I wonder who gave certain individuals the courage to play with people’s lives. How can irresponsible people try and undermine something that has been proven to save lives?
Unfortunately, this phenomenon of convention-breaking is not just typical of our battle with the coronavirus; we see this in many other fields. Those same people who work so hard to prevent people from getting the vaccine bear no responsibility for the public. While they say that they want to preserve their rights, they are in fact harming their fellow man.
Our obligation to be careful is not a choice. One cannot harm one’s own body or that of those around them. Those who do not get vaccinated are not just putting themselves at risk, but more importantly, they could cause harm to others. More than a year ago, I made clear that beyond an individual’s need to make sure they are safe, they must ensure not to inflict physical or emotional harm on others.
Hope and willpower are the solutions to many illnesses. One of the Torah’s commandments is to visit the sick. The intention here is not to ask the ill how they are doing but to see what they need. Those who undermine the vaccines weaken public resilience, and that’s a shame. The Torah’s command that we take care includes the obligation for preventative medicine, and the existing vaccine helps with that.
To my mind, anyone who doesn’t fulfill this commandment is being ungrateful that merciful God gave his world and us this vaccine to exit this pandemic.
Rabbi David Lau is the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.