Wednesday, August 18, 2021

How to View the Unvaccinated

Rabbi Ben Zion Mutzafi (TOI)
I was wrong to call those that refuse to be vaccinated, stupid. That’s because they are far worse than stupid. They are crazy! They are heretics! And they are evil. So said Ben Zion Mutzafi, a respected senior Charedi Rav of Sephardi extraction. From the Times of Israel

Leading ultra-Orthodox rabbi Ben Zion Mutzafi kicked out a man attending his lecture on Sunday evening due to the man’s opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine.

In video footage of the incident published Tuesday by Haredi news site Kikar HaShabbat, the rabbi can be seen repeatedly calling the man “crazy” and “evil.” He later said he stood behind those descriptions.

After the anti-vaxxer started loudly voicing his opinions against the vaccine, Mutzafi, who ordered all his followers to get the vaccine earlier this year, was seen shouting: “More than 6,500 people died, stop making things up. Go, get out of here, you’re crazy.” 

What’s that you say? Rav Mutzafi is not your Posek...that he is entitled to his opinion but you have no obligation to listen to him. Well… guess what? He’s not the only one that feels that way. Are you a Lubavitcher?  Read this

Rabbi Yitzchak Yehuda Yaroslavsky, rabbi of the Chabad-Lubavitch community in Kiryat Malakhi and head of the Chabad rabbinical court in Israel, has ordered that no one unvaccinated be allowed into synagogues.

"It is shocking to hear that there are many in our community who have not been vaccinated against the virus," Rabbi Yaroslavksy wrote.

"With this, I hereby turn to each and every single person in our community, or anyone who reads this letter: He must immediately get vaccinated, since this is a real issue of life and death, and regardless, there is no reason, G-d forbid, to harm so many Jews."

Concluding his letter, Rabbi Yaroslavsky banned those who oppose vaccines from entering synagogues, writing that "those who have not been vaccinated according to or any public place, since this is a matter of life and death." 

I know… I know. Lubavitch might thinks so, but who are they with respect to me?! I am not a Lubavitcher and  have no obligation to listen to him.

Rav Yaakov Ariel (Arutz Sheva)
Are you a religious Zionist? Are their Poskim OK with not being vaccinated?  Not exactly. The non vaccinated are in fact in violation of Halacha. So says Rav Yaakov Ariel,  the most respected Posek of the Religious Zionist Movement. From Arutz Sheva

“Anyone who is not vaccinated is violating halakhah,” he said, “which requires a person to be healthy. We are obligated to demand that everyone is vaccinated, and to tell anyone who refuses the vaccine not to mingle with the community. He should be respectful and remain at home and not infect others.” 

Rabbi Ariel explained further that, “If someone like this does turn up in a place where people are gathered, he should be asked to leave. Obviously this should not be done in a violent manner, but it is forbidden to allow him to remain. This is a simple humanitarian demand – do not harm others.” 

Therefore, he concluded, “It is forbidden for someone who opposes vaccines to enter the synagogue, to participate in a prayer quorum, or to have an aliyah (be called up to) to the Torah. He should respect others and stay at home or pray outside the synagogue building.” 

Better late than never. I only wish these Poskim had come out with this call, sooner. There are far too many of us – the observant Jewish community - that think they know better than the best scientific minds in the world who are experts in epidemiology. 

I keep hearing excuses like... ‘Those scientists keep changing their minds’ Or... ‘Other legitimate scientists are opposed to vaccines because they are unproven and dangerous’. They keep regurgitating the same tired arguments about why they are resisting. Arguments based on garbage disguised as scientific research.  That anyone today can say that the vaccines are more dangerous than COVID shows just how stupid they are. I mean really STUPID!  

The following rhetorical questions alone should show just how stupid they are: ‘How many people of the 200 million that have been vaccinated have died or gotten seriously ill form the vaccine?’ And... ‘How many people have died or gotten seriously ill from COVID?’ It blows my mind that these obvious and well documented answers to those questions  are  completely disregarded by the vaccine reluctant and vaccine refusers.   

As I recently said, being stupid is not a crime. Unless it affects other people. Which in this case is exactly what the unvaccinated are doing. That is why the reaction of the abovementioned distinguished rabbis is so strong. Rightfully so.

It is because of the people who believe the junk science they are being fed that we are currently in the middle of one of the worst spikes of COVID since the pandemic began. A spike that is being experienced mostly by the unvaccinated. Many of which are hospitalized. Some of which are dying! Asked if they regret not taking the vaccine... I will let you guess what they are saying. 

Of course it is isn’t only our people that are being stupid and evil. It is about a 3rd of the country. Which is why we are seeing the current spike and a return to mask mandates. Chicago has just issued a mask mandate for all indoor activity. Even for those of us that are vaccinated. That’s because the scientific data shows that fully vaccinated people can still be carriers and spread the disease. So that if they come into contact with an unvaccinated individual, it is highly likely that they will get infected with the extremely contagious Delta variant - which is currently the most dominant form of the virus. By far! 

One might say there is some sort of poetic justice in that. But the fact is that there are people among us that cannot get vaccinated for legitimate reasons. They are the ones who will suffer through no fault of their own.

Here is my message to the vaccine reluctant and the anti vaxxers: Change your ways!  If you continue along your current path you are Off the Derech!  If you don't change your ways you are stupid, selfish, evil, heretics, who violate halacha. By going out and  mingling with others, you may very well be responsible for the death and sickness of innocent people (which might include non innocent people like yourselves).  And I don’t know how anyone can live with that on their conscience.