Rabbi Asher Weiss: Jewish law obligates vaccination

Leading authority on Jewish law says it is "not a recommendation" to vaccinate children, those who do not violate halakha.

Yoni Kempinski/Antwerp ,

Rabbi Asher Weiss
Rabbi Asher Weiss
Yoni Kempinski

Rabbi Asher Weiss, one of the leading halakhik authorities of the generation, participated in the biennial convention of the Conference of European Rabbis in Antwerp, Belgium this week.

Rabbi Weiss addressed many medical issues and presented how Jewish law views the many technological developments made in medicine and genetics.

In his remarks, Rabbi Weiss spoke clearly and decisively on the phenomenon of people choosing not to receive vaccinations or to vaccinate their children. The rabbi emphasized that this is a severe halakhic prohibition and that according to all rules of halakha (Jewish Law), a parent must ensure that his children are vaccinated.

"It's a halakhic obligation to vaccinate our children," Rabbi Weiss said.

"This is not a recommendation. It's a halakhic obligation. It is a chiyuv (obligation) to vaccinate our children, and those who do not vaccinate their children, that is a violation of a halakhik obligation," the rabbi said, warning of the danger of spreading diseases such as the measles.