Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, head of the rabbinical court chiefs in Morocco, has called on his followers and listeners to get vaccinated against coronavirus, slamming those who refuse to do so and saying that their refusal leads to death.
"We got vaccinated," he said at a class in Los Angeles. "We think that every person in this generation needs to go now and get a vaccine. And all the nonsense they say... What did they say once? 'They want to put all sorts of things in people's bodies.' It's such nonsense."
"You should know, 80 years ago, when they found antibiotics, people were dying at age 50 from lung infections. And then they said, 'Antibiotics will kill, and it'll do this and that.' What happened in the end? People live until the age of 87 because of antibiotics. When you take it, lung infections disappear as if they were nothing.
"People need to get vaccinated. We see every day that people who didn't get vaccinated - die. Why be stubborn?"
Rabbi Pinto also related an incident with which he was closely familiar, in which an anti-vaxxer lost his child after refusing to allow his pregnant wife to get vaccinated.
"Someone from Shuva Israel insisted on not getting vaccinated," Rabbi Pinto recounted. "We said, 'No!' His wife was pregnant and the baby died. For what? A single soul died. That's forbidden. We don't understand this. We're trying to understand - and we don't understand.
"They made it seem as if it was a holy argument, for the sake of Heaven. Everyone go get the vaccine. What is this stupidity? We don't understand it," he added.
According to Rabbi Pinto, the confusion surrounding the issue of vaccines stems from refusal to listen to the voice of reason.
"This is the Satan. Enough. A bit of logic. The Torah tells us that a person has to be logical, to act logically, and to behave logically. And before we were logical, people would die at age 50. And with science and other things - with G-d's help - people live to age 87."