A thought on rabbis who issued a "psak" to take the vaccine
A non-psak by the OU and the RCA
A couple of people asked me to respond to this:
Did they ever come out so strongly about smoking, which kills 25 million people a year, in addition to countless health problems, and harms both the smoker and others?
"[t]he conclusion of our poskim is that, pursuant to the advice of your personal health care provider, the Torah obligation to preserve our lives and the lives of others requires us to vaccinate for COVID-19 as soon as a vaccine becomes available."
This statement makes no sense. Did they conclude we must get vaccinated, or did they conclude we must get vaccinated if our health care provider says so? What if my doctor warns me not to? What if my personal health care provider is among the tens of thousands who have raised red flags about the vaccines, and who recommend other treatments both pre- and post-infection that have been proven to be effective and safe, though discounted by the establishment and which, sadly, don't make billions for drug companies?
This is not a psak. If they are issuing a Torah ruling from on high that these vaccines are safe and effective, then why are they hedging with “pursuant to the advice of your personal health care provider”? And if they are hedging and leaving the final decision up to my personal health care provider, what are they actually contributing with this "ruling"?
This is not the sort of Torah that will be studied in the Beit Midrash, nor is it the sort of Torah for which poskim earn their reputations. If I am supposed to follow this simply because of name-dropping and rank-pulling, count me out.
"We note that the availability and use of the COVID-19 vaccine will not immediately allow us to reduce adherence to current mitigation strategies, including social distancing, masking, and diligent hand hygiene. These practices must continue to be followed until official public health recommendations advise otherwise. As long as these practices remain in place it remains unnecessary to consider institutional policies or additional restrictions regarding the non-vaccinated."
Translation: Don't expect house arrest to be lifted just because you're getting injected with this vaccine that we are thoroughly convinced will stop the virus. No, you're going to have to continue to stay home, wear masks, stay away from people, and wallow in poverty anyway "until official public health recommendations advise otherwise". At the same time, "it remains unnecessary to consider institutional policies or additional restrictions regarding the non-vaccinated", but that will surely come at a later time.
In other words, get injected but continue to be restricted, and if you don't get injected, we'll make you suffer even worse at a later time.
This isn't Torah. It's tyranny.
More important thoughts on the "psak" and covid vaccines
A dangerous rabbinic pronouncement
More on Rabbinic Malpractice
We must counter the propaganda and rank-pulling of certain rabbis (thankfully still the minority) who are speaking neither on the strength of Torah, nor science, nor basic reason -- just talking down to people and demanding they obey. The job of a rabbi is to inform, educate, and make people smarter, not to speak down to people, pull rank on them, and demand blind obedience to them or anyone else. A rabbi who does that loses his credibility as a rabbi, and should be ignored, regardless of his past credentials. He did not earn those credentials by making such pronouncements.
The vaccine has many red flags and unknowns. Even those pushing it acknowledge the latter, even while they condescendingly pooh-pooh the former. The only people who should take an unproven, potentially harmful treatment are those who are dying and have nothing to lose. Someone who is healthy has no business taking something unproven and potentially harmful, unless he is volunteering to be a guinea pig. He should not take this out of fear, or out of ignorance, or because of some irrelevant Torah source that is being taken out of context.
A person who is healthy has something
to lose by taking this vaccine – his health. We have not gotten
the coronavirus for an entire year, Baruch Hashem. If we build up
our immune systems and live responsibly, the chances of us ever
getting it are nil. Even if we do get it, God forbid, our bodies
will have an excellent chance of defeating it, especially if we take
proven antivirals within days of exposure.
Hence, there is no reason for us to jeopardize our health with unproven and risky vaccines, and according to the Torah it is FORBIDDEN to do so.
Politics aside, Trump is in his 70's and overweight. He got coronavirus, took antivirals, and 2 days later was good as new.
Do not allow yourself to be manipulated or frightened into taking a vaccine that is risky, that you do not need, and the drug pushers themselves admit will not prevent you from getting coronavirus.
Do not allow rabbis to talk down to you without solid Torah firmly behind them.
This rabbi demands you obey the establishment and “God watches over fools”.
There is no mitzva to be a fool. It is forbidden to be a fool. A rabbi who orders you to be a fool must be ignored, regardless of his pedigree. It is pikuach nefesh, and you have an obligation to be educated, informed, and responsible with your health – not blindly follow any establishment-approved “expert” and tamper with your health.
God may watch over fools, but He watches over those who watch over themselves even more.