While the Orthodox Union and some Modern Orthodox rabbis announced their support of taking the Covid-19 vaccine when the shot first became available last week, there have been misunderstandings about its endorsement in the Haredi community. However, the news now shows that in line with the mitzvah to guard one’s life, many prominent and respected Haredi rabbis are also coming out in strong support of the vaccine. Here is a brief roundup of some of the key Haredi rabbis who have both received the vaccine, and are openly encouraging others to do so as well.
Rabbi Asher Weiss Tells Students and Public “Definitely Yes” Take the Vaccine
Rabbi Asher Weiss, a leading Haredi legal authority in Israel with a large following in the United States, told his video class this week, “When we deal with the question [of whether] to take the vaccine: Yes. Definitely yes.” He went on to say, “People are dying, people are suffering, and we could alleviate this pain, and diminish the suffering and save many people. This is a safe vaccine as far as we could know.” Read more here.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky and More Support Vaccine
Rav Chaim Kanievsky, as well as Rav Gershon Edelstein and Sephardi rosh yeshiva Rav Shalom Cohen of Yerushalayim, approved the findings of Ezra Lemarpe, the medical support organization, which conducted extensive research into the vaccine. The rabbis recommend that anyone able to receive the coronavirus vaccine should do so. Read more here.
Ponevezh Roshei Yeshiva Take Vaccine and Endorse It, Alongside the Belzer Rebbe
Some of the biggest gedolim in Israel are publicly advocating getting vaccinated. In Bnei Brak, Rav Gershon Edelstein and Rav Baruch Dov Povarsky, Roshei Yeshiva of Ponevezh, both received the vaccine and encouraged others to do so. The Belzer Rebbe also signed off on an announcement from the Belz Beis Din guiding his chasidim to take it. Read more here.
Israel’s Chief Rabbis Endorse Vaccine, So Too Bnei Brak Mayor
Along with Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau, Bnei Brak Mayor Rabbi Avraham Rubinstein, Israel’s Chief Sephardi rabbi, Rav Yitzhak Yosef, son of Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l, endorses the vaccine. He states, “I am calling on our brethren in the Holy Land to follow doctors’ instructions. Allow them to heal us… Now that we have learned that a vaccine has been found that prevents COVID, and all the necessary trials were conducted and experts say that the vaccine is effective in stopping the pandemic and is not dangerous – each and every person must be vaccinated in accordance with doctors’ orders.” Read more here.
London Rabbinic Leaders Issue Statement Encouraging Vaccine
In the United Kingdom, the top rabbinic leaders of London responded to community doctors requesting that they issue an official notice regarding vaccination to help counter the spread of misinformation. The notice in support of the vaccine was signed by London Beth Din head Dayan Menachem Gelley, Dayan Shmuel Simons, Federation Beth Din head, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman and Sephardi Beth Din head Dayan Abraham David, among others. Read more here.
Rav Yitzchak Eizik Landau of Bnei Brak Endorses Vaccine
Rav Yitzchak Eizik Landau of Bnei Brak stated that everyone and their families should take the vaccine. “The situation in the world is one of [danger] – with the illness already having claimed many victims, and many others have been harmed physically and emotionally by the pandemic.” According to halacha, one must trust a doctor in these matters, and the doctors say the vaccine is safe. In addition, the vaccine is also to protect others, and the Rav stated that one must go to great lengths not to harm other people. “Everyone should endeavor to take the vaccine, and vaccinate his family as well, with a prayer to the Healer of all flesh that it will heal us.” Read more here.