In the latest in the vaccination “controversy” – which is actually not much of a controversy, save for a tiny minority of misguided people who are out there making a lot of noise – those who are following renowned frum doctors and are vaccinating their children while keeping dangerous anti-vaxxers out of Torah schools following a p’sak of Rav Yosf Shalom Elyashiv zt”l have now been accused of sinas chinom.
The problem is that there’s no sinah, and it surely is not chinom.
There’s no sinah, because it’s not about hating. As Matzav readers know, it’s about basic safety and procedural medicine.
And it’s not chinom, because the battling back against misguided anti-vaxxers is not “baseless.” It’s rooted in something very real.
Take, for example, a certain anti-vaccination hotline that encouraged parents to trick schools into accepting their non-vaccinated children.
Battling such deception is sinas chinom?
In Lakewood, 32 local pediatricians signed a letter advising everyone to get the vaccine immediately. “Anyone who is unvaccinated can create a serious health risk to people who are immunosuppressed or not yet vaccinated,” they wrote. “Therefore, we collectively advise that those individuals should not go to school or playgroups until further notice.”
Are these doctors guilty of sinas chinom?
Rav Elyashiv, in a p’sak authored by Rav Dovid Uri Morgenstern, a well-known medical expert and a ben bayis by Rav Elyashiv, ruled that it is incumbent on everyone to vaccinate their children, and that mosdos should reject non-vaccinated children because they can infect other children.
Was Rav Elyashiv, chalilah, guilty of sinas chinom?
We know the answer.
Are those who wish to follow Rav Elyashiv’s p’sak – meaning 99% of Torah Jews – guilty of sinas chinom?
Dr. Alan Werzberger is a pediatrician who has been treating patients in Monroe since 1985. He has administered over one million vaccinations. You read that correctly. One million. And no, Kiryas Yoel does not have a higher rate of autism than other places despite being one of these most vaccinated enclaves of frum Jews.
Who do you believe? A doctor who has given one million vaccinations or a group of mothers who say they’ve done their research and don’t want to vax?
Who do you believe? A doctor who has given one million vaccinations or people who have no medical background but claim to have the research that “proves” that vaccinating is dangerous?
Dr. Werzberger has pointed out that a common claim of anti-vaxxers is bias within the medical community. But he himself performed a trial in a manner that eliminated the possibility of bias. This from Dr. Werzberger: “Everyone naturally wants their study to prove something. That is why we conduct double blind, placebo controlled tests. This means that half the shots are the vaccine and the other half are dummy needles, and neither the patient nor the doctor knows who got which shot. This eliminates any possibility to alter results, as those diagnosing the disease don’t know until it’s done if that patient got the vaccine or the placebo.”
Another major talking point of the anti-vaccine movement is their claims that doctors lack credibility, stating, “Doctors will always say what the medical world wants them to say,” “If a doctor admits that vaccines are bad, they will lose their license,” and other such rhetoric. Dr. Werzberger addresses this misconception as well.
“When New York City sought to ban metzitzah b’peh, the entire medical world banded together behind the city to decry the practice. I, and many other doctors, stood up against the medical establishment and were not concerned about speaking out. I wrote affidavits, based on results from my practice, against some of America’s most prestigious doctors. I wasn’t scared to stand alone. If I felt that there was something wrong with vaccines, I would have no problem standing up against the rest of the world and announcing my beliefs. But in all my experience, I’ve never seen any serious adverse effects from vaccines. And we have all seen the positive effects that the vaccine has in curbing the disease.”
But Dr. Werzberger didn’t address one thing: Is he guilty of sinas chinom for caring for Yiddishe kinder by calling for vaccinations and refuting the anti-vaxxer rhetoric?
Obviously not. He’s an oheiv Yisroel of the highest regard.
But the anti-vaxxers are running around yelling sinas chinom.
Why? Why have they resorted to this latest outrageous claim? How did we get here?
Here’s the answer:
It seems that they, like others who take unpopular and controversial opinions that the mainstream klal disagrees with and then have to stumble to their feet when they are called out on it, are gasping for air. They’ve been exposed. And people are distancing themselves. Their efforts are dying, their minority radical opinions are blowing up in their faces, and they have little left for them to do to combat the “assault.” So they play victim. And they accuse people of sinas chinom. They say that the people they disagree with are senile and don’t know what’s going on. They lob all types of unfounded claims, as preposterous as they may be.
Anything to save face. Anything to promote their agenda.
But the hamon am is too smart. People have caught on to their ruse.
These misguided people have been running full speed ahead, holding a self-righteous banner.
But they may have just realized that there’s no one following behind them.