The Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva Hagaon HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky has released a letter where he condemns those dressed as Orthodox Jews, who made a colossal Chillul Hashem in the NYS Assembly last week.
As YWN reported last week, as the final vote was announced which ended the religious exemption, jeers and disruptive screams could be heard from identifiable looking orthodox Jews howling and yelling with some even unloading expletives and threats at members of the Assembly who voted to eliminate the ability to file a religious exemption for vaccination in New York State.
YWN published two articles condemning this outrageous behaviour which made its way into a national story, even as a lead story on the Drudge Report.
Naturally, YWN was condemned by these same anti-vaxxers (who have repeatedly made death threats against YWN staff), accusing YWN of having made a Chillul Hashem. Apparently, Hagaon HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky feels otherwise, and has now condemned them.
The following is his letter – transcribed by YWN:
Last week in Albany, New York, the state legislature passed a measure later signed by Governor Cuomo eliminating the non-medical exemption from vaccination requirements. The legislators debated the proposed legislation as is their responsibility, and a vote was taken consistent with the procedural rules. Many spectators were present in the gallery to observe the proceedings.
Shockingly, some of the observers, clearly identifiable by their dress as Orthodox Jews, reacted to the vote in an offensive and profane fashion. The language used and the gestures performed by these individuals was disgraceful and shameful. No matter what their position is on the issue at hand, there is never a justification for such conduct in any forum, let alone in the State Capitol in public view.
We have a sacred responsibility to be a “light unto the nations.” Behavior of this nature is not only repugnant and antithetical to that responsibility, but serves to create a chilul Hashem B’rabim, a public desecration of the name of G-d.
I condemn this activity in the strongest of terms.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)