More Rabbinic Malpractice and Fake Torah
About nine months ago Machon HaTorah V'Ha'aretz [The Institute of Torah and the Land] published a “responsa” by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi Amichai entitled "Sanctions against people who refuse to vaccinate". The article dealt with a small settlement in which several families did not vaccinate their children against whooping cough. Was it permissible according to Torah law to deny these families entry into public buildings, including the synagogue?
If this were actual Torah, the response would read something like this: “Absolutely not! How dare you even suggest such a thing?” But of course, this was fake Torah, and in fact a preview of what was to come.
Before addressing the content of the article, here is some important context. Infectious illnesses were known about in ancient times. Nowhere does the Torah prescribe sanctions against sick people, let alone healthy people who do not avail themselves of pre-emptive medical treatments.
The Rambam [Maimonides] was one of the greatest sages in Jewish history, and also the preeminent doctor of his time. Despite living nearly 900 years ago, he is still revered for his medical expertise, and his writings on the subject continue to be studied. He begins the Mishneh Torah, his monumental compendium of Jewish law, with instructions on healthy living. After all, a healthy body is fundamental for a healthy mind and serving Hashem to the fullest.
Despite the primary importance the Rambam places on maintaining our health, and his knowledge of diseases that was second to none, he utters not a word about sanctioning people whose personal medical decisions might make them more susceptible to contracting and passing along an illness. This silence speaks volumes, and should curtail any suggestion all these years later that this is permissible.
To those who would make the foolish argument that things are different now, thanks to vaccines, the titanic sages of the last century were well aware of modern vaccines. The notion of sanctioning people who declined to take a vaccine, considering them a threat to others – even a criminal – was never entertained. It is only in the last year that this “new Torah” was introduced. For a rabbi to come along in 2020 in some journal and upend everything we always accepted about medical autonomy is like a coronavirus jumping from a bat to a human being.
Rabbi Amichai engages in clever manipulation to arrive at conclusions that defy logic. He begins by questioning whether one is obligated to vaccinate against non-lethal illnesses.
The correct answer is “of course not”. Every pharmaceutical product has side effects, many of which are far worse than what they are intended to prevent (death topping the list), and their impact on every individual is unpredictable. There is no Torah basis to obligate anyone – let alone everyone – to take a vaccine. On the contrary, one must demonstrate that it is permissible to actively risk harming oneself for the theoretical benefit of preventing an illness that he might never contract regardless. The argument that one can be sanctioned for not taking a vaccine and risking his own health for a presumed benefit to other people is a non-starter.
But when there is an agenda, a clever scholar can distort Torah sources to support a desired conclusion. Chazal had a term for this: megaleh panim b'Torah shelo k'halacha. As Rabbi Elazar Hamodai teaches, one who does this – even if he is a scholar who performs good deeds – has no share in the world to come (Avos 3:11).
In absence of Torah sources that would indicate vaccines are obligatory, Rabbi Amichai engages in a lengthy discussion about the general obligation to protect oneself and others from harm. He cites sources which obligate one to put a fence around his roof, to remove dangerous objects, to refrain from insulting powerful rulers, and to avoid being poisoned by snakes.
One does not need to be a Talmudic scholar to recognize the obvious fallacy with the case he is attempting to build. All of these sources deal with removing clear and present dangers or refraining from wildly reckless behavior. In addition, there are no harmful side effects to removing obstacles or being polite to powerful rulers. Only one with a desired conclusion in mind would liken this to injecting oneself with a drug, assuming real risks in the process, in exchange for presumed added protection against an invisible, theoretical threat.
The author concludes, based on irrelevant sources, that if the vaccine is intended to protect against a deadly illness, one is obligated to take it. If the illness is non-lethal, it is recommended to take the vaccine but not obligatory. Nevertheless, one who refuses the vaccine is considered a “damager” to others, albeit not on the same level as one who physically strikes his fellow. Unlike the latter, he cannot be sued for damages (Erev Rav have subsequently ruled otherwise) but he is guilty in the Heavenly Court. This is only because it cannot be conclusively proven that he caused someone else's illness by not getting vaccinated. Therefore, God will have to deal with this “damager” Himself.
The author then fabricates something even more radical. Citing sources that the leaders of a city can enact provisions for the city – none of which relate in any way to the matter at hand – the author rules that they can sanction people who don't take any vaccine they deem necessary. He explicitly rules that “danger” is to be defined by local “public health authorities”, who can basically make up whatever rules they want. Medical autonomy is essentially defined out of existence, and medical tyranny is supposedly authorized by the Torah. Just like that.
By the way, not a single medical source was cited, nor any possible downside to taking a vaccine even acknowledged. Needless to say, any potential downside to unnamed “health authorities” wielding such enormous power is not considered. The notion that the government should mandate what drugs we put in our bodies, with the power to punish refusers, is taken as established Torah truth. Chilling!
It should come as no surprise that, months later, this sort of fake Torah has become commonplace. The much-venerated Rabbi Asher Weiss, whose high position at Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center and other conflicts of interest cannot be ignored, bloviated for over 40 minutes about smallpox, showcased impressive scholarship of Torah sources that are irrelevant to the current situation, insisted that the Covid “vaccines” are safe, mocked those who harbor concerns about it, jabbed a finger at the camera, and obligated everyone to get injected with this experimental pharmaceutical treatment (see here and here).
Other well-known figures who disgrace the rabbinic title followed suit, elevating the libel and incitement against those who don't vaccinate (see here). Thanks to their “contributions” to Torah, it has become common for “vaccine refusers” to be referred to as criminals and even potential murderers, who should of course be dealt with accordingly.
I have disagreed with rabbis on many occasions over the years, but I have always refrained from going after them personally or using derogatory language. However, when people who call themselves rabbis are so flagrantly distorting the Torah, manipulating the masses, bullying, supporting medical discrimination and medical tyranny, dismissing the real dangers of taking vaccines – particularly experimental drugs – dividing our people, inciting hatred against perfectly innocent people, and looking the other way while the blood of vaccine victims cries out from the ground, I will grant them no respect. They are godless, heartless, wicked people.
One does not need to be a medical expert to obtain a working knowledge of an issue, raise legitimate concerns, and detect chicanery. Similarly, one does not need to be a Talmudic scholar to recognize when a rabbinic figure is taking Torah sources out of context, making flawed comparisons, and leaping to conclusions that are not borne out by the sources. The Torah charges all Jews to recognize the difference between truth and falsehood, and not to use credentials as a fig leaf for fake Torah (see here and here).
There is no Torah basis to obligate anyone to take any vaccine, ever.
There is no Torah basis to sanction anyone who refuses to take any vaccine, ever.
Those who distort the Torah to argue otherwise are megaleh panim b'Torah shelo k'halacha. Their words are null and void, their credibility must be called into question, and any institution they represent must be held accountable.
Do not be cowed or swayed by liars and bullies, whether they come in white coats, expensive suits, or rabbinic garb. Indeed, as the Torah commands us, protect your life and the lives of others – from them and the evils they espouse!
If you received this from someone else and want to receive future articles directly, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * *
More indisputable truth from doctors, health experts, and the people in power...
* * *