MEASLES OUTBREAK UPDATES: Contagious Person INSIDE BMG; Schools Around Country Push Back; OU & RCA Statements


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THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE – MORE MEASLES IN LAKEWOOD: Contagious Person Visited Wedding Hall, Mesivta, BMG, DMV; 12 Cases Confirmed, Another 11 Suspected

The measles outbreak continues to spread, with additional cases reported in many areas. As YWN reported on Tuesday, the outbreak is mostly affecting the Frum population, fueled by anti-vaccine propaganda spread by a small minority of the community. Not only is the anti-vaxxer cult responsible for this outbreak, but they are responsible for anti-Semitic propaganda that has begun spreading online – specifically targeting Jews because of failing to get vaccinated.

Lakewood has at least 11 confirmed cases, but that number is likely higher. In just one case, YWN has been informed of 6 people in one family of anti-vaxxers that all have signs and symptoms of measles. The mother refuses to take her children to a doctor due to fears of the “doctor injecting poison into her children”.

Despite threats of lawsuits by the anti-vaxxer cult, the The Ocean County Health Department continues to support and highly encourage the exclusion of non-vaccinated children from schools, preschools and daycares in the outbreak area. These entities have the authority to make that decision when an outbreak has been declared by the New Jersey Department of Health.

Brooklyn has at least 24 confirmed cases, mostly in Boro Park and Williamsburg.

There are unconfirmed reports of cases in Passaic, NJ. YWN has been unable to confirm them at the time of publishing.

New York officials have confirmed 68 cases of measles in just Rockland County, making it the largest outbreak in the state in decades.

The Journal News reports Rockland County’s outbreak originated from three groups of travelers from Israel, and it has affected residents in New Square, Monsey and Spring Valley. Rockland health officials say the affected patients are a mix of adults, teens and children. County officials are monitoring schools to ensure non-immunized children are not attending.







Orthodox Jewish parents, like responsible parents across the United States, overwhelmingly vaccinate their children against measles, mumps, rubella, polio and the other childhood diseases for which inoculations are now almost miraculously commonplace. As in many communities, a small minority of parents chooses not to do so. The ongoing measles outbreak demonstrates how this could bear very serious consequences, not only for their own children but others’ too, especially those medically unable to be vaccinated. The Orthodox Union (OU) and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) strongly urge all parents to vaccinate their healthy children on the timetable recommended by their pediatrician.

Judaism places the highest value on preserving human life. It is well known that those facing even a potential life or death situation are instructed to set aside the Sabbath and other key tenets of halachic (Jewish law) observance until the emergency has passed. Prayers for good health and for the complete and perfect healing of the ill are an ages-old aspect of Jewish tradition. But prayers must go hand-in-hand with availing oneself of medical science, including vaccination.

There are halachic obligations to care for one’s own health as well as to take measures to prevent harm and illness to others, and Jewish law defers to the consensus of medical experts in determining and prescribing appropriate medical responses to illness and prevention. Therefore, the consensus of major poskim (halachic decisors) supports the vaccination of children to protect them from disease, to eradicate illness from the larger community through so-called herd immunity, and thus to protect others who may be vulnerable.

While the health of children is an important consideration, everyone should consult with his or her religious, medical and legal advisors in determining what actions to take. Nothing in this statement should be construed to add to or detract from rights or obligations created by New York or other state and federal statutes and regulations.


6 Kislev 5779
November 14, 2018

Dear Parents:

As you know, well before the current measles outbreak, we had instituted a very vigorous campaign to insure that every child is immunized. Boruch Hashem, we have had several reviews by the New York City Health Department who were amazed at the impeccable records and the degree of compliance that our parents have shown. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of you who have cooperated to see that your daughters were up to date with their immunizations, thereby insuring the safety of the entire school population.

Up until this time, there has been a legal loop hole recognized by the city, called “religious exemption”. While the percentage of parents opting for this exemption was less than half a percent of our school population, at this point in time, it has been decided that the school will no longer allow children with religious exemptions to be in school. I have personally reached out to the parents who have used this exemption and informed them of this policy. Please be assured that each and every student in our school will be immunized and no student will be in school who has not received the required immunizations.

We pray that everyone in Klal Yisroel remain healthy and safe while we continue to do our hishtadlus to insure that outcome.


Rabbi Meyer Weitman


The following letter was released on Tuesday, and signed by HaRav Shmuel Fuerst, the Dayan of Agudath Yisroel of Illinois, and HaRav Yona Reiss, Ava Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council.

YWN has previously published an audio recording of HaRav Fuerst of Chicago regarding the vaccinations. Rav Fuerst joined the growing list of Poskim releasing Piskei Halacha directed towards the anti-vaxxers, following the measles outbreak which has spread across many Chareidi communities.

Rav Fuerst says he did alot of research into the issue (of vaccinations), and released the following message (audio below, transcribed by YWN):

“Every child must have vaccination shots. And a school should not take in any kids that were not vaccinated because of the Issur of ‘Lo Saamod Al Dam Reacha’ – because another child can catch this sickness. It can be measles, mumps, polio or any of these types of illnesses which are almost completely unheard of, and now we are hearing of them because people are not getting vaccinations.

“If you have a playgroup, you must make sure that all the children are vaccinated. If there is a child who is not vaccinated, you (the playgroup owner) must notify all the other parents, because you are putting them all in jeopardy”.

Rav Fuerst says this applies to children simply going to play at another child’s home. If they are unvaccinated, the other family must be notified.


“Whoever isn’t vaccinated is a murderer” – so reads a Kol Koreh signed by leading Gedolim and Poskim in Eretz Yisroel. The letter was issued in an attempt to curb the rampant spread of the Measles currently spreading through Chareidi communities in Israel, as well as in other communities in Israel and around the world.

The Gedolim who signed the Kol Koreh include: Hagaon HaRav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Hagaon HaRav Shimon Ba’adani, Hagaon HaRav Sriel Rosenberg, Hagaon HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein and Hagaon HaRav Menachem Mendel Lubin.

YWN reported about a letter released by Hagaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, who stated specifically it is the responsibility of every father to make certain his children are vaccinated, bringing quotes from Shulchan Aruch citing the matter of שפיחת דמים, causing loss of life.

An audio recording of Hagaon HaRav Uren Reich, the Rosh Yeshiva of Woodlake, is currently viral on social media. The shiur was recorded THREE YEARS AGO, but the words are timely. YWN has confirmed that Rav Reich’s opinion on the matter is the same, and even stronger now than before against the anti-vaxxers.

Measles is highly contagious, so anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease.

People who are unvaccinated risk getting infected with measles and spreading it to others, and they may spread measles to people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if:

• they were born before 1957

• have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine

• have had measles confirmed by a health care provider

• or have a lab test confirming immunity

Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose, and they could appear 10 to 12 days after exposure.

The virus can remain in the air or on surfaces for up to two hours.

To prevent the spread of illness, health officials are advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. That’s a pretty parve statement from the OU & RCA. They strongly urge us to vaccinate based on this that and the other, but consult your guru for advice first before changing your opinion. Also, please don’t sue us for making this bland statement.

  2. What a terrible medical problem and horrendous chillul Hashem the “anti-vaxxers” are causing. B”H, BMG, the largest Yeshiva in America, is now taking a stand that everyone should vaccinate. I also applaud TAG’s position that no one who is unvaccinated will be allowed in the school. And I am so appreciative of the Rabbonim here and in E”Y who have shown true rabbinic leadership in strongly encouraging vaccination and stressing the Halachic basis for why non-vaccination is no option for a Yid. As for the threat from the anti-vaxxers of legal action, let them go at it. As has been shown by the health departments and prominent law firms, they don’t stand a chance of winning but will be responsible for all legal fees. I do pity the mother who is scared that doctors “will inject poison into her children” – clearly she has been fed such a pack of lies that she seems actually scared to vaccinate her kids. I hope that, if she is reading this, she will talk to her pediatrician, family doctor, local health department, or local medical organization who can set her straight and explain to her why her fears have no basis and why she should immediately get her family vaccinated.

  3. what an endorsement by the ou and rca what a joke , if the ou got paid for it they would give a hechsher on the measels, why cant they just say there is a halachick obligation to get vaccinated period end of story

  4. To all anti-waxers.
    Every medicine (including health market medicines and even Tylenol ) is theoretically a poison.
    They difference is medicines help you and vaccines help others. (Including unborn babies, sick children and frail elderly).
    Make a choice what kind of person you are.

  5. > theywnreader

    “That’s a pretty parve statement ”

    What is that supposed to mean? Actually, the fact that the statement references the law violating Shabbos in a life-or-death question is clearly a clear “hint” to those to whom this statement is mainly aimed (the “ultra-Orthodox”) that they are nut cases who are endangering everyone by ignoring this halacha. The reason it is worded in such an obtuse manner is so that “embarrassment will not force the anti-vaxers into a defensive position and come out with retaliatory pronouncements. Another reason is that we don’t want to come out with ammunition for the anti-Semites with an open statement that we admit how backwards and dangerous the Jews are in not vaccinating. ANd further, we don’t want a panic out there where those with legitimate medical reasons not to vaccinate will end up killing themselves (or even others) by vaccinating when it should not vaccinated for legitimate medical reasons.

  6. I cannot understand this mentality. Measles is NOT a benign disease. I’m just baffled. Another poster on a different article claimed something about a rebbitzen or two spreading the anti-vax nonsense? Is there any veracity to that claim?

  7. Please try reading the BMG letter again and understand what it says, not what you want it to say. It says the Public Health Department says to get vaccinated. No where does it say BMG says to get vaccinated. BMG urges you not to go out in public, call a doctor or call one of their Rabbis. But nowhere does it say to get vaccinated. AND please note, it is not signed by anyone!

  8. What is truly bizarre is that there still seems to be some uncertainty or confusion as to the ‘official” positions of rabbonim and askanim as to how their indiviual mosdos will treat this situation. We can get a gazillion heilege rabbonim to sign a kol koreh about Lipa’s music (I’m dating myself) but there are still some modos that are waffling on whether to BAN all anit-vaxer from their facilities. Kol Hakovod to the majority of rabbonim of the major mosdos for their clear stand on a life/death issue which shouldn’t require any further “study”.

  9. Where is Josh 18 now that all the rabonom, Dr’s, schools and Jewish organizations are coming out again anti vaxers. Him and his few rabonom that he claims he has have gotten awfully silent.

  10. There are some problems perhaps many problems even some very serious problems in modern medicine, however, there is also a lot of good in modern medicine. Vaccines belong to the good category and it’s not optional. People used to die left and right from illnesses that are now preventable through vaccination. No one one has the right to put their kids and others in danger. Benjamin Franklin said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  11. anonymous, I’m not familiar with this letter- please show me. Secondly, there has been many changing and evolving views from various Rabbonim who may not necessarily been in favor of vaccination years or months ago but have very recently come out in favor of vaccinations. Our goal is to see recent views from Rabbonim, not something from 1986 or 2013. You want two sides?—- show us your anti-vaxx side with accurate and recent sources and references from Rabbonim and licensed Medical Professionals- feel free to respond in this forum when you gather it.

  12. chaim11211 ,

    did it occur to you that the moderator is not allowing any other opinion to be posted??

    yes we are back in the middle ages and soviet Russia, no other opinion is allowed to be voices except for pro vaxxers

  13. Bubby:

    BMG is not a medical practitioner, nor is it an institution composed of experts in the medical field. The Torah already tells us ונשמרתם מאד לנפשתיכם. All BMG can and should do is to provide the needed information. To whatever degree people wish to consider this a shailoh in halacha, BMG provides the info that one should apply. Don’t sweat the absence of signatures. We have all been privy to kol korehs with forged signatures, both in E”Y and America.

  14. How is a post like this allowed? Please explain how this is not Loshen Hora?

    arib November 15, 2018 6:20 am at 6:20 am
    what an endorsement by the ou and rca what a joke , if the ou got paid for it they would give a hechsher on the measels, why cant they just say there is a halachick obligation to get vaccinated period end of story

  15. Josh 18 I am very open minded to hear another side. My position comes from being pro life. Can you please explain to me your position. Can you please explain to me why someone would risk the lives of their kids and others. I personally don’t understand why child protection services don’t just take the kids and vaccinate them. They would be doing the parents a favor too because 99.9% of parents don’t want to see their kids sick. These parents, I’m sure, mean well but just don’t realize the importance of vaccinations and how they B’ezras Hashem keep people well. For some reason they think that vaccines make people sick. Please Josh, if you you can explain to me your position I’d love to hear thank you.

  16. Midwood Bubby I don’t need BMG or anyone else for that matter to tell me to protect my life and the lives of my kids, so it really makes absolutely no difference as to what the letter says. In fact I didn’t even read the letter because I really don’t care what it says. Why don’t you take a look at the letter from Rav Shmuel Fuerst which outlined 3 very compelling reasons (chiyuvim from the Torah) why one must vaccinate, and Rav Moshe Shterbuch’s letter stating unequivocally the absolute obligation to vaccinate.

  17. A56,

    thank you for your decent and non combative post.

    I have tried numerous times to post what I belive is a very sane and neutral opinion.

    WHat can I do if no online site lets the post through.

    I have tried countless times. I am at the point of where I dont see any more purpose in my writting in.

    I am not part of an anti-vaxx group nor do I believe that not giving any vaccines is right. The issue is whenver I try to post anything remotely questioning the prevailing opinion (when I sadly have a personal example which i am living through till today) it is never let thru. That is the power of the yetzer hara today that no other opinion other than what is decided in the halls of science, with financial backing is allowed to be heard

  18. I have an email from earlier today from a yeshiva in Miami who officially revised their vaccination policy to no longer allow students to attend school if they aren’t fully vaccinated. Religious exemption is no longer admissible. The yeshiva made the right choice, and I applaud them. Though the yeshiva doesn’t add this, but refusal to vaccinate might as well mean you should send your kids to public school. Say goodbye to Jewish education for your children if you don’t want to vaccinate.

  19. To Josh18 I understand your frustration in not being able to post the article or link or whatever it is that you wanted to post. I guess one can do research to find other opinions and views to fully understand the issue from all its angles. At the time of my post I did think you were a completely anti-vaxx and did not realize that you were just trying to present all sides and I am sorry for that misunderstanding. After I had already posted my comment I understood your position better from a comment that you posted on a different article. I also am very sorry about the adverse situation that you are dealing with. May Hashem grant you a complete yeshuah very quickly and you should just have happiness and good health from now on. And bottom line, to all Jews, we should all just be well and have kul tuv v’tov and Hashem should guide us to do the right thing and like Reb Moshe Shternbuch ends off his letter Hakadosh Baruchhu should remove all sickness and we should all greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu B’mheira B’yameinu.

  20. Rumors are out there that Rich Roberts from LW is giving huge amounts of money to the few popular websites inc. Yeshiva World News to pump the agenda & keep the ball rolling strong against the parents that have strong concerns against vaccines….

    Moderators Note: It’s true. Rich Roberts just dropped off stacks of cash.

  21. Josh18 to quote the last sentence of your comment “That is the power of the yetzer hara today that no other opinion other than what is decided in the halls of science, with financial backing is allowed to be heard” No question this is very true not just in medicine, but also in other areas where there is an agenda like global warming. There are definitely different opinions about it, but many say that if one doesn’t believe in it, he or she is anti-science, as we know from politics. Definitely there is a lot of corruption in modern day medicine too, as I acknowledged above. We should just hear good news and all the best to you.

  22. Thank you A56,

    your kind words are soothing to my soul.

    I only wish everyone would take your kind, open minded approach without all the combative, divisive and hurtful words and actions.