By Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver
We are living through terrifying times, and I am not talking about Covid-19.
We are seeing draconian measures enforced in the western world that are harsher than any we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes. On the face of it, this should awaken alarm and skepticism of the explanations we’ve been given for this vast expansion of government power. Yet many people, including in the Jewish community and including in the Orthodox Jewish community, see no problem with these measures, and they willingly encourage and enforce them. Some even do so with zeal and fanaticism, to the point of informing—of reporting to the police anyone who dares disobey the government.
And they’re doing so based on a fundamentally true principle.
However, I believe that in this case, the principle is being grossly and dangerously misapplied.
This is the basic principle in Jewish law that pikuach nefesh, the preservation of life, supersedes all other concerns, even otherwise strict obligations under Jewish law. Based on a doctor’s rulings, one can desecrate the Shabbos (Sabbath), eat non-kosher food, eat on the holy fast day of Yom Kippur. And so on.
During the Covid-19 crisis, community leaders have been telling us that we must obey the government health experts, and invoking Jewish law to support their claim. After all, Jewish law says that one should listen to health experts, to the point that one even violates what is normally forbidden based on their word.
This message is not really new and different. This is a basic principle in Jewish law. We do not need any great scholarship to know that danger to life is an overriding principle; any schoolchild knows this.
The issue is not whether we should listen to experts in matters of health. Rather, the fundamental issue is which experts we should listen to. Who exactly is making the threat assessment? Are they truly reliable? Could they have conflicts of interest that would call into question or even entirely discredit their supposedly authoritative opinions? Are the leaders asking these questions?
Yes of course, safety and health are paramount priorities. But those who have studied the development of totalitarian regimes understand that it is for this very reason that the claim of saving the people from some scary danger is a perfect tool for control and manipulation by people acting in bad faith with a sinister, nefarious agenda.
We are being told to obey the “public health” experts. But it really doesn’t take much time to research the history of “public health” and see just how correct and reliable it has been in the past (e.g., see here, here, here, and here). Ten minutes of research on Google will lead you down a rabbit hole of many past incidents when public health officials not only got it wrong, but they deliberately lied—with regard to pesticides, AIDS, firearms, and much more.
More generally and fundamentally, public health itself is a part of the political system, and politics is inherently about money, power, and control. So public health is not and cannot ever be about pure science and truth.
The medical industry in general is joined at the hip to Big Pharma, which has been exposed as controlling medical school and medicines in order to maximize profit, not healing and good health. Those who offer cheaper, more natural, and healthier alternatives to expensive synthetic pharmaceutical products are persecuted and marginalized, their businesses are outlawed, and they are even sometimes killed.
It would be one thing if these leaders were naïve in their health decisions about their own lives. It’s another thing entirely if they impose this naivete on the community, especially when they stubbornly refuse to listen to those who try to point out that they’ve been misinformed.
These leaders are not doing their due diligence to question the narrative we’re being told. And this negligence is even more egregious now than when the scare began.
The truth has increasingly emerged that we were sold a hoax: Covid-19 is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu, and likely less so. We were given false information about the death toll in Italy. The numbers were padded and governments worldwide are giving unethical financial incentives to hospital administrations to falsely classify deaths from other causes as Covid-19 deaths. The CDC issued directives to classify deaths assumed to be from Covid-19 even without a test. The tests are utterly faulty and don’t even test for Covid-19. The original mathematical model was grossly exaggerated and completely flawed from the outset. The media is using crisis actors to hype up the fear. According to testimonies, the hospitals in New York, the supposed hotspot for Covid-19, were systematically murdering the Covid-19 patients and that is in fact what was causing the higher death count there back in March and April.
Yet all these facts are ignored by the governments, so they are also ignored by the community leaders. This is surreal. The governments clearly have a deceptive agenda, so why are the leaders playing along?
These are often the same folks who told us to obey the “health experts” with regard to vaccines, despite the numerous reports coming out that many children are severely injured by vaccines. But because the government ignores that and mandates the vaccines, these leaders push us to conform and not to try to find exemptions, nor are they willing to represent us on the political front to push for vaccine exemptions. Some have even actively supported not allowing religious schools to accept religious vaccine exemptions legal in that state.
They are the blind leading the blind.
Their blindness is astonishing.
It could be simply a blind spot due to a naive overestimation of the wisdom of the official public health officials, due to the psychological influence of the inflated status of “official culture” to which all citizens are susceptible. But we expect more of our supposed leaders.
The truth about the other side of the story is now so widespread that it’s hard to think that this attachment to the official story is not willful. It is unpleasant but unavoidable to speculate on what motivates this irrational compliance. It could be concern about their image and a desire not to be seen as “bucking the system” and breaking the taboo against criticizing the government. Many are surely affected by a perceived desire to keep their positions, a desire for their schools and synagogues to receive the continued support of wealthy patrons or to receive continued government grants and funding to ease the financial burden on their institutions. This essentially means, sadly, that these leaders are compromised and corrupted. I would even suggest that until they openly admit their failure and apologize, they should no longer be trusted to be consulted on anything, as they have proven themselves incompetent.
This phenomenon of blind acceptance of the official government narrative on matters of health is shameful and terrifying. Our trusted leaders are blindly following the government-approved “health experts”, and the sheeple are blindly following the leaders, so we have a serious problem.
This is a very slippery slope.
The problem is the automatic conformity. All based on an endless, constantly repeated argument from authority. All without considering dissenting medical voices and blatant conflicts of interest. All based on the presumption that in matters of public health policy in our institutions, the government and only the government knows best and therefore it must call all the shots.
These people are not thinking clearly; they’re obeying like robots. They’re not willing to consider anything that deviates from the official narrative. They’re not willing to listen to an argument presenting reason and evidence and adjust their opinion accordingly. They automatically dismiss anyone questioning the official narrative as a nutcase. They’re viewing the official narrative as religious dogma, all while failing to stand up for our human and religious rights.
They said that we needed to keep the shuls (synagogues) closed because opening might endanger lives, now they say we must submit to masks, plexiglass, and social distancing in shuls and mass testing of our children, and soon they will doubtless say that we must all submit to a fast-tracked Covid vaccine. All because of health.
But I guarantee you that if you would ask these same leader and administrators to take some action about the even potential danger of the Wifi in the schools or the 5G towers (which were being installed behind our backs right while we were in lockdown) right near the schools, they would give you a funny look and dismiss your concerns. If you would say that the documented harms of vaccines declared by SCOTUS is reason not to mandate them and to allow parents to decline mandates, many would dismiss your arguments and tell you to obey the government.
So the claim that this is about health and safety—“pikuach nefesh”—is disingenuous. What’s really going on here is blind obedience to government, not to true, unbiased health experts.
(It should be obvious, but I’ll say it anyway because I believe it needs to be emphasized: The only health experts that stand a chance of being truly reliable and authoritative are those independent of government. Not that they’re perfect, but they at least stand a chance of being honest and pure. And even they must state their rationale and respond intelligently to criticism of their positions.)
The government justifies every deprivation of freedom in the name of safety, all in total denial of the fact that Covid-19 has been proven not to be a pandemic!
A pandemic is defined by vast numbers of people getting severely ill and dying in many countries. We’re told that this is a worldwide pandemic, so where are these huge numbers? Nowhere! And those who died with but not from the virus don’t count!
It’s nothing but a scamdemic!
And yet the leaders still support the harsh measures!
Where will it end?
Will the leaders demand the people take a vaccine, along with an invisible ink tattoo, before being allowed to return to the schools, the rabbinical colleges, and the synagogues?
Will the leaders demand the people submit to being microchipped before being allowed to return to the schools, the rabbinical colleges, and the synagogues?
What if the government comes and tells us that a certain area is entirely contaminated and everyone must be evacuated to an undisclosed location, will our leaders support that too?
Exactly how many freedoms will they support we surrender in the name of obeying the apparently infallible public health officials?!
We expect more from leaders. That’s why they’re the leaders. They have a greater voice and influence, and a greater responsibility. They have failed us.
These leaders are in denial, just like the vast majority of the members of the community. Have courage! Ignore them!
We are being robbed of our rights and freedoms, and they will never, ever come back the way they were with this naïve, compliant, mindless attitude. Unless we expose this Big Lie of the Covid hoax, our civil liberties as citizens of western democracies will not return, nor will our religious freedoms to gather and pray freely. And by freely, I mean without masks and social distancing undermining the social fabric, and in not long a certificate of immunity, a temperature test, a vaccine, and a microchip. Those worried about catching the dreaded disease are free to stay home, but those who choose to come to the synagogue should be entitled to make their own choices and to take their chances.
We need to get ready to say no. No to masks, no to social distancing, no to contact tracing, no to mandatory testing, no to vaccine mandates, no to government intervention in our private lives, no to anything that inhibits our freedoms. And we need our leaders and communal workers to support us and lead us in this refusal. And if they choose to be so blind that they would rather fall right into this devious trap set by the elites who are putting out this propaganda, we reject them as our leaders.
If you’re one of our leaders, consider the words of the critics. Consider the illogical and excessive enforcement of the lockdowns, the deployment of drones, four-legged robots, tanks, the national guard, children needlessly separated from parents, and the signs of upcoming mandatory vaccination. Remember the lessons of history and the danger of a rapid introduction of tyranny through deception. We study history so we will learn its lessons and be vigilant against such events recurring. We are not immune today and I would submit that we are living through just such a takeover, under the guise of a staged and bogus pandemic. Listen to Covid skeptics with an open mind and be willing to have the humility and integrity to publicly retract and apologize for your earlier insufficiently researched and misinformed position and policy.
Approach your communal leader and bring the words of the critics of the official story to his attention. Let’s hope he takes you seriously. If not, go to your fellow congregants and try to influence those among your friends whom you think might take you seriously. If they do, get them to approach him. If this fails, sorry to say, you may need a new congregation. Start your own breakaway minyan (prayer service).
When government tyranny is intensifying worldwide and yet the death toll is extremely low, any rational observer should be able to tell that this is not at all about a deadly virus. The alleged virus is a pretext for an unprecedented worldwide power-grab. If leaders—whether religious or lay leaders—have any value, if leaders were ever needed, it would be to speak out against this grave, rapidly growing threat to the freedom of all mankind.
Even if despite all the proof coming out that the numbers are padded, these leaders (mistakenly) still consider the virus a serious threat, why can’t they at least also see that the danger from this government power-grab is just as serious, if not vastly more? If these leaders are willing to call for extreme caution against the virus, why won’t they also come out against draconian government restrictions and mandates?
In fact, no communal leader should be promoting any measures at all. Covid-19 has been proven a lie. There is no pandemic and there never was and now it’s totally obvious. In fact, there is no proof that Covid-19 even exists. The reason the government won’t admit that and won’t engage directly any scientific critiques of its policies, is that this was all planned from the outset—it’s a plannedemic. But we should not let ourselves to be played for fools! At this point anyone in leadership, no matter how otherwise respectable he may be, who willfully ignores this ongoing deception and continues to push for compliance with these measures is complicit in enabling tyranny.
Don’t obey these compromised leaders. Seek out the truth for yourself through the web of lies. Use your basic G-d-given critical thinking skills. Obey your conscience and common sense. Don’t allow anyone to shame you for asking questions. Never automatically accept an argument from authority—demand to see the actual detailed threat assessment, the written proof and detailed arguments from independent experts.
Demand that your rights and freedoms be honored, especially your right to make your own choices in medical matters for yourself and your family. Resist tyranny and mind control, no matter who is brainwashed or compromised into imposing it.