Beit Shemesh: 5-Week-Old Infected With Measles


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hatzolah israel2.jpgParamedics from Hatzolah Israel responded to a call in Beit Shemesh – for a 5 week-old infant who was extraordinarily quiet and lethargic. Upon arrival, the paramedics saw that the infant was having difficulty breathing so they immediately connected her to oxygen, and a intensive-care ambulance from Magen David Adom arrived and transported her to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Yerushalayim.

Upon their arrival in the hospital the infant was diagnosed with measles.

According to Hatzolah Israel, numerous episodes of measles have been reported in Beit Shemesh recently, however this was the first time it was found in a 5 week-old infant.

Just two days ago, Yeshivaworld reported (HERE) that 286 of 295 cases of measles in the Yerushalayim region were members of Chareidi communities. The reported cases include patients living in Beit Shemesh and Beitar Illit.

According to the Health Minister, the reason for the high outbreaks are due to the fact that there is a large percentage of the Chareidi community which adamantly refuses to get immunizations against dangerous diseases.


  1. Can anyone explain the chareidi communities resistance to getting vaccines?

    Please give serious answers only. These people are not foolish. They have legitimate reasons, whether we agree or not.

  2. There are some risks with vaccines. Some beleive the inceased occurance of autism is related to the MMR vaccine. Mercury was used also supposedly used in some vaccines, but despite that I never heard of a psak not to use them.

  3. Vaccination is a trade-off. You are intentionally inflicting a potentially-dangerous organism into a healthy child in the belief that he will successfully fight the organism win the battle, and develop resistance to the full-blown disease. If he loses, tough luck!

    Many healthy children got polio from the Sabin Polio vaccine itself. So, it’s a judgment call. Some parents believe that the risks are not offset by the benefits. So, do some doctors believe, such as doctor Joseph Mercola, who specifically links the measles/mumps vaccine to the epidemic of auto-immune disease, including Diabetes:

    “Vaccines and Auto-Immune Disease – [The injection of foreign animal DNA/RNA.]

    “Auto-immune disease is common-place today, but were very rare just a few years ago. Does anybody wonder why one day we are healthy and the next day our body no longer recognizes our own cells as self? Could the injection of foreign animal DNA/RNA have anything to do with our epidemic rise in auto-immune disease today?

    Bart Classen, MD, has done some remarkable research on vaccines and auto-immune diseases, especially Diabetes mellitus, which he sees as a marker disease for all auto-immune conditions.

    His research finds that the more that vaccinations are given the more diabetes (and auto-immune diseases) appears. Dr Classen’s research found that this held true for many animal models; after receiving vaccines they experienced increases in diabetes. Then he carried his research to include vaccinated human populations.

    He found that in retrospective studies of vaccinations in five different human populations, this fact held true also. The more vaccines one received the more was their incidence of diabetes (and auto-immune diseases).

    Now it is interesting that the increases in diabetes included Juvenile-onset diabetes (Type-1), which we are told today is a profoundly “genetic” disease. Yet, Dr Claussen’s studies revealed that vaccinations [any vaccination] can cause increases in Juvenile-onset diabetes, too.

    Now one theory said that the antigenic structure of the measles/mumps virus was similar to the antigenic structure of the beta cells (which produce insulin) in the pancreas. So when our body makes antibodies to fight off measles virus, those antibodies attack the pancreatic beta cells, too. Viola diabetes!

    Vaccines, all vaccines, are immune suppressing; that is they depress our immune functions. The chemicals in the vaccines depress our immune system; the virus present depresses immune function, and the foreign DNA/RNA from animal tissues depresses immunity. Toraldo, et al found that the chemotaxis and metabolic function of PMNs (polymorphonuclear neutrophils) was significantly reduced after vaccinations were given and did not return to normal for months. Other indicators of immune system depression included reduced lymphocyte viability, neutrophil hyper-segmentation, and a reduced white cell count.

  4. Here we go again. The ministry is LYING. Charedim vaccinate, and at the same rate as secular Israelis. There is no religious issues here at all, so please let’s not discuss how those stupid charedim are being over on veneshmartem. The outbreak is primarily affecting charedim because it started with a charedi and they are in close contact with each other. Please don’t bash the charedim based on lies – that’s the Israeli ministry – and the secular media’s – job.

  5. i am “chareidi” (thats the same as “right wing” or “yeshivish” rite? i never understood the terms) and i dont think chareidi communities are opposed to getting vaccines.
    stupid people who think that despite their lack of a medical education they are more educated than professionals, dont vaccinate their kids. for some reason, there are quite a few of those “stupid” ppl who end up being frum. who knows why. but to tie “being chareidi” and “not getting immunized” together is just as unintelligent as tying “immunizations” and “autism” together.

  6. I am a bubby now. However many years ago, here in America, when measles was prevalent I asked my Rebbe about taking the vaccine. He told me to ask a halachic shylah from a Posek. They shyleh being, that many Dr’s feel that when a woman gets the vaccine she should be on birth control b/c measels can R”L cause birth defects in children and the vaccine is composed of some portion of the germ itself. Many Poskin at that time told women to take the vaccine and not go on birth control and other Poskim tell the women to go on birth control. It depends on the Posek.


  8. oyvey is right.they have determined that their is a link between autism and vaccines. i think if that fear was overcome the use of vaccines would continue as studies have shown that the fact remains that there does exist a risk to autism with vaccines. you wonder why the general public does not make a hue and cry to assure them that this risk can be eliminated.

    Now we have the measles for CHAREIDIM by todays ‘hEALTH mINISTER’.
    Are infants normally vaccinated within 5 weeks for the measles? NO! Where did the infant catch the measles from?
    Please keep in mind that the infant was first diagnosed with the Measles IN THE HOSPITAL.

  10. 1. Extensive studies have shown no link between autism and childhood vaccination.
    2. You cannot get the disease from the vaccine. Most vaccines nowadays, adult and pediatric, are inactivated (heat-killed) viruses.
    3. Thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative that was once, tenuously, linked to autism and was found in vaccines, is no longer used in vaccines used for children under the age of 6.

  11. “Can anyone explain the Chareidi communities resistance to getting vaccines?

    Please give serious answers only. These people are not foolish. They have legitimate reasons, whether we agree or not. ”
    Unfortunately, there is a pervasive ignorance in many charedi communities, that, coupled with a lack of education can wreak havoc on the health and well-being of many, especially children. In Boro Park and Williamsburg, for example, there is a huge market for vitamins and alternative treatments. The trouble with these “cure-alls” is that there is no regulation and anyone with a quack “degree” and a thousand initials after their name (consisting of everything but MD, DO or RN) can put out a shingle in a Boro Park basement (or hang up signs on a 13th Ave lamp post) and “prescribe” treatments for common ailments.

    Being limited to intra-community media keeps many in the dark. Mothers are counseled on insane diets for their children and many times are misinformed about allergies which leads to children on milk-free, wheat-free, diets, etc., for no reason!

    It’s a shame.

  12. this whole discussion is a little ridiculous since babies this young NEVER get the vaccine so this could have happened to a christian, muslim or hindu child just as easily – what does this have to do with chareidi?!?!!?

  13. “stupid people who think that…”

    If you wish to be taken seriously, house, you might be more careful with your language. Denigrative kid-talk reflects solely on the commenter.

  14. First of all,
    All those who say vaccines are bad. Please read up on your history. Before vaccine there were R”L terrible tragedies. How can anyone say that vaccines are bad? Measure the shear scientific FACTUAL illnesses before and after. Black and White, as far as I am concerned.

    I think that by lack of a serious response here. It is evident that “tootired” #6 is right. This must be a Ministry campaign.

    I would have expected otherwise to here from the thousands of bloggers here at least one person quote a psak.

  15. Does anyone know what the halacha is if someone does not vaccinate their child, and their child then ends up catching one of these terrible sicknesses and goes to school where he/she gives it out to other kids which causes other kids to die or become ill. can the parent be over Ritzicha? Mazik? since they should have gotten their child vaccinated?

  16. This is no simple problem. It has come out, from reliable sources, not from morons, that the risks from vaccinations are many times more severe than has been advertised by the medical profession and/or by governments.

    Why are they not honest? Simple: Not vaccinating can potentially cause an epidemic of the disease, which strains government’s facilities, and makes everyone mad at the government. While the damage to individuals is not epidemic in nature, and gets no one in trouble. Only the child is left permanently damaged.

    It is a proven fact that due to the mercury in the vaccines, some children are left autistic. Many parents for instance, would rather their child get measels than take a chance at becoming autistic.

    So, some parents make an informed decision to not vaccinate. They are not wrong. Neither are the rest wrong to vaccinate. It is a personal choice of the parents.

    Yes, I understand that the one who does not vaccinate may get the disease, and may give it to someone else. But he/she will only give it to someone else who was not vaccinated, not to your kids who are! Those kids parents who get it, are not ticked off, as they were expecting it, and are ready and willing to deal with it.

    Yes, some people are ticked off at those who do not vaccinate, but it is truly the parents’ choice.

    The percentages are NOT higher in Chariedi communities. That is anti-Chareidim propaganda.

    If you look at a neighborhood with a majority of chareidi children, then you will see most of those who get measels are chareidim!

    If you did the same study in an Arab neighborhood, or a “non-dati” neighborhood, you will see similar statistics for that group. These articles are being written to promote hatred of the religious people.

    Chareidi parents are responsible, loving parents who do all they can to take care of their children to the same extent as any group.

  17. Once again, let me refer you to the term “herd immunity”. Wikipedia is a good source. The fact is that there are those who can’t be vaccinated, such as those who are on chemotherapy, are organ recipients, and have other immune conditions, and, yes, newborns. So if you’re not vaccinated, you’re putting weak people at risk, who are likely to have complications, including death. I don’t think the rate of autism due to vaccines is higher than the rate of brain damage or worse that would be caused by lots of preventable illnesses. ALthough lots of older people remember having measles etc and recovering easily, some older people can recall a sibling who nearly died from measles, rubella, etc.

  18. #20 – You are wrong. It is not a proven fact that vaccinations cause autism. It has never been proved. Every study that was done on the vaccine/autism link has shown that there is no link. Even the one study which originally suggested this theory had to retract his words. It is a proven fact that Measles can and does cause permanent brain damage.

    Parents who chose not to vaccinate are not making an informed choice, they are making a misinformed choice. They mean well but have been misled by a few conspiracy theorists. Besides, todays vaccines do not contain mercury anyway. (except for the flu shot) There is more mercury in a tuna fish sandwich than there was in all the vaccines combined that one person would receive.

    I do not believe this issue is more prevalent in chareidi communities. The people who believe in not vaccinating can be found in all communities. In chareidi communities people live closer together and therefore it is easier to spread the disease.

  19. um lets be logical here people- regardless of your stance on this. most 5 week olds are not immunized against anything yet. i don’t knowabout in israel, BUT IN THE US THE ONLY SHOT GIVEN BEFORE 6 WEEKS OF AGE IS THE HEP B in other countries like canada even the first one isn’t given until 6 weeks & therefore all this conversation is meaningless. in addition even if the kid had gotten the shot, there needs to be time for immunity to develop. that is why pediatricians recommend not to take your infant’s out in public for about 2 months to prevent something like this from happening. what we should be talking about is how this infant was exposed and how to prevent it in the future. Thanks for listening- I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  20. YID 613 Just because someone is a chareidi does not automatically mean he’s not foolish. Chazal is full of sayings,halochos,stories etc where people are described as fools (i.e. k’sil shoiteh). I highly doubt chazal were only refering to people who are not chareidim. If someone can endanger their children and others and are blatantly being oiver issurim min hatorah such as venishmartem meod lenafshoiseichem and loi sa’amoid al dam re’echo then that is foolishness is the greatest sense of the word however “legitimate” their reosons are.


    Actually, the link between Autism and vaccinationation has been convincingly demonstrated by Dr, Mark Geier in his two papers, entitled:

    Thimerosol in childhood vaccines, neurodevelopmental disorders, and heart disease in the U.S

    Early downward trends in neurodevelopmental disorders following removal of Thimerosol -containing vaccines

  22. “what we should be talking about is how this infant was exposed and how to prevent it in the future. Thanks for listening- I’ll get off my soapbox now.

    Comment by frumnurse — December 27, 2007 @ 5:03 pm ”

    Uh we are, the press is assuming that a baby got the measles from an uninnoculated child in the neighborhood….. maybe he got it from Tzafon Tel Aviv too….. hmm,

  23. aaaa,
    Of course you are right. What I meant was that as a whole community, the chareidim or any other group would not do something so irrational unless guided to do so by halacha or some other factor. There will always be some “different” people in all communities. Whatever shape or size they may be.
    But to act as community on such an issue means that they have certain knowledge or intelligence that they are considering that we don’t know about. Don’t you think it’s weird that an entire community would not give their children vaccines(free, by the way)collectively??

  24. RAV ELYASHIV was approached with this question on behalf of one couple in the Yerushalayim area who wished not to vaccinate their children for fear of side effects.

    He ruled that parents SHOULD vaccinate, although the reason he gave for the ruling was quite interesting – not what you’d imagine.

    I heard this in detail from the Rav who asked the question to Rav Elyashiv personally, and I’d be happy to give any information or verification of this psak if members of this blog are interested.

  25. Actually, if anyone cares to peruse epidemic records, measles epidemics have started with, and spread by, FULLY VACCINATED individuals. I’ll try to find a link so you guys can see for yourselves.

    In fact, this is probably why the ministry is bold face lying about charedim “adamantly refusing” to vaccinate due to so called “religious reasons.” It is much easier to blame those fanatic charedim for the measles then to face the fact that the epidemic happened DESPITE a near complete vaccination rate.

  26. well thanks #29- I obviously figured that the kid caught it from someone & they were probably not immunized. what I meant was- maybe people with unimmunized kids (by choice or not) should kind of be careful where they bring there kids if there is a measle problem & no immunity. And if as someone above said that the kid was diagnosed in the hospital, then maybe it was a result of healthcare laxities. Really you don’t have to flame people because you aren’t sure what they are talking about.

  27. Now it is interesting that the increases in diabetes included Juvenile-onset diabetes (Type-1), which we are told today is a profoundly “genetic” disease.

    My brother has type 1 (since he was 14) and MOST doctors say that it is not genetic.

  28. I don’t understand how anyone could think twice abt giving vaccinations to their children. If the ped says to give, you give and trust their medical expertise. Why do some ppl think they’re smarter than the world?

  29. the outbreak started here in london, where immunisation is not mandatory, as it is in america, and possibly elsewhere. it was a terrible outbreak, with many infected patients ending up in the hospital with side effects of the illness, such as pneumonia. may i remind your readers that helen keller was a normal toddler until she contracted measles, which left her blind and deaf. we have to do our hishtadlus, and immunise. say an extra kappital, put an extra penny in the pushka, and ask hashem to help that it should all be alright. i heard that some poskim consider unimmunised people carrying serious diseases to be rodfim, as they infect other, vulnerable people.