Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why Do Some Ultra-Orthodox Jews Defy Their Rebbes And Refuse To Vaccinate?


About 9% of Americans oppose vaccination, but Minke is unusual even among that vocal minority. She is an ultra-Orthodox Jew, part of a community known for adherence to the rulings of their rebbes — rabbinic leaders. And many of those rebbes have insisted that Jewish law requires vaccination. But a stubborn, if small, segment of the ultra-Orthodox community is saying that, when it comes to vaccines, their rebbes’ decrees do not apply.

“I believe that there is no Torah source to tell me exactly how to take care of my children,” Minke, 31, said in an interview. Minke requested a pseudonym because she did not feel comfortable having her views publicly known.


  1. Some rabbis think that everything that comes out of a doctor's mouth is like "Halacha Le'Moshe MiSinai", and bow down to every utterance. They then issue "rulings" accordingly. Some people see through this fallacy, and therefore ignore these "rulings".

  2. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 25, 2019 at 5:28 PM

    Shabbetai zevi /Jacob Frank /eliezer berland

  3. I have been writing about this for years. Here it is again: Modern Chareidism(tm) is not about Chareidim obeying what their Gedolim say. It's about Chareidim obeying what they think their Gedolim should have said.

  4. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 27, 2019 at 1:13 PM

  5. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 27, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    And by the same token, rabbinic pronouncements are not what they derive from their scholarship, but what they think their public wants to hear.

  6. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 27, 2019 at 1:33 PM

    Have to be skeptical about doctors, and what their motives are. When there is a consensus of researchers then it's more prudent to pay attention.


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