[UPDATED] BREAKING: President Trump declares houses of worship essential, says he will override governors who don’t allow them to reopen [VIDEO]

President Trump announced today that he is identifying houses of worship – churches, synagogues, and mosques – as essential places that provide essential services. 

“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship,” President Trump said. “It’s not right. So I am correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now.”

President Trump said that houses of worship hold our society together and keep our people united. The president said that if governors refuse to open houses of worship as per his guidance, he will use his executive authority to override them.

It is not clear whether the president has the constitutional authority to override governors of states on their decisions to have houses of worship open or closed.

UPDATE: Askanim tell TLS that President Trump’s order to governors may not be as beneficial as it seems. With today’s polarized political climate, the leader of the Republican party coming out and saying that houses of worship should be opened makes the issue even more political and gives Democratic governors political reasons to keep them closed. The president’s order to reopen houses of worship will likely be ignored by Democratic governors, who maintain that they have authority over their states to decide what to do.


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There are 33 Comments to "[UPDATED] BREAKING: President Trump declares houses of worship essential, says he will override governors who don’t allow them to reopen [VIDEO]"

  • Baruch HaShem says:

    Just in time for Shabbos he’s just like (lehavdel) our poiskim putting out his announcements right before shabbos

  • Ari says:

    Unfortunately that would violate the reserved powers clause but it’s nice that he is trying

    • get real says:

      to limit the total freedom of any specific group of the population for a day more than absolutely necessary is against the bill of rights in this country besides being against international law and is subject to monitoring by the united nations and the truth is that in developing countries every police officer knows that to enforce that could result in a suit being brought to the hague

  • MG says:

    Hodu Lahashem Ki Tov, Ki Leolam Chasdo

  • Steve says:

    The I don’t get is were we closed due to safety reasons or that government shut us down? If it was due to safety then nothing changes with the declaration and we should still be closed. If it was due to the government shutting us down then we should never have listened and always remained open.

    • joseph says:

      Steve how naive can one be? don’t you realize this whole thing has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with politics? The reason we were closed until now was because the law didn’t allow it. We believe in dina demalchusa dina, and that applies unfortunately even when the government is dead wrong! This has nothing to do with the virus? Wal-mart and gun shops can ge open but Shuls not? How can any sane person justify that??

      • cyrano says:

        I’ve heard the term “dina d’malchasa dina” bandied about quite a bit. I’m not a Torah scholar so can you enlighten me as to whether this is merely folklore, or whether this is a genuine halachic concept? If the latter, can you provide me with a source in halacha? I am most interested in learning how this applies in a case where the law forbids the practice of Judaism.

        Also if “dina d’malchusa dina” applies universally “even when the government is dead wrong”, as you suggest, why then did Rabbi Akiva continue to teach Torah even when the Romans forbade it on pain of death?

        • zelig says:

          i’m not a rov and if i am not mistaken their are discussion in the poskim about the extent of dina demalchusa dina if it applies just in regard to money between the government and a person only, or also between other parties and oneself, and also about other laws as well, dina demalchusa dina definitelydoesn’t apply if they are telling us not be makayeim a mitzve chiyuvis, and certainly besha’as hashmad like R’ Akiva that the laws entire purpose was to uproot the torah

          • cyrano says:

            You reference discussions in the poskim regarding the extent of “dina d’malchusa dina.” . Can you tell me where I might find these discussions? Also, since you admit that you are not a rov, can you tell me if your assertion that, ” We believe in dina demalchusa dina, and that applies unfortunately even if the government is dead wrong!” is your own conclusion or is that the ruling that you heard personally from a rov? If the latter, can you provide me with the name of the rov who ruled this way, so that I might consult him as to the parameters of this halacha?

  • LkwdGuy says:

    Does this apply to religious institutions aka yeshivas which chould be considered just as much essential as a synogogue?

  • Basic Law says:

    (“Reserved Powers” @Ari)

    Not so simple that it violates the 10th amendment. Yes, the Governors’ orders will not be nullified (“overridden”) and will still stand, however, in the immediate term, “violators” will have federal protection from prosecution and penal action. In the long term, the courts will be sorting out the 10th amendment implications…

    • JustWondering says:

      It is not a violation of the 10th amendment States Rights if the states law violates the First Amendment.

  • Dov says:

    Now the democratic governor will definitely find reason to keep them shut !! אל תבטח בנדיבים often when we rely on a human that can cause the opposite effect (see חובות הלבבות)we must keep davening Only Hashem is reliable to remove the גזירת שמד

    • Thinking Jew says:

      I question the premise to call this situation a גזרת שמד.
      Have our גדולים across the board come out to call it as such?

  • Shepsil says:

    Lev Melochim Vesarim Byad Hashem. Hashem put this idea into Trump’s mind, we should be happy about this.

  • Eli says:

    The gov. does not always have the individuals best interest in mind when making policies. Just bec. the gov. says something is ok doesn’t make it safe. It is always best to listen to medical advice not gov.

  • Mordekhai says:

    Congratulations President Trump we will definitely vote for you. The Democrats have proved they don’t care about people. They want us to become mentally and emotionally painful time. It time for President Trump to win new around elections again. We need everyone to vote for Trump 2020. We don’t need Democrats Governor of NJ. We need Republicans and the Democratic Party have proved they are extremely dangerous.

    • NN says:

      I don’t know if you remember but not too long ago we had a republican governor in NJ that was AWFUL on ALL levels!!

  • alex says:

    Trump is baiting the Democrats into a battle and paint them (actually expose them) as anti religion. This will light a fire under christian groups to get out the vote in November for him. Unfortunately, the democrats will still get 75% of the jewish vote

  • lkwdresident says:

    The Governor’s order says that businesses deemed by the CDC to be essential can remain open. Trump’s order directs the CDC to order it as such. Therefore he hasn’t overridden the Governors in any way, and anyone saying he has, is legally wrong. The same reason the governor used for Marijuana dispensaries, gun shops, and religious items. It was because the CDC said so. In fact the Governor said so explicitly in regards to gun shops, that although he wants them closed, the CDC determined they’re essential and therefore legally need to be open. Same with shuls. Out askanim need to resign in shame, they have done nothing but promote their own agendas and insist on shutting shuls against the advice of Rabbanim.

  • Shmerel says:

    So much for the Republican belief in “states’ rights”.

    • JustWondering says:

      The states have no rights when it conflicts with the Constitution and Bill of Rights

    • Sam says:

      The state do not have the right to inhibit freedom of religion. That is the issue, not states’ rights per se.

  • My2Cents says:

    The update is confusing me. The only reason the Democrats have opened anything, is because of pressure from the public, the President Statement will cause the public pressure to increase. We should have Hakaros Hatov, not knock these efforts.

    Additionally, the Presidents Statements may show a willingness by the DOJ to take them states to court over violation of Constitutional Rights. His statement pointing out the arbitrary decisions of Governors over what they consider essential, is a legal argument

  • Lkwd drvr says:

    Although it is wonderful and exciting that our Shuls are finally reopening, we still need to be cautious about social distancing. Additionally I think that we should all be mekabel on ourselves to be careful with kidushas bais haknesses.
    @lkwdresident don’t be so quick to criticize the askonim, they do more than you think for you, and usually all they get is attitude and insults from people who don’t realize what they are actually doing and what is going on behind the scenes.

  • TheConsultant says:

    Stop voting for the anti religious freedom democrats.

  • Steve says:

    At Joseph. That is precisely my point.thisbwhile thing was ridiculous from the beginning.

  • wish you all well says:

    For all you want to get back to large gatherings like houses of worship, think about what will happen to your families when you bring home the virus. Do you really want to be the ones to test out large gatherings?

  • Agreed says:

    Agreed to lkwdresident
    Trump is saying shuls are essential but so called Ag…
    Is saying……?

  • Pony says:

    I would urge everyone to listen to the frum doctors. Have any of them said that it’s safe to open the shuls? I guarantee that they love going to shul and care and love all of us more than any politician.

  • Alex says:

    Freedom of worship also means freedom not to workshio

    Government can’t interfere

    It’s only up to rabbonim who pasken based on the medical risk. And they should decide jointly whether it’s safe to open to the klal.

    That doesn’t mean that the rabbonim can’t pasken for private people as to whether to go or not

    I don’t need Cuomo interfering in my choice

  • Lakewood Driver says:

    It’s sad the President Trump understands the importance of houses of worship more than our unelected Askanim. Additionally, releasing such statements even if they are true doesn’t help the caise