Talmudic Wisdom Shows Up As Minnetonka Passes Mask Ordinance

Minnetonka City Councilmember Deb Calvert kept some Talmudic wisdom in mind Monday night “He who saves one life saves the world entire.” With that, Calvert was part of the unanimous Minnetonka City Council that voted for a mask ordinance. The voting took place as part of a 5-hour-long virtual meeting.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” Calvert said. “We were all contacted by constituents, But city staff had put something on the website where people could weigh in and there were more than 250 emails. And that wasn’t counting the ones that just came to me.”

Calvert took the time to tally if people were for or against the ordinance, and it came out to 80 percent in favor.

“People threatened not to shop in Minnetonka if we had a mask ordinance, and not to shop in Minnetonka if we didn’t (pass one),” she said.

The Minnetonka ordinance goes into effect on July 23; check the city’s website for the full list of rules regarding the ordinance. Minnetonka joins Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina, and Duluth as some of the cities with local mask ordinances. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Rabbinical Association released a statement that called on Gov. Tim Walz to enact a statewide mask ordinance. There are 23 states that require masks.

Calvert said the city council decided not to take on a resolution encouraging the governor to make a statewide mask ordinance; she said that the council unanimously passing the ordinance was good enough.

“There is a vocal minority – and they are very vocal. And the thought process is alarming,” Calvert said. “[They say] ‘it’s overblown and we are making it political.’ I’m doing the opposite. I’m following the science, not the politics. I’m trying to take the politics out. That’s what I like about being in a non-partisan seat. I’m trying to weigh the issues on their merit. To me, there is overwhelming evidence for this.”