BS"D 19 Adar 5780
At a time when we need Rachmai Shomayim to preserve the health of our people, it is certainly proper to strengthen limud Torah, to be careful about speaking loshon hora and rechilus, to strengthen humility and to judge favorably.
Chazal said (Yoma 28b) throughout the times of our forefathers, yeshiva [learning] never stopped among them. They also said (Shabbos 119b) there world continues in existence only due to the tinokos shel beis rabban, and they are the great guarantors that the destroyer will not enter the rooms of Yisroel.
Nonetheless, danger is more serious than prohibition, and we all must try very hard in all things that require caution, such as breaking up the [groups of] learners and leaving room between each group. One should also insist that the learning classrooms and the botei medrash be properly ventilated, and to appoint responsible parties to ensure the required cleanliness that concern for health requires. And any one who has even the slightest doubt of a sickness by himself or by a member of his family, and even one who must be quarantined according to the guidelines, should not go to the beis medrash lest he damage others. All these are required preconditions for doing all this, and the roshei yeshiva and principals of the talmudei Torah must be vigilant.
And we certainly must arouse ourselves to yiras Shomayim and to teshuvoh, as Chazal say (Yevomos 63a) calamity comes to the world for no other reason than for Yisroel. We should strengthen our emunah in the limited power and might of all countries at this time, and trust in HaKodosh Boruch Hu who watches over all His creatures. No one will be attacked by the virus unless it is decreed from Above, and the merit of Torah and all the abovementioned strengthening will stand for us to bring shemirah and yeshuah.
(signed) Chaim Kanievsky
(signed) Y. Gershon Edelsteing