Rabbi Yaakov Ariel
Rabbi Yaakov Ariel Arutz Sheva

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, a leading Religious Zionist rabbi and formerly municipal rabbi of Ramat Gan and the head of a Jewish court for monetary issues, called on parents to sue teachers who infect children with coronavirus, and prevent such teachers from entering schools - without providing them with monetary compensation for remaining at home.

According to Israel Hayom, Rabbi Ariel responded to a question sent to him via the Yeshiva websites, regarding a class of students who contracted coronavirus from an unvaccinated teacher. As a result, the entire class was required to quarantine for two weeks, including over the Purim holiday. After providing this background, the questioner inquired whether it is permissible to sue the teacher and demand compensation.

"Yes," Rabbi Ariel wrote. "The teacher falls under the law regarding one who is 'pursuing' another (although he does not have to be put to death, G-d forbid), and you should demand compensation from him, under the laws of 'shevet,' distress, and perhaps more."

"Shevet" is one of five payments made by a perpetrator to an injured party under Jewish law, and it aims to compensate the victim for the losses caused to him during the time he was unable to work.

"Therefore, someone who puts someone else into a closed place must compensate him for this," Rabbi Ariel wrote. "Usually the payment is for the loss of work days, but the loss of school days and being removed from friends and family, especially during Purim, are serious losses, and the court will need to assess them."

"That teacher cannot protect himself by saying that he did not do anything, and that he did not intend this," Rabbi Ariel stressed. "He sinned when he did not get vaccinated on time (teachers were given priority appointments for vaccination). He knew that this is an infectious plague, and by entering the classroom, he did something very serious."

"With this, I call on parents not to keep silent. Our children's right to health is more important than the 'personal rights' of teachers to infect our children and endanger their lives, G-d forbid. Teachers who infect [students] should be tried, and such teachers should be prevented from entering schools, without compensating them for that."

On Tuesday morning, Galei Zahal reported that an unvaccinated substitute preschool teacher in Ramat Hasharon infected 16 children in her class and one staff member, forcing the preschool to close.