Do Orthodox Jews believe in vaccinating?
Dear Jew in the City,
Lock the kids 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 measles in California and the news that a percentage of kids in Jewish day schools in California are not vaccinated.
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. (A big haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbi – whose wife is into alternative medicine -advised against vaccines in the last year, but there was a big pushback among even his most ardent followers.)
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. But there are families of all religious backgrounds that adhere to this way of thinking/lifestyle, and it has nothing to do with Judaism specifically.
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,
Allison (aka 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