Arutz Sheva disclaimer at end of column
I allow myself to publicly challenge Rabbi Steinberg's recent response to questions on the experimental vaccine. Not only do I allow myself, I consider it an obligation that I cannot shirk from through humility or fear. I am thoroughly convinced that his five "fundamental background facts" are anything but, and that the conclusions he draws based on them are dangerous on many levels.
1. Rabbi Steinberg begins by writing that "COVID-19 is an international epidemic which has caused innumerable deaths the world over, including several thousands of our brothers in Israel." He further notes that many of those who have recovered have suffered ongoing problems, in addition to the collateral damage to society from the situation.
This is true, but it is missing vital context. The number of deaths that have actually been caused by COVID-19 is entirely speculative. There have been countless reports from all over the world that hospitals have been listing COVID as the cause of death even when patients died of entirely unrelated causes, such as car accidents and gunshot wounds. Whistleblowers have reported being instructed to list COVID as the cause of death if even a tiny, harmless trace of the virus was found in the body. Governments and drug companies have a deep vested interest in inflating the numbers of COVID deaths to exaggerate the fear, justify extreme restrictions, and ultimately convince people to take their expensive new drugs.
How many reported COVID deaths were actually due to COVID? We deserve to know. But the Israeli government has buried its protocols on the virus and its response to it for THIRTY YEARS (just as they did with the Yemenite Children Affair). This means that all freedom of information requests related to the situation, including a deeper look at the actual causes of death, are being denied.
What are they covering up and why? We deserve to know. Until the Ministry of Health comes totally clean, we cannot trust the numbers they feed us, nor any decisions based on these suspect numbers.
2. Rabbi Steinberg writes as fact that "to date, all of the methods employed to contain the epidemic have failed." This is technically true, but extremely misleading. All of the methods that have been employed to contain the epidemic run in direct contradiction to the methods determined by Israel's leading epidemiologists. This was the subject of an important documentary by Orly and Guy. In fact, they noted that Israel's corona cabinet does not have a single epidemiologist, and in fact has refused to seriously consider their expert guidance for containing a virus. The epidemiologists are almost entirely against lockdowns and the other measures Israel has employed, and have detailed plans on file for how to handle an epidemic.
Consequently, the fact that the methods that have been employed have failed does not mean that the only response is an experimental vaccine. In this case, it suggests these methods should never have been used in the first place, and the epidemiologists should have had a seat at the table from the beginning.
In addition, many doctors worldwide have reported great success with a combination of vitamins and repurposed drugs, such as Dr. Zelenko's protocol. These have been in use for many months, and potentially could have saved countless lives. Inexplicably, Israel's Ministry of Health is expending all its efforts on promoting an experimental vaccine when there may well be much safer, more effective, and inexpensive treatments.
Could it have something to do with the contract the Ministry of Health signed with Pfizer, in which Israel obligated itself to vaccinate millions of citizens and share medical data with this foreign drug company? Is it possible that other treatments would have obviated the justification for lockdowns, restrictions, ongoing fear, and the urgency for an experimental vaccine?
These are questions that the establishment must be made to answer before another person is injected.
3. Rabbi Steinberg claims that the vaccines have "passed the accepted stages of research...received the accreditation of the most authorized regulatory agencies in the world, have proven to be extremely effective...[and] they have proven to be very safe."
This is extremely misleading. As of today the FDA's fact sheet on the vaccines writes as follows. All are direct quotes:
- There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may not protect everyone.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an unapproved vaccine that may prevent COVID-19. There is no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
- The duration of protection against COVID-19 is currently unknown.
- Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is still being studied in clinical trials.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not undergone the same type of review as an FDA-approved or cleared product.
For Rabbi Steinberg, the Ministry of Health, or anyone else to claim that the vaccine has proven to be safe, or that it is even fully approved, is medical malpractice of the highest order. Again, one does not need to be an expert to see the wide gulf between the claims being made to the public under the guise of "facts", and the actual facts being stated in plain English by Pfizer and the FDA.
4. Rabbi Steinberg writes as "fact": "All the claims of conspiracy, and the alarmist fake news surrounding the vaccines, are unfounded, fake news, and a person should not take them into account. While there do remain several open questions, they don’t carry enough weight to avoid vaccination."
In light of the above, I will leave it to the reader to decide if raising questions and concerns about the vaccine renders one a conspiracy theorist, a peddler of fake news, or any of the other disgusting epithets that are being slapped on people who have good reason to be skeptical.
As Rabbi Steinberg is also the author of the Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics, I must also question if it is medically ethical to smear those who have concerns about putting any drug in their body for any reason whatsoever. This is especially the case when the government has buried its protocols, there is a massive propaganda campaign to pressure people to take the experimental vaccine, and people who raise concerns are being bullied and censored. This is hardly the climate that should surround any medical procedure, and it runs counter to the most basic principle of informed consent.
If we cannot ask questions and receive clear answers, if in fact those who express concerns are mocked and slandered, then informed consent is absent, and it is unethical to administer the drug.
5. Rabbi Steinberg writes as fact that those "who refuse to be vaccinated cause damage to themselves, since they are liable to become very sick, and even to die. In addition, they cause damage to others...Hence, halakhically it is an obligation upon everyone to be vaccinated..."
Once again, this is extremely misleading. Being that the FDA and Pfizer openly admit that much is still unknown about the vaccine, and it is still being studied in clinical trials, one cannot in good conscience claim it is factual that one who refuses to take the experimental vaccine is causing damage to himself. On the contrary, he may well be sparing himself great damage and even death.
Furthermore, those who do choose to vaccinate can still get covid and pass it to others. At best, it temporarily reduces their chances of developing severe symptoms if they get infected. It does not immunize them against catching covid, nor does it prevent them from spreading it. To malign those who choose not to vaccinate as people who are violating a Torah commandment to protect their lives and the lives of others is unacceptable. It unfairly manipulates people to take an experimental vaccine, and it fosters a climate in which those who don't are slandered as murderers. I object to this in the strongest of terms.
I will add that there is no obligation in the Torah to risk one's health and wellbeing by taking an experimental drug for the sake of making others feel safer, or to potentially lower the chance of someone else getting sick. It is forbidden to pressure anyone to make such a choice.
In light of these "facts", Rabbi Steinberg proceeds to smear "vaccination refusers" as criminals, and declares that it is permissible to force them to be injected with a drug against their will, punish them in a variety of ways, and isolate them from society. This is nothing short of horrific, and it violates the Nuremberg Code. No human being in good conscience can condone this conclusion or the rhetoric that is being used. My blood boils as I write these words.
I will conclude on a positive note. Rabbi Steinberg and other members of the establishment have done us a great unintended service. Whereas those who were skeptical about the vaccine until now needed to make arguments based on the nitty-gritty of science, and get sucked into debates about their worthiness to express an opinion on the matter, it has now become much simpler. Considering the ruthlessness with which the establishment is trying to force this drug on the population, the trampling of basic medical ethics, the absence of informed consent, the demonization of millions of Israelis who have chosen not to take the experimental drug, the blood-lust to rob them of their medical autonomy and God-given human rights, the veil of secrecy placed on the protocols, the suppression of information, the misrepresentation of facts, the lack of liability, and how the whole thing stinks to high heaven, the argument no longer needs to be about science.
When people who have done everything to lose our trust and nothing to gain it are desperately trying to inject drugs in people, we should want nothing to do with it.
Aryeh Deri has expressed a desire to go house to house injecting people. Ayelet Shaked has referred to dissenters as vermin. Betzalel Smotrich is eager to punish people and force them to vaccinate. The mayor of Lod wants to deny municipal services to people who don't vaccinate and compel them to stay home indefinitely. Yuli Edelstein, who studied foreign languages in university, seems a bit underqualified to run the Ministry of Health – unless his experience as a Refusenik makes him the perfect man to force people into compliance. His rhetoric leaves no room for doubt as to his intentions. The Prime Minister himself wants a list of names of all those who haven't vaccinated, presumably so he can punish them. He has rabbinic approval from Rabbi Steinberg and others who have blessed this horrific tyranny.
He wants names? Put my name at the very top. I fear God more, and will stand for His People.
One final note: many countries around the world, including Japan, Australia, India, and South Korea have all decided not to vaccinate their people at this time. They are waiting to see what happens with the human lab rats in Israel. Are they all crazy conspiracy theorists who are anti-science and don't value human life?
The commandment to safeguard our lives and the lives of others indeed rings loud in our ears. It compels us to do shev v'al ta'aseh, wait until the protocols are released, the tough questions receive detailed answers, and the public is granted complete medical autonomy without fear of retribution in any way.
Someone who refuses to take a drug for any reason, especially under such a cloud of darkness, is not a criminal. He is responsible. Those who behave like despots to forcibly inject people are the real criminals, and God will judge them for every ounce of suffering they inflict on His creations.
Rabbi Chananya Weissman is the founder of EndTheMadness and the author of seven books, including “Go Up Like a Wall” and “Tovim Ha-Shenayim: The role and nature of Man and Woman.” He is also the director and producer of a documentary on the shidduch world, “Single Jewish Male,” available on YouTube. His work is available at chananyaweissman.com. He can be contacted at [email protected]
Arutz Sheva expresses full support for the vaccination campaign and calls on the public to obey the instructions of the Ministry of Health and the professionals. In the op-ed section, we provide an open forum for a variety of opinions in order to provoke thought and discussion.