January 4, 2021
For all the rabbis out there declaring that we have an "obligation" to take this crazy vaccine or follow endless tyrannical restrictions, they do not provide a true Torah teshuva. They throw around vague concepts like guarding the life of yourself and others, listening to doctors, and trusting in God, then jump right to a conclusion.
It's little different than what gay activists do to push their agenda...they beat us over the head with having compassion, it isn't good for man to be alone, and loving your fellow, then jump to their conclusion. There's no actual substance to their Torah.
A true posek like Rav Moshe Feinstein or Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach would become an expert on the issue better than the experts, fully understand all sides of the matter, and present us a detailed halachic treatment that would inform us and make us smarter.
They would explain why it is supposedly an "obligation" for everyone to get injected with something experimental when drugs and vitamins that have long been on the market have proven to be safe and more effective. They would explain why we should be excited about a vaccine that doesn't actually vaccinate anyone against anything.
They would also explain exactly who was advising them and what their sources were in arriving at their conclusions, so their "psak" could be properly analyzed and challenged if appropriate. That's how real Torah works. Real poskim don't hide behind anonymous sources and thought processes that cannot be analyzed in detail from beginning to end.
What passes today for a "psak" is a joke. We see a rabbi being fed one-sided information and leading questions, then utter one or two words. We see a swiss-cheese proclamation from an organization that was probably written by a focus group, then signed by some rabbis. It does not inform us of anything, and makes people dumber.
The mitzvah to guard one's life, which is so frequently cited these days, cannot be outsourced to others. Neither a rabbi nor a doctor nor a government minister (God help us) can be appointed a shaliach to guard your life from illness. You may turn to them for insight, but ultimately the mitzvah is incumbent on each individual. Blindly following anyone is not an excuse for getting it wrong, especially when information is readily available and there are so many clear reasons to be concerned.
Those who led Jews astray in biblical times were often tremendous Torah scholars and saintly people. The Torah obligates to be able to tell the difference between truth and falsehood, and not be blinded by titles and reputations.
This is why it's especially important for those with a bit of knowledge, and who can at least tell the difference between emes and sheker, to inform people and spread truth. I'm the furthest thing from a gadol or a posek, but this is not a time to be humble. We need to spread whatever Torah and reason we can, and at least give people a chance to see emes, even if some disqualify us as "unworthy" of being in the discussion.