HISTORIC: Satmar Paper “Der Yid” Publishes Editorial in ENGLISH Blasting Anti-Vaxxers

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The Der Yid Newspaper (affiliated with the Satmar community of Williamsburg) printed a strong editorial against the anti-vaxxers. The newspaper also took the rare step of printing it in English. It would be good if it can be posted. The English below is a verbatim translation of the Yiddish.

Below is an edited version for smoother reading and clarity.

Senseless! Heartless! Torah-less and Reckless

Orthodox Jewry in general, and Williamsburg in particular, found themselves in the media this week due to the measles outbreak that is spreading among observant Jews more than any other community.

The City, doctors, community leaders and the yeshivas have been appealing with public for weeks and months to stop the foolishness that penetrated to a small percentage of observant Jews not to vaccinate their children which has directly led to the measles outbreak. Our publication has devoted many pages during the past few months with various reports and announcements regarding the danger of measles and the critical importance to vaccinate.

Yet, a small number of stubborn parents still know better.

We are not doctors; we have not studied medicine or statistics like the geniuses warning you about the dangers of vaccines. But we do know whom to trust when there is a serious health issue in the community.

When there is an emergency, one rushes to call Hatzalah.

When there are doubts if one needs to fast on Yom Kippur, one asks a regular doctor – not a nutritionists who may have good advice on the best diets.

When it’s time to decide if to have a serious surgery, you don’t turn to a hotlines, but you go to a conventional doctor.

When you need a referral to a good doctor for a serious health problem you don’t stand at the bus stop to and take a poll of friends for the right address, but you call those devoted rabbis who understand medical matters or the recognized medical referral agencies who are familiar with the best doctors.

All of them say that one must vaccinate.

How can one even have the slightest doubt on whom to listen to?!

Senseless!

We are obliged by the Torah “Venishmartem Meod L’nafshoseichem,” -“to guard our health” and if the recognized experts are telling us to vaccinate, then we must do it.

This week we heard some saying that their child has ‘measles’ and it’s wonderful.

It is beyond silly to even respond. No one denies that most people recover from it, but nearly one-in-ten are hospitalized, many of them are developing pneumonias, and during the current outbreak five patients in New York were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and we pray to Hashem shall protect them they should come out healthy. The infection can – Go-d forbid – result in the worst, swelling of the brain and more real serious complications. Is a Jew permitted to take the risk because it worked out for their child before?

Much more than that, it is obvious that for cancer patients undergoing treatments, or for other people struggling with health issues, exposure to the measles is really extremely dangerous.

We heard an argument from the anti-vaxxer group that those who are in danger because they are sick, they should watch themselves. Let the unhealthy children stay home so my unvaccinated child can go to school.

Is it possible that a Jew is really presenting such a ridiculous argument?

This is brutal, heartless!

They want sick kids who have to go to the hospital for serious medical treatments, or are hospitalized for other reasons, to not be able to spend time with their friends in Yeshiva because others have baseless myths against vaccinating?

Where is your heart to feel that it is ok to harm sick Jews? How can one endanger others due to outright fantasies?

If you believe in those myths and if you want to go back in time to a hundred years ago when people weren’t vaccinating, then keep your children home as was the norm a century ago, and don’t make life more difficult for those suffering enough.

Finally, if someone still doubts if the anti-vaccinate movement has anything to do with Judaism or sanity, they only have to analyze how this group fights for their cause.

When the Department of Health ordered that unvaccinated children shouldn’t attend school, they fought tooth-and-nail, as if keeping a healthy child at home until the outbreak ends is the end-of-the-world. Their stubborn fight, caused the infection to spread even more, and caused the city should have to take more and more action, and now schools are struggling already with this exclusion for months, instead of weeks. In other neighborhoods, the outbreak is over already, but due to the anti-vax stubbornness our schools suffer.

Due to their relentless fight, the city now mandated that everyone in Williamsburg has to vaccinate.

Due their fight, there is now a bill in Albany to prohibit the use of religion as an excuse not to vaccinate. Should this pass, parents will have no choice but to give their children all vaccines – not only now, but forever, going forward.

Due to this fight, even those with legitimate health exemptions have to keep their children home.

The small group of anti-vaxxers who spoke to the press and tarnished the image of observant Jews, as if we can’t be trusted to make the right choices for our children, and implying we spread infections intentionally.

We learned of instances in certain areas where people warn to distance from Jews to avoid infections. It reminds of medieval libels that Jews are causing plagues which led to horrible antisemitism. This may, Go-d forbid, start a fire of hatred to Jews.

Their entire fight is conducted in a short-sighted non-Jewish manner, which only harmed their interests and brought a terrible defamation of Hashem’s name, and plays in to the hands of those who want to destroy the independence of our yeshivas which has zero to do with vaccinations.

What else has to happen until they realize that this is the wrong path?

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26 COMMENTS

  1. It is important to note that well over 95% of the Chasidic community anywhere — Williamsburg, Monsey, Satmar, Bobov, etc. — are vaccinated. It is ONLY a tiny percentage of the Chasidic community that refuses to vaccinate.

  2. This is so wonderful! I’m so glad that the paper, which is a semi-official voice of the Satmar community, has spoken out so clearly and eloquently about this issue. I’m also glad it called to task those ridiculous, embarrassing interviews- a gigantic Chillul Hashem not only because of the evil anti-vaccine stand but also because they sounded like ignorant idiots-they put the whole orthodox Jewish community in a terrible light. Yasher koach to “Der Yid”!

  3. “So now satmers are the good guys”. When were they ever the bad guys? Almost all the people from Satmar who I know are amazing people. Really true erliche yidden who are ovdei Hashem. That would be true even if the newspaper that is affiliated with them didn’t write this article.
    Because they have an anti-zionist shita based off of the way their Rebbe learned the sugya makes them bad guys? Seriously?

  4. I heard a CA suffering child is home several months instead of going to school shul and grocery. Child is jailed instead of anti vaxers being home just a few days. So selfish & wicked!!! And will you all anti vaxers not come to my simchos? I dont want you come 30 feet close to anyone in my family. Besides Im still upset how you say lie after lie after lie. And be aware that I may ask for vaccination records and a vaccination commitment when thinking of shiduchim/marriage. I’d love to start a database of anti vaxers so all know for shiduchim. Also you should know that my friend had an autistic child and still holds very strongly of giving shots

  5. So which was it; a copy of the “historic” English editorial or a verbatim translation of the Yiddish?
    “The newspaper also took the rare step of printing it in English. It would be good if it can be posted. The English below is a verbatim translation of the Yiddish”?

  6. Can’t this issue be resolved by having the Satmar Rebbe and other chashuva Rabbonim from Williamsburg come out with a public declaration on whether one has the rights to refuse to vaccinate or not?

  7. One should note the since the whole anti-vaccine movement is a secular non-Jewish movement, led by “celebrities”, a “hasid” who communicates primarily or exclusively in Yiddish will never have heard about it, and that the anti-vaccine people in Jewish communities probably know English better than Yiddish. One should also note that for “Der Yid” to complain about frum Jews following the ways of the goyim, and getting in trouble for it, is hardly a “hidush” and is arguably “gloating”.

  8. The most curious thing about Der Yid’s anti-anti-vax warning is that it was printed in English, in addition to the paper’s usual Yiddish. Is that decision based on a quiet determination by Der Yid’s editorial management that English is widely spoken among its Satmar readers?

    Yiddish is not a holy language, even if some holy people speak it. The language is a Jewish variation of German, nothing more and nothing less. I think it is important to the survival of the Jewish nation that we speak – in addition to the Hebrew of the Torah and Aramaic of the Talmud – the major languages of the contemporary world. Today, that certainly includes English.

  9. rkefrat- “Why doesn’t the Satmar Rebbe himself come out in a strong statement for vaccination. It would stop the magefa in no time”

    Satmar isn’t a cult like some other chassidishe courts – the Satmar Rebbes are figureheads like the Queen of England – I saw people argue in learning with one of the Satmar Rebbes at a tish – you would never see that in other courts – that is what I love about Satmar

    that being said, the Dayanim should issue a psak – we don’t follow Rebbishe bobbe-meises, but we do follow psak halachah from a dayan (if it is sound al pi halachah)

  10. Orthodox Jewish Woman

    I think you shouldn’t walk on the streets anymore while you’re at your hateful and shameful rhetoric.

    You have no clue what vaccines are. You’re just spitting hate to push an agenda. Theirs Pros and Cons with vaccines and every parent is allowed to make their own educated decision!!

  11. Fact: Eisav hates Yaakov!
    And hatred brought the end of the Beis Sheini!
    This is a Gezeirah of Shmayim!
    Fighting whether to vaccinate or not, is missing the point!
    HaShem is sending us a message that we are in galus and becoming increasingly too comfortable in America!
    The schinah is in galus and instead of focusing on the chillul Hashem created by others, think what your part in the chillul Hashem is. Chillul Hashem is pertaining to Hashem and not what doesnt look good to Eisav!
    If this is what you think of chillul Hashem, many mitzvahs can be viewed as a chillul Hashem and will you agree to stop doing those mitzvahs because non-Jews think it is not appropriate or okay???

  12. Not mekabel this when Rav shmuel was saying kids should accepted into schools even without vaccines how dare the government go against the daas Torah?

  13. @ Rav Elliot. If you aren’t going to Mekabel it based on Rav Shmuel, why dont you find out exactly what Rav Shmuel said about vaccinations. Your comment is misleading