Dear Jew in the City,
Lock the kids [with mumps] up…do not sicken everyone. You have no right to impose your beliefs against vaccination on the rest of society.
If you don’t see it this way…advice…leave this country. Go to someplace where ignorance and stupidity are bliss. America is NOT such a place. We lose ours, you will lose yours.
Though you have not specified which children you’d like to lock up, based on the news, I’m assuming your message is related to a recent outbreak of mumps in the Orthodox communities of Monsey and Brooklyn.
From the tone of your email you are obviously very upset with what’s going on, but you are also misinformed. There is no Jewish law against vaccinations. In fact, most rabbis are probably strong supporters of them.
When it comes to health care, the basic principle in Judaism is to use the best medical knowledge and treatment that’s available. Preserving life is one of the most important ideas within Judaism, and we are instructed to break nearly every commandment in the Torah in an effort to save a life. (This, by the way, is known as pikuach nefesh.)
Now there are certainly some Orthodox families that don’t vaccinate or space out their vaccinations because they believe that alternative/non-mainstream medicine is the healthiest choice for their families. There are families of all religious backgrounds that adhere to this way of thinking/lifestyle, and it has nothing to do with Judaism specifically.
From what I read, the majority of kids in those communities were vaccinated, but still somehow got the disease when a boy from England brought the mumps to a Jewish camp this past summer (where it spread). I’m sure that the families of the sick children are doing everything they can to help their kids get better and prevent the disease from spreading further.
I’m glad that you reached out to me so that we could clear this confusion up, but next time you might consider doing some research about a subject before you start making threats.
All the best,
Jew in the City
P.S. – For a detailed discussion of the Jewish laws and practices pertaining to vaccinations, click to read this article from Hakhirah Journal: Vaccination in Halakhah and in Practice in the Orthodox Jewish Community by Asher Bush