, Rabbi Mirvis urged the public to support the NHS by practising social distancing

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis described a “religious and moral imperative” to stay at home during the pandemic as he spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day on Monday.

Gratitude is a “key element” of Pesach, Rabbi Mirvis said as he reflected on the mass rounds of applause organised over recent weeks to thank key workers and NHS staff.

“But, gratitude for our freedom is not the full story of Passover,” he continued, saying that Jewish tradition “teaches that our freedom is of no value unless it is accompanied by responsibility.”

“I have no doubt that the heroes in our hospitals would readily trade the public displays of gratitude of recent weeks for more people behaving responsibly through following Government instructions to protect ourselves and others,” he went on.

He added: “Staying at home is not easy, but it is the best way to show our appreciation to the medical staff to whom we owe so much. It is a religious and moral imperative to do so.

“The Talmud teaches, ‘If you save one life, it is as if you’ve saved the whole world’. Every single one of us can now achieve this lofty objective in a very simple way. All we need to do is stay at home.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: