Religious exemptions are under attack.
Many rabbis have stated their support for bills removing religious exemptions. Is this a reasonable stance?
As of this writing, New York, California, Maine, West Virginia, and Connecticut no longer permit religious exemptions;1 other states are also putting forward bills to eliminate religious (and for those that still have them, philosophical) exemptions and other bills that infringe on personal rights and privacy.2 For instance, NJ bill S3240 seeks to set up a vaccine registry to which everyone who is vaccinated will be automatically added unless a written request is made not to be included. The information in the registry would be made available to multiple parties and used:
- to help ensure that registrants receive all recommended immunizations in a timely manner by providing access to the registrants’ immunization records;
- to help improve immunization rates by providing notice to registrants of overdue or upcoming immunizations; and
- to help control communicable diseases by assisting in the identification of persons who require immediate immunization in the event of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak.3
Vaccine mandates eliminate or severely restrict your legal right to informed consent to vaccine risk-taking, Each person is biologically different; not everyone reacts the same way to medications or vaccines in the same way we do not all respond identically to infections.
During the past three decades the Institute of Medicine has published a series of reports pointing out the large gaps in vaccine safety science and has confirmed that some people are genetically, biologically and environmentally more susceptible to suffering brain inflammation and other types of serious vaccine reactions but doctors often do not know who will be injured or die from vaccination.
Health officials also know that children and adults who are fully vaccinated can still contract the disease for which they’ve been fully vaccinated such as for pertussis (whooping cough). While the vaccine stops the disease those vaccinated can still become unknowingly infected with it and transmit it to others.4
Merck’s vaccine package insert for the chicken pox vaccine (image above) recommends that recently vaccinated children stay distance themselves from pregnant women and the immunocompromised for a period of six weeks.5
As of October 1, 2023, the federal government has paid $4,598,924,955.65 in compensation for vaccine injury claims filed with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).6 The adjudication program for injury claims related to vaccines on the childhood schedule was part of the 1986 bill which made it very difficult to sue vaccine manufacturers for injury.7
Moreover, as posts throughout Rodef Shalom 613 attest, much that the public is led to believe about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines is simply not true.
Do a few rabbanim have the right to pasken for everyone for all time?
- If a Posek would actually take the time to research the risks presented and comes to the conclusion that based on some risk of vaccines and low risk of injury from measles, that it is assur to take the vaccine, would you not want the freedom to follow your Rav’s Psak (Shivim Pa’nim La’Torah)?
- Who are we to determine what every P’sak should be on any given topic? Who in this generation is willing to tell the government to ignore other Poskim and not allow for religious exemption?
- We went through this in Europe when the Reform movement got control of the government and made life for the observant miserable.
- Should we not learn from history? We live in a Medina Shel Chessed that gives us freedom of religion; do we want to risk losing that?
- RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS UNDER ATTACK FROM DRUG COMPANIES (See First Freedoms)
- Where is Agudas Yisroel of America on this? Why are they not protecting our rights?
The question that everyone should be asking is not “Does halacha permit us to refuse vaccines?”, but “Does halacha permit us to vaccinate?”.
- Questions for a Posek and an open letter to Poskim who demand vaccination
- Read What These Rabbis Wrote About Doctors and Vaccines
- What Community Leaders Need to Know About DNA Mutations
- How Religious Exemptions for Vaccine Saved Metzitza B’peh in NY City
- Religious Exemption and Halacha – Gardasil (HPV)
- Jewish Law on Saying No to Vaccinating
- Letters of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Medication and Healing: A 2021 Perspective
- Torah, Preventive Medicine, and Vaccines
- Letters from Gedolim About Vaccines
- Healing according to tradition – are we getting it right?
|↑1||“State Vaccine Laws & Exemptions.” National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), http://www.nvic.org/law-policy-state.|
|↑2||“List of Actions, Bills, and Announcements for All States.” NVIC, https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/State-Teams/All-States.|
|↑3||“New Jersey S3240: 2022-2023: Regular Session.” LegiScan, https://legiscan.com/NJ/supplement/S3240/id/288223.|
|↑4||“Law & Reform Guide.” National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), https://www.nvic.org/vaccination-decisions/downloads/special-reports/reform-guide|
|↑5||”Package insert – Varivax (frozen).” FDA, https://www.fda.gov/media/76008/download?attachment|
|↑6||”National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Data Report.” HRSA, Oct. 1, 2023, https://www.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/hrsa/vicp/vicp-stats-10-01-23.pdf|
|↑7||“Overview – 1986 Act: National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC).” Overview – 1986 Act.” National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), https://www.nvic.org/law-policy-federal/vaccine-injury-compensation/overview-1986-act|