`251 Is truth stranger than fiction?
Chananya Weissman

January 9, 2023

Urgent Health Warning

After a discussion with experts from Israel's Health Ministry, leading rabbis have issued a call for Jews to stop striking their chest as a sign of penitence during the thrice-daily Shemoneh Esrei prayer, the selichos, and on Yom Kippur. The longstanding custom, widely known by the Yiddish term klopping al chet, may lead to cardiac arrest.

According to data from a study, striking the chest in this fashion can lead to a condition known as commotio cordis, in which the impact of an object striking the chest area over the heart at just the right millisecond can cause sudden death. Although such cases are rare, they have been known to happen, and the increase in sudden deaths among people without a history of heart problems has caused experts to examine this as a possible cause.

The Rabbinic organization known as All The Gedolim put out a statement: “The Torah commands us to listen to whatever doctors say, all the time, without exception. The Health Ministry is in charge of doctors, and therefore we must listen to anything the Health Ministry says. It has been brought to our attention that striking the chest is a safek pikuach nefesh, and therefore it is forbidden. No distinction can be made between how forcefully one strikes his chest, for who can measure such things?

“Anyone who strikes his chest is a sinner who is endangering his life and his prayers are rejected. Furthermore, since his actions may lead others to strike their chests as well, he can be considered a rodef.”

Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, Shmuel Eliyahu, wrote in a Facebook post that the Shulchan Aruch and Megilla 3B support this ruling.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, director of the Center for Jewish Ethics at Tzohar, posited that people who strike their chests should be denied medical care if they have a heart attack. “Their reckless actions may cause medical care to be diverted from patients who are more deserving,” he stated. “Although Israel's medical system treats injured terrorists without bias, sometimes at the expense of their victims, kloppers are on a lower level, like anti-vaxxers.”

Rabbi Herschel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University and posek for the Orthodox Union, ruled that children who klop al chet can be thrown out of yeshiva, lest they cause a bad influence on other children and endanger their lives.

Leading Modern Orthodox and Reform Rabbis quickly embraced the scientific findings and issued a similar ruling, though they added that their followers stopped klopping al chet long ago, as they preach separating the sin from the sinner, and even embracing sin with love.

The Prime Minister said there are no plans to send police into synagogues and yeshivos to enforce the new health guidelines, though he warned that “all options are on the table” if cases of sudden death continue to rise.

After all, he concluded, if stopping the klopping saves one life, it's worth it.


Note: Since it never seems to be obvious enough, the above was satire. The following is not.


Here is an actual screenshot from Hatzolah of Melbourne in May of 2022.

 "Get vaccinated for your chance to win a CellAED defibrillator". 
Hatzolah should be banished from the Jewish community and replaced with an organization that has no ties with the World Economic Forum and other enemies of Hashem and humanity.



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