74 Apartheid Shuls and Fake Jews
Chananya Weissman
February 21, 2021

Some shuls announced for Parshas Zachor, of all weeks, that Jews who did not get injected with a new drug would no longer be welcome. I wrote about this phenomenon several weeks ago in an article called "You Can't Daven With Us" and in another called "Judenrat Minyanim". In the first article I observed the following:

"A Jew can do any of the following things without being kicked out of shul. He can cheat on his wife; he can beat his wife; he can molest children; he can be a convicted felon; he can be openly gay and proud of it; he can intermarry; he can defend terrorists; he can violate Shabbos in public; he can talk to others the entire davening; he can talk on his phone during davening; he can spread lies and gossip; he can make malicious remarks about the rabbi; he can mock Judaism and make fun of the Torah.

"If a Jew took out an idol during davening and bowed to it, most of the people there would be more amused than outraged. Their first reaction would be to record it on their phones and share it. Then they might try to do kiruv and save his soul. They wouldn't throw him out."

But now, in Eretz Yisrael, some shuls have the audacity to ban millions of Jews perfectly healthy people for refusing to have a drug injected in their bodies. The rabbis, board, and many members of these shuls have decided that all these millions of Jews are a menace to society and must be kept away.

This is horrific on many levels, and any attempt to justify this on the basis of Torah, science, or ethics doesn't get off the ground. Rather than devote thousands of words to refuting arguments that have already been thoroughly demolished, I want to focus on one point that I have not seen mentioned.

The Gemara in Yevamos 79A writes that there are three signs of the Jewish nation: we are merciful, we have a sense of shame, and we perform acts of kindness. The Rambam takes this very seriously, codifying it in the Mishneh Torah as an actual litmus test. He writes as follows: "One who demonstrates brazenness, or cruelty, and hates people, and doesn't perform acts of kindness, we have abundant suspicion that he might be a Gibeonite" (Hilchos Issurei Bi'ah 19:17). The Rambam strongly recommends against marrying such a person, not only on practical grounds, but because such a person is very likely a fake Jew.

Let us make the following assumptions, all of which must be true for these shuls to even have an argument:

  • Perfectly healthy people with no signs of illness are likely to spread this flu-like virus.

  • The experimental vaccine is definitely safe and effective.

  • The experimental vaccine would prevent them from spreading the virus.

  • There is no reasonable alternative to this experimental vaccine.

  • Those who don't take the vaccine are ticking time bombs (despite having remained healthy for the last year).

  • Jewish law obligates everyone to take it.

  • Jewish law obligates those who have not taken it to be barred from shul and treated worse than lepers.

None of the above assumptions are actually true, but let's pretend that all of them are. Let's pretend that the elite class of people who took this experimental vaccine are in mortal danger from the Dhimmis who didn't even though this would largely contradict the purpose of taking this drug to begin with. Let's assume that they are on firm Torah and scientific grounds, and they must tell many of their friends and neighbors to stay away.

If these people were real Jews, it would shatter them. It would break their hearts. They would have tears streaming down their faces as they closed the doors to their fellow Jews. Even if they were right, it would feel wrong. They would not be able to enjoy returning to shul after turning away so many Jews who desperately wanted to join them. A real Jew might even declare that he would rather close the shul entirely than have an apartheid shul.

This is not what happened. The elite class of Jews who injected themselves with a drug reacted without an ounce of compassion. Not only didn't it bother them to turn their friends and neighbors away, they enjoyed it. They did it with glee, with vindictiveness, with actual hatred. They spat in their faces.

They tasted a sip of power and it made them drunk. This was much more than protecting their health from some presumed danger. It was the opportunity to kick fellow Jews to the curb and feel morally superior in the process. It was the opportunity to behave like Zimri and expect reward like Pinchas. Certified by the Ministry of Health and blessed by the rabbi.

You want in? Go get injected, too, you selfish, murderous dog.

I can forgive people for being ignorant of the science and the Torah, even after all this time. I can forgive people for being confused, scared, and desperate for a sense of normalcy. I can forgive people for making bad decisions and terrible mistakes. I can even forgive people for concluding that they must turn some people away from shul, at least temporarily, horribly wrong as that conclusion is.

But I cannot forgive people for doing this with glee and malice. If their hearts are not broken, then they do not have hearts, and it is fair to suspect that they are not even real Jews.

We are learning many things about people we thought we knew. Some people are showing us an ugly, monstrous side that we never knew lurked inside them. Some of these people are respected members of the community and even rabbis. This is not something they can just stuff back inside and we can pretend it never happened. This is what they really are. Now we know.

It's unpleasant, but perhaps one of the more gentle ways we can find out who is really who. They read Parshas Zachor, about how Amalek preyed on the weak people who straggled after the Jewish nation.

The weak stragglers who fell prey to Amalek, who don't fear God, are them.