Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen (clipped from YouTube)
Please note: Rodef Shalom 613 has done its best to accurately respond to Rabbi Kelemen’s comments. If you find any errors or believe we incorrectly portrayed Rabbi Kelemen’s comments, please contact us. Our objective is to provide accurate information.
Rodef Shalom 613 has an open offer to any rabbi including Rabbi Weiss, Rabbi Kelemen, Rabbi Tatz, Rabbi Firier, Rabbi Zilberstein, and Rabbi Silman. We can arrange for you to speak with other rabbis who have investigated both side of the subject and are able to discuss the various factual and halachic implications of taking the Covid-19 vaccine.
Rodef Shalom 613 will publish Rabbi Kelemen’s response, should he submit one.
This post has been updated several times since it was first published, most recently on February 24, 2021.
Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen, in his video Should I take the Covid-19 Vaccine, exhorts everyone, with the exception of the frail elderly, to be vaccinated against Covid-19 because, among other things:
- No one died from the vaccine itself.
- There are a higher rate of deaths from Covid-19 than from the vaccines.
- Rabbi Asher Weiss says “anti-vaxxers” are insane.
- Halacha says we go according to the majority of doctors
- No corners were cut developing the vaccine.
The following addresses some of the statements that Rabbi Kelemen made.
Claims and Counterclaims
Rabbi Kelemen says:
“Millions of Covid-19 vaccinations have been given and there is not a single confirmed case of the vaccine itself killing anyone.
There have been people who died during the period immediately following the vaccination but in all those cases either the cause of the death was completely unrelated to the vaccination or the individuals who died fell into the category of too frail to receive the vaccine.”
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
According to the current standards, there does not appear to be any way to confirm that someone died as a result of the vaccine.
Consider the following:
- Miami doctor dies within weeks of receiving Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine
A healthy 56 year old doctor, who received the vaccine on December 18, 2020, died on January 6, 2021. He died from a stroke after developing a rare autoimmune illness – within three days after the shot – that causes the body to destroy its own platelets, the tiny fragments that help blood to clot.
Although the hospital ran many tests yet could find nothing else wrong with him, and his wife is sure that her physically fit and active husband who had no pre-existing conditions, died from the vaccine, a Pfizer spokesman said that although they were continuing to investigate, at that time they didn’t believe there was a direct connection between his death and the vaccine.
- New York man gets COVID-19 vaccine, dies soon after: official
Despite the close proximity in time, “Initial indications are that the man did not have any allergic reaction to the vaccine”.
- 53 Dead in Gibraltar in 10 Days After Experimental Pfizer mRNA COVID Injections Started
Tiny Gibraltar is like a petri dish; in no other place has there been such a brutally clear relationship between vaccine roll-out and increased “Covid deaths.” Local media and Government have not even referred to the obvious connection. And media elsewhere has conveniently not noticed. Yet failing to recognize that these deaths demand, at the very least, immediate investigation, requires a criminal failure of judgement.
- 1,170 deaths following vaccination have been reported to the CDC in the short period between December 14, 2020 and February 7, 2021, yet CDC denies a link between the vaccine and any one of the deaths.
While seated in the observation area after the injection, the patient complained of feeling discomfort and while being evaluated by medical personnel, she lost consciousness,” he said. “Paramedics on scene began CPR almost immediately and continued, but she ultimately could not be revived.”
“Her death does not appear to be related to the vaccine,” it said.
Additional reports of deaths and injuries are in the footnote1.
Deaths occurring shortly after vaccination, in multiple countries, have been happening over and over again, yet because there are no “confirmed cases” we cannot attribute the deaths to the vaccine.
This is a much higher standard to follow than the one used for corona deaths where anyone who had comorbidities or was even in hospice care, yet tested positive, or was never tested but was “suspected”, or died from multiple other causes, was listed as a corona death. An adverse event happens (repeatedly), yet there does not seem to be a way to definitively relate the adverse event to the vaccine
Rabbi Kelemen says:
“… we know following the vaccination a lot of people who get the vaccination feel really really ill, especially the second vaccination of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations, they feel very very ill after the second vaccination. If someone is hanging by a thread, that’s enough to push them over the edge and those people should not have been vaccinated but the vaccine is not deadly.”
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
If the vaccine pushed these individuals over the edge, then for them the vaccine was deadly, as it was for all the other individuals who died from the vaccine. When seriously ill people with comorbidities or in hospice care died with corona, it was said that they died because of corona. So, why would it be different for people who died following the vaccine.
Here are the details of a first hand report, which can be viewed here, of elderly people in another nursing home who died and were not hanging on by a thread.
James [a certified nursing assistant] reports that in 2020 very few residents in the nursing home where he works got sick with COVID [only 5], and none of them died during the entire year of 2020 [from Covid 19].
However, shortly after administering the Pfizer experimental mRNA injections, 14 died within two weeks, and he reports that many others are near death.
His superiors are explaining the deaths as being caused by a COVID19 “super-spreader.”
However, the residents who refused to take the injections, are not sick, according to James.
This is another report of excessive deaths after vaccination: Spain: Second Pfizer Shots Halted After 46 Nursing Home Residents Die After The First Shot. Some other reports can be seen here, here, and here (read the original unpublished article here).
We are glad that Rabbi Kelemen brought the issue of the elderly to the fore since no one else is doing this. In Rodef Shalom 613’s estimation, this is perhaps the most important issue related to the vaccine; we encourage Rabbi Kelemen to focus his efforts on publicizing the danger the Covid-19 vaccine presents to the frail elderly in order to save many lives. Rodef Shalom 613 would be happy to join him in this effort or spearhead it and have him join us.
Rabbi Kelemen says:
“Some highly irresponsible media outlets pointed to Norway as an exception where the government vaccinated thirty thousand people and saw thirteen fatalities [23 fatalities] … What the media has not reported yet is that Norway never stopped vaccinating as a result of this and it’s not because they’re crazy. The true story which was publicized by Sigrid Hortimo of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, that’s the official government agency, is that all the deaths occurred among patients in nursing homes who were over the age of 70 [actually 80 according to reports] and that the normal short-term fever and nausea associated with the vaccination led to the deaths of some frail patients.”
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
Of the articles we’ve seen about the deaths in Norway, they definitely did not make a claim or even infer that Norway stopped vaccinating and did report on Sigrid Hortimo’s response. What was irresponsible about their reporting the deaths? Perhaps Rabbi Kelemen’s concern is that it is irresponsible to report anything negative about the vaccine that might make people hesitant to take it? This is, in fact, what is behind the incredible lack of reporting on vaccine injury going as far back as the mid 1800’s. In January 1874, Mr. Henry May wrote to the Birmingham Medical Review about “Certificates of Death.”
As instances of cases which may tell against the medical man himself, I will mention erysipelas from vaccination and puerperal fever. A death from the first cause occurred not long ago in my practice, and although I had not vaccinated the child, yet in my desire to preserve vaccination from reproach I omitted all mention of it from my certificate of death.
Perhaps what was irresponsible was the decision to vaccinate the frail elderly in the first place, rather than the reporting about it. A CNN article, reviewed here, recounted how a vote among CDC’s 14 vaccine advisers resulted in a recommendation by the CDC to give the vaccines to the elderly and frail. The lone dissenting doctor was concerned about whether or not the vaccine would work on frail elderly people on whom the vaccine was never tested, who usually respond poorly to vaccines, and who might die from the vaccines. In order to explain away their deaths without harming the vaccine program the public would need to be warned in advance that deaths in nursing homes might occur after vaccination and they would have nothing to do with the vaccine2.
The vaccine program has become sacrosanct. Doctors do their best to protect the program, rather than their patients, by minimizing, ignoring, or denying any adverse reactions they might see in their practices3; they do not want to be responsible for destroying the public’s faith in the program. This serves to hide the tremendous amount of vaccine injury that actually occurs, because even good people like Rabbi Kelemen want to hide any news that might look unfavorable to the vaccine program.
Rabbi Kelemen says:
“In the United States about 1.7 out of every 100 people infected with Covid have died.”
“We don’t know if the Covid vaccine itself will ever kill someone, but we do know that so far that hasn’t happened. And even the total number of fatalities of extremely frail individuals who should never have been vaccinated are a tiny fraction of the numbers who’ve been killed by the disease.”
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
Johns Hopkins (we found the reference for the above statistic) lists a total infection fatality rate of 1.7% rate
for the US (a .7% fatality rate for Israel)4. The CDC, however, after the fifth day of vaccinating, listed a 2.79% rate of serious health impacts (page 6) from the vaccine, which include the inability to perform normal daily activities, inability to work, and needing care from doctor or health care professional; as the number of daily vaccinations increased, the percentage of harm increased. This means that the immediate danger of harm from the vaccine is far greater than the danger of dying from the virus.
The image to the right shows the deaths from Covid-19, in the US, from February 2020, as a fraction of total deaths for each age range. CDC survival rates for Covid-19 patients by age range in the US as of Sept. 30: Ages 0-19: 99.997%, Ages 20-49: 99.98%, Ages 50-69: 99.5%, Ages 70+: 94.6%.
Historical death rate data for the US and Israel (below) shows no increase last year over previous years. See the complete charts here and here
This explains the fallacy of Rabbi Kelemen’s statement. The percentage of individuals who died from Covid is not great compared to all causes of death; deaths in 2020 were in line with deaths in previous years; and we have already seen many deaths occurring after individuals had been vaccinated, including many rabbanim. This article, “Vaccination in Israel: Challenging mortality figures? Analysis by infectious disease specialist claims mismatch between data published by authorities and reality on the ground“, gives a startling picture of what is really occurring to people who’ve been vaccinated.
Rabbi Kelemen says:
“This helps us understand why the Israel-based halachic authority, Rav Asher Weiss, a few weeks ago referred to the “insanity of the anti-vaxxers”. That’s strong language from a halachic authority of his stature.”
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
We would like the source where Rabbi Weiss said this5.
Even if the vaccine had not been shown to kill very many or to kill fewer than those killed by Covid, the Kaf HaChayim on Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 116:60:1, mentions vaccines as being permitted based on his assumption that they had never harmed anyone6.
As we have seen from the above, many people have already died after taking the vaccine.
The Covid vaccines have only received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA); they are not licensed because they have not been approved and are still considered to be in an experimental stage. Benjamin Netanyahu even said that we don’t know the long-term effects of mRNA vaccines on human beings.
Successful treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, see here, here, Ivermectin, and others have been withheld from the public in order to support the claim that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives, which is a requirement for an EUA. It is unconscionable to endorse an experimental and potentially dangerous vaccine for people (as we’ve see above) who have little risk of dying from Covid, if they even get it, when there are medications with a 70 year history of safe use, such as hydroxychloroquine, and protocol to tailor it for each person’s personal circumstances, which is the essence of true healing.
According to the FDA (see slide to the left),
in a December 2020 meeting (which can be seen here), before receiving the vaccine, recipients are to be given a fact sheet notifying them of the investigational nature of the vaccine, the known risks and benefits, alternatives, and most importantly – the option to refuse the vaccine.
The Israel Ministry of Health-Pfizer agreement shows that the Israeli government’s initiative to hurriedly vaccinate all its citizens is actually part of Pfizer’s continued vaccine research; the Israeli population is being experimented on without any informed consent7.
In fact, an Alliance for Human Research Protection headline proclaims: “Government Consigned Israeli Population to be Human Subjects in a Massive Experiment“. Are Israeli citizens (and others) who don’t want the Covid-19 vaccine insane or is this a violation of the Nuremberg Code8? From the Code:
- The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. … the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be … able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; …
- During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end.
A Jewish state, above all others, knows what forced medical procedures did to millions of Jews – how they were selected from the rest of the population, forced to wear a star and considered subhuman people; many were killed or maimed for life by the Nazi’s medical experiments. Is it insane to refuse unwanted experimental medical procedures? (Could it be that not having a “green passport” and being denied entry to stores, cultural events, synagogues, and more, because you are not vaccinated is akin to wearing a yellow star?)
Rodef Shalom 613 encourages rabbanim to endorse those known therapies which have saved many lives around the world and that could save many more lives, rather than endorsing the vaccines which we already know are a grave risk to life and health. Endorsement of this vaccine is what is insane.
Rabbi Kelemen also read the OU and Agudas Yisrael unified public statement regarding getting the Covid vaccine. From the statement:
“In addition, halacha directs us to defer to consensus of medical experts in determining and prescribing appropriate medical responses to both treating and preventing illness. There has long been an almost uniform consensus among leading medical experts that vaccines are an effective and responsible manner of protecting life and enhancing health9.”
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
There are many medical experts explaining why the Covid vaccine is not safe. Some of them can be found here.
There are also many medical experts who explain why vaccines, in general, are not safe. Some of them can be found here and here.
According to Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim, 618:4), when you have 2 doctors who say that there’s a risk of death, even if 100 doctors say there’s no risk, we listen to the 2 doctors. The Mishna Berurah explains: “ולא אזלינן בתר רב דעות בסכנת נפשות” (we do not follow the majority of opinions in a case of danger to life).
The Shulchan Aruch explicitly tells us that when it comes to פיקוח נפש [life and death matters], we don’t follow the majority. Since we see that:
- many doctors and scientists are raising serious safety concerns about the vaccine, and
- the vaccines have only been given emergency use authorization and are considered experimental (as explained above), and
- as with any medication there is risk and with this novel genetic mRNA vaccine, unknown risk, and
- even the manufacturers themselves don’t want to take the risk of unknown long-term adverse effects,
we must consider that taking the vaccine might actually be against halacha.
What do we do in such a case?
A halachic rule in decision making, as can be seen in Chofetz Chaim, Part One, The Prohibition Against Lashon Hara, Principle 8.8.4, is that when you are not sure who is correct שב ואל תעשה עדיף – it is preferable to sit and do nothing. This rule is found in many other sources such as Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah, Siman 393:1 and Masechet Eruvin 100a:21, 23. Certainly, that would be the case in this situation, particularly since there are also many rabbanim who have warned against getting the vaccine, some even saying שב ואל תעשה עדיף.
According to the Mishneh Torah, Fasts, 2:2, the economic welfare of a city is more important than its physical health. Cities experiencing particular troubles, including plagues, are supposed to fast and sound trumpets, except for Shabbat. The only trouble for which a city is allowed to fast on Shabbat (but not sound trumpets) is a lack of food. Not only have the repeated and never ending lockdowns increased depression, suicides, and more, they have ruined lives by loss of income, pushing many people into abject poverty, even to the point of stealing food. Why is this loss of life and suffering not taken into account? How can this be allowed to continue10?
Rabbi Kelemen reads from the OU and Agudas Yisrael statement:
“Our medical and scientific advisors have clarified that efforts to speed vaccine development to address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have not sacrificed scientific standards, the integrity of the new vaccine review process, or safety have not been compromised. Rather than cutting corners, the acceleration has been achieved by marshalling unprecedented financial resources, creating multiple partnerships, and removing virtually all non-scientific bureaucratic hurdles.”
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
About the Covid-19 vaccine development process:
They are moving new technologies from the computer into the clinic at an unprecedented rate, and normally distinct phases of a drug program—preclinical animal models, clinical testing, and manufacturing —are happening all at once.
“It is like building an airplane while you are flying …”
A serious problem seen during prior attempts at developing a coronavirus vaccine is ADE, antibody-dependent enhancement, or pathogenic priming, which makes the illness worse if you contract it after having been vaccinated. This has been known for decades already.
In short, previous experience with veterinary coronavirus vaccines and animal models of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV infection has raised safety concerns about the potential for ADE and/or vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease …
After two decades of failed animal trials, the question is posed as to why fast-tracking coronavirus vaccine will now result in a different outcome? … Many, many virologists, and epidemiologists feel this fast-track policy is a recipe for mass disaster.
Even before the vaccines were developed, several vaccinologists and scientists, warned about this serious safety concern, including Anthony Fauci, Peter Hotez, and Paul Offit (shown in the video below (taken down by YouTube for “violating community standards. Fortunately we saved it)).
Rabbi Klemen reads from the OU and Agudas Yisrael statement:
“These efforts appear to have success, have been successful beyond all expectations, and have produced more than one vaccine with an unusually high rate of effectiveness with no indications of any significant risk. While no medical intervention can be considered risk-free, expert opinion is clear that the enormous benefits presented by these vaccines far outweigh their risks.”
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
Is it really true that the vaccines have 95% efficacy? (Vaccine efficacy and effectiveness are not the same. Efficacy is seen in drug trials under ideal conditions. Effectiveness is how it works in the real world.)
Pfizer really based the 95% efficacy claim on a very small number of participants. They left out “3410 total cases of suspected, but unconfirmed covid-19 in the overall study population, 1594 occurred in the vaccine group vs. 1816 in the placebo group.” By including those individuals, there were 20 times more suspected than confirmed cases and vaccine efficacy went down to 29%.
The CEO of Pfizer is “not certain” the vaccine will stop transmission, just symptoms. The vaccines have not been tested to see if they reduce hospitalizations, or death either. And, WHO chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, said: “I don’t believe we have the evidence on any of the vaccines to be confident that it’s going to prevent people from actually getting the infection and therefore being able to pass it on.” Therefore, there is no real benefit.
- Pfizer acknowledged that one of the people who died from the vaccine group in the trial was immunocompromised; the vaccine was not recommended for immunocompromised people.
- Pathogenic priming was discovered to be a huge concern in older adults during the Pfizer trials.
- The U.K. government posted a bid for an AI software tool to help them “process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reaction (ADRs).” The bid explains that “it is not possible to retrofit the MHRA’s legacy systems to handle the volume of ADRs that will be generated by a Covid-19 vaccine,” and that this “represents a direct threat to patient life and public health.
Rabbi Kelemen says:
“I’m obviously not a medical authority, I’m not an epidemiologist, I know almost as little about Torah. Here you have the great Torah sages of our generation standing up and giving their opinion and it’s inappropriate for me to add anything to what they’ve already said. It’s pretty clear.
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
There are many great Torah sages who have come to conclusions of their own that the Covid-19 vaccines are indeed dangerous and it is absolutely forbidden to take them. Their strongly worded opinions can be found here and here.
On the other hand, it appears that many of the rabbanim who are advocating taking the vaccine and have given opinions (or whom we have been told by others that they have given their opinions), did not do their own research and/or fully investigate both sides of the issue11.
As an example, let us consider these words of Rabbi Asher Weiss12 (who Rabbi Kelemen had quoted above regarding the “insanity of anti-vaxxers”) from his video, Covid-19 Vaccine in Halacha, of December 17,2020:
So all these absurd theories that the vaccine might cause infertility and it might have long term effects – one can not say with certainty there won’t be no long term effects because – how would we know? … As I explained before, it’s very unreasonable that the Covid vaccine will have long term effects …
When we deal with the question to take the vaccine – yes, definitely yes. People are dying, people are suffering, and we could alleviate this pain and diminish suffering and save many people. This is a safe vaccine in as far as we could know. and that is the opinion of rov minyan and rov binyan of chachmei haumos [the majority of the sages of the nations]. I wrote a letter many months ago, before Covid, regarding the other vaccines, to one of the gedolim and I argued – even if the antivaxxers would have some merit, but if this is the opinion of the establishment of rov minyan and rov binyan we could rely on ‘שומר פתאים ה – shomer pisaim Hashem [Hashem watches over the simple]. What is a person supposed to do if not follow the mumchim [the experts]? … There are always doctors that had different opinions but if that is the opinion of the establishment – shomer pisaim Hashem. So, my eitza and my opinion is yes – vaccinate and I say this in the clearest of ways – shomer pisaim Hashem …
Rodef Shalom 613 responds:
Is it absurd to be concerned that the vaccine may possibly cause infertility? Dr. Michael Yeadon, the ex-Pfizer head of respiratory research and Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, the lung specialist and former head of the public health department, expressed their serious concerns about one of the proteins, syncytin-homologous proteins found in the vaccine, which is a form of synctin-1 that is responsible for the development of the placenta. “It must be absolutely ruled out that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 could trigger an immune reaction against syncytin-1, as otherwise infertility of indefinite duration could result in vaccinated women”. Men also carry synctin-1 in their reproductive system. An explanation of the mechanism by which infertility can occur can be found here.
Is it absurd to think that the vaccine can have long term effects? Covid vaccine manufacturers have demanded and been given freedom from liability for their hastily developed product.
‘This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in … four years the vaccine is showing side effects,’ Ruud Dobber, part of AstraZeneca’s senior executive team, said.
According to Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Siman 155:1, we may only use a non-Jewish doctor when his income is at risk.
וי”א דכל זה אינו אסור אלא כשהעובד כוכבים עושה בחנם אבל אם עושה בשכר בכל ענין מותר דחייש לפסידא דאגריה
All these prohibitions [of accepting medicine] are only prohibited when the [non-Jewish doctor] is doing it for free. However, if he is getting compensation then in all these cases it is permitted because [that doctor] is worried [that if his medicine will have a negative impact] he will have a loss of income.
In this case, neither the manufacturer nor anyone who administers this medical product has a risk to income or reputation, should the product prove harmful.
It even appears that Rabbi Weiss believes that the people who oppose the vaccine may be correct! He says: “yet even if the antivaxxers have some merit”. Shouldn’t Rabbi Weiss investigate their concerns then, before saying that “this is a safe vaccine as far as we know and “how would we know?” (Rodef Shalom 613 has verified information that Rabbi Weiss was approached by individuals wanting to show him the evidence of harm but were rebuffed.)
So, if we know that there are serious concerns of harm, many raised by “establishment” experts such as Drs. Hotez, Offit, Fauci, Yeadon, and Wodarg, are we allowed to take the vaccine and rely on “shomer pisaim Hashem” – Hashem protects the simple?
What does halacha really tell us?
The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 192:3 explains:
הַתּוֹרָה נָתְנָה רְשׁוּת לָרוֹפֵא שֶׁיְרַפֵּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, וְרַפֹּא יְרַפֵּא. וְלָכֵן אֵין לוֹ לַחוֹלֶה לִסְמֹךְ עַל הַנֵּס
The Torah permits a doctor to heal the sick, as it is said “And he shall [pay] to have him healed properly.” Exodus 21:19. Therefore, a sick person should not rely on a miracle …
The Tzemach Zedek, questions and answers, Even HaEzer, siman 89:1 (צמח צדק” > שו”ת > אבן העזר > סימן פט > א) says:
ולא שייך ע”ז לסמוך לכתחלה על שומר פתאים ה’ דהא אמרי’ אסור לסמוך על הנס
And it is not appropriate, to rely on shomer pisaim Hashem from the outset, since it says that it is forbidden to rely on miracles.13.
We rely on principles such as shomer pisaim Hashem when the likelihood of something bad happening is low and if it happens the damage is not that great, or we have no way of knowing there’s a hazard (and there is also a middle ground). Regarding the Covid-19 vaccines, however, there is the likelihood of damage and the likelihood that the damage could be great.
Could it actually be absurd, against halacha, and disrespectful to Hashem, to both take this vaccine, which is a preventive, not even a medicine, and also rely on a miracle that it doesn’t harm you?
It says in Tractate Shabbos, 32a:4:
לְעוֹלָם אַל יַעֲמוֹד אָדָם בְּמָקוֹם סַכָּנָה לוֹמַר שֶׁעוֹשִׂין לוֹ נֵס, שֶׁמָּא אֵין עוֹשִׂין לוֹ נֵס
A person should never stand in a place of danger saying that they on High will perform a miracle for him, lest in the end they do not perform a miracle for him.
Obviously, shomer pisaim Hashem does not apply in this case. Perhaps it is better to just pray that we remain healthy since לְעוֹלָם יְבַקֵּשׁ אָדָם רַחֲמִים שֶׁלֹּא יֶחֱלֶה – a person should always pray that he will not become ill (Tractate Shabbos, 32a:5) (and use one of the known successful treatments if we do get sick, ch”v).
According to the Choshen Mishpat, 10:1, when a judge makes a halachic decision, he should not stop deliberating until the answer is as clear as the sun to him.
צריך הדיין להיות מתון בדין שלא יפסיקנו עד שיחמיצנו וישא ויתן בו ויהיה ברור לו כשמש.
Do you think that, regarding this issue of life and death, the deliberations of each one of the rabbanim who told and are telling the public to get vaccinated were thorough, and that it was clear as the sun to each of them that the Covid-19 vaccines are absolutely safe and necessary?
|↑1||Here are some of the reports of many individuals, including young people, who have been reported as dying (or being severely injured) from the vaccine.
|↑2||Quoted from the article: Talbot was worried about whether the vaccine would even work in such frail, vulnerable patients. Even more, she worried about how it might look if the vaccine failed in that group, or how it would affect public perception if residents died soon after getting the vaccine. “The Covid-19 vaccines have not been tested in the frail elderly, many of whom are residents of long-term care facilities. Furthermore, Since they [the COVID vaccines] haven’t been studied in people in those [elderly] populations, we don’t know how well the vaccine will work for them. We know that most vaccines don’t work nearly as well in a frail elderly person as they would in someone who is fit and vigorous, even if they happen to be the same age,” [Dr. Kelly] Moore [associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition, which is supporting frontline workers who will administer Covid-19 vaccinations] said. CNN: “When shots begin to go into arms of [nursing home and long-term care facility] residents … Americans need to understand that deaths may occur that won’t necessarily have anything to do with the vaccine. We would not at all be surprised to see, coincidentally, vaccination happening and then having someone pass away a short time after they receive a vaccine, not because it has anything to do with the vaccination but just because that’s the place where people at the end of their lives reside,” Moore said. “One of the things we want to make sure people understand is that they should not be unnecessarily alarmed if there are reports, once we start vaccinating, of someone or multiple people dying within a day or two of their vaccination who are residents of a long-term care facility. That would be something we would expect, as a normal occurrence, because people die frequently in nursing homes”|
|↑3||Many doctors are not even trained to recognize vaccine adverse events.|
|↑4||According to Dr. Genevieve Briand, of John Hopkins University, CDC statistics actually show that the Covid-19 death rate of 1.7% of all confirmed cases is essentially unremarkable.|
|↑5||Please see our article entitled “Rodef Shalom’s Response to Rav Asher Weiss” regarding childhood vaccines.|
|↑6||At the WHO Global Vaccine Safety Summit, which took place December 2-3, 2019, scientists admitted that they do not have good safety science, that people who are not vaccinating are not spreading misinformation, and that they have no real knowledge of long-term vaccine adverse effects and no good way of tracking them. Watch here.|
|↑7||Attorney Daniel Ginat had this to say about “antivaxxers”: “I want to say to you, there’s no such thing as ‘vaccine-refusers’. It is the natural right of a human to decide what medical treatment he will receive. It’s not me who said it, it’s the law in the State of Israel that’s saying it, that’s the greatest absurd [sic] … The vaccine-coercers – they’re our big problem …”|
|↑8||From the Nuremberg Code (1947)
|↑9||Rabbi Raphael Szendro asks: “How does a Rabbi justify making a decision which affects the lives of so many people medically and spiritually, when it would appear that they have no idea what they’re talking about? Usually, a Rabbi is expected to understand the facts of the case before giving a ruling or making a decision. The excuse they always give to this troublesome question is that we go with the majority. In other words, it’s ok that the Rabbi doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He doesn’t have to. He is simply relying on the majority. That sounds like a very nice answer … this is the bumper-sticker response every Rabbi likes to use: we follow the majority. The problem is, it is a completely irrelevant argument. It is irrelevant in הלכה ,in השקפה ,and in basic logic.” Read more here|
|↑10||Rodef Shalom 613 also wonders why rabbanim haven’t been alarmed by the great religious destruction being caused to Jewish communities by government lockdowns and other measures. These measures not only destroy human life, but they also destroy Judaism. Many religious obligations, including praying with a minyan (many important prayers can’t be said when praying alone), observing the mitzvahs of escorting the dead, of rejoicing with the bride and groom, of visiting the sick, and of teaching our children properly, among many others, have been exceedingly curtailed (and even eliminated for many) for just about a year now, with no end in sight. Rabbanim who are concerned about protecting life and enhancing health should surely understand that these now basically “illegal” religious activities not only support both physical and spiritual health, individually and collectively, but are crucial for the continuation of Torah Judaism and the Jewish people. How have rabbanim allowed, with many even encouraging, the observance of these גזירות שמד – decrees of destruction – until now and how can they be allowed to continue any longer?|
|↑11||Many rabbis have relied upon community askanim, doctors, or others to provide them with information about the vaccines and/or they have assistants who prevent anyone from seeing the rabbi if they are planning on explaining the risks related to the vaccine and/or they have even been visited/pressured by government officials to promote the vaccine to their community.|
|↑12||Rabbi Weiss has two glaring conflicts of interest. First, he is the rabbi of Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem which advocates for vaccines. Second, Rabbi Weiss’s Kollel, Beit Medrash Gavoha for Medical Halacha, is supported by Rabbi Dovid Fuld and, through that, Rabbi Weiss. Rabbi Fuld is the founder and funder of the genetics lab at Shaarei Zedek Hospital. Rabbi Fuld is so radical when it comes to vaccines that he takes the extreme and dangerous view that parents who don’t vaccinate their children should have their children taken away from them. Could he dare say anything against the vaccine without losing his position at the hospital and the funding for his yeshiva?|
|↑13||Instead, we make a vessel in this physical world to bring refuah, healing. It should be an appropriate vessel (not one which has concerns of harm) that was acquired through effort – the rofeh, the doctor, is expected to put effort into healing the individual. Remedies, with long histories of safety, that doctors have used successfully to help thousands of people around the world recover from Covid such as hydroxychloroquine (see also www.c19study.com) and Ivermectin would fulfill that requirement|