Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, the head of the Center for Jewish Ethics at the Tzohar rabbinic organization, issued a strict ruling banning a Cohen (a descendent of the Biblical priestly class) who caused another to become infected with the coronavirus and die because he did not get vaccinated from participating in the priestly blessing with other Cohanim.
"One of the special laws dealing with the priestly blessing, which is mainly a blessing of peace, states that a priest who has killed someone is not allowed to make the blessing. This is due to the inherent contradiction between bringing peace and blessing, and causing bloodshed," said Rabbi Cherlow.
The rabbi explained: "When it comes to killing during a war - the arbitrators have already written that Cohen is allowed to make the blessing. However, when it comes to intentional negligence, after hearing all the warnings, and there is certainty that he caused another person's death due to his forbidden and wrongful conduct - such a Cohen cannot bless the people with love,"
The ruling was first stated during a lecture given by Rabbi Cherlow at Yeshivat Amit Orot Shaul, where he serves as Rosh Yeshiva, and was later published by the Tzohar rabbinic organization.