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February 26, 2021 12:31 pm

Get Vaccinated Now; the Torah Commands It

avatar by Rabbi David Lau / JNS.org

Opinion

A medical worker prepares to administer a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as Israel continues its national vaccination drive, during a third national COVID lockdown, in Ashdod, Israel January 4, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

JNS.org – During my visits to coronavirus wards at hospitals across Israel, I encountered a most worrying statistic. All of the hospitalized were relatively young people who had not been vaccinated. A few minutes after one such visit, I learned that a childhood friend of mine, a healthy individual with no pre-existing conditions, had died. That morning, he had found it difficult to breathe; by 5 p.m., he headed downstairs to the ambulance waiting to take him to the hospital. By 2 a.m. the next morning, he was gone.

These visits and this news have led me to call on all of you to get vaccinated.

We have the incredible fortune afforded to us by God to have a vaccine, but many of us still contemplate the move, despite the fact that halachah (Jewish law) mandates that we inoculate against the virus.

According to senior physicians in Israel and around the world, the vaccine is the best answer to the coronavirus. The risk of the virus is certain. The risks posed by the vaccine are in question. These doctors’ unequivocal position has been that we must vaccinate unless instructed otherwise by a doctor.

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