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December 16, 2020 10:43 am

Senior Israeli Rabbis Urge Ultra-Orthodox Public to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

A nurse is seen at the Maccabi Healthcare Services COVID-19 vaccine complex in Tel Aviv, Israel, Dec. 13, 2020. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem / Pool via Reuters.

JNS.org – Senior rabbis in Israel on Tuesday issued a decree urging the ultra-Orthodox public to receive the coronavirus vaccine, declaring that “according to all acceptable medical parameters, it has been proven that the vaccines are safe.”

The decree was issued by rabbis Chaim Kanievsky, Gershon Edelstein, Shalom Cohen and Elimelech Firer, considered Israel’s greatest poskim (decisors). It is believed that the decree will he helpful in curbing morbidity in the haredi community.

The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinic Council of America issued a similar call on Tuesday.

In a joint decree, the two groups stated that, as Halacha (Jewish Law) demands, Jews care for their own health and protect others from harm or illness, and therefore getting the vaccine is permitted.

According to a recent Israel Hayom poll, 37 percent of respondents said they will not take the vaccine, while 19 percent would neither confirm nor deny they planned to get vaccinated. Forty-four percent of respondents said they planned to get the vaccine.

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