Israeli Chief Rabbis Call On Public To Have Children Vaccinated for Polio

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rav-dovid-lau-rav-yitzchak-yosefIsraeli Chief Rabbis Rav Dovid Lau and Rav Yitzchak Yosef expressed the importance of the national immunization campaign against polio.

“After a comprehensive investigation with professional sources in the Health Ministry, it was clarified to us that there is no room for fear in the immunization against polio,” wrote the two rabbonim in a joint statement titled “You Shall Guard Your Souls.”

Rav Yosef wrote in a letter that this “treatment also comes under the [mitzvah] of protecting one’s physical wellbeing. Bearing this in mind, it is a holy obligation and mitzvah on every parent to vaccinate their children against the polio disease, in accordance with the precise directions of the Health Ministry, which is doing holy work. ‘He who listens to us will dwell in safety.’”

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. Years ago, Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz (when he was practising medicine) had a family in Telz Stone who refused to vaccinate their children. After much debate, Rabbi Tatz got them to agree to go with him to Rav Elyashiv ZT”L and give him both sides of the debate and do whatever he paskens. This is what happened and Rav Elyashiv ruled that it is permitted in halochah to COMPEL them to vaccinate.

    In my humble opinion this falls into the geder of Kol Yisroel Areivim Ze La Ze, because those who refuse to vaccinate not only endanger themselves, but everyone else as well. This is cruel, irresponsible and stupid. Furthermore, when a frum person does this, it is also a terrible chilul hashem. Does nobody remember the recent fatalities in Lakewood from whooping cough?

    To put matters in perspective, until now, the only areas where polio had not been eradicated were Pakistan/Afghanistan (Taliban country!) and part of Nigeria.

    I would implore Matzav to continue posting such pieces to raise awareness in the Frum world.

  2. Why in 5773/2013 is this an issue in our land and among our people? We’re way past this destrjctive disease? How can parents withhold vaccinations crom their children? Aren’t they endangering them by this? It’s cruel!

  3. First of all, if the sign in Dr. Shanik’s office says there is a polio epidemic in Israel, that is incorrect. It was found in the sewage system in certain areas, nobody has symptoms and the immunization campaign is a preventive measure. The problem is that the oral polio can cause someone to catch polio. That is why we don’t use it in the US anymore after Senator Burton caught it after changing his grandchild’s diaper who had the oral version. Parents of children who are medically compromised are very nervous because even thought the gov’t is saying if their children are injected with the dead cell version, they won’t catch it from other children who are taking the oral live cell version (which doesn’t make too much sense because if they already had the injectable one, shouldn’t it work?) but their own doctors disagree!!
    What’s scary is that in India, children had received 6-10 doses of the oral version and still caught polio because they have open sewage and it’s full of polio because everybody is taking it!
    Makes you wonder if government policy is so smart after all.


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