Several days ago, Israel’s Chevros Kadisha requested of the Health Ministry that all their workers involved in caring for the bodies of the deceased be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The Chevra Kadisha noted that their 500 employees are at great risk due to the fact that they are handling the bodies of coronavirus victims. However, the Health Ministry rejected their request, Channel 12 News reported on Monday.
According to the report, after their request was denied, the chairman of the Chevros Hakadisha Forum, Avraham Manela, contacted Religious Affairs Minister Yaakov Avitan (Shas) and told him that if the workers of the Chevros Kadisha aren’t vaccinated as soon as possible, they will stop performing taharos for coronavirus victims in another two days rather than continue risking their lives.
In the letter, Manela stated: “If the decision not to include the workers of the Chevros Kadisha in the current vaccination program isn’t changed, we will be forced to stop performing taharos for coronavirus victims beginning in two days.”
“In a similar way to the health and rescue organizations, including ZAKA, whose workers were recognized as those who required vaccinations as soon as possible, our workers are exposed to coronavirus victims every day as well as to those in quarantine and the general public. We view the Health Ministry’s decision as discriminatory, obstinate and a real danger [for our workers] and we cannot lend a hand to this.”
Manela told Channel 12: “This is an intransigent decision of the Health Ministry. The blood of the workers of the Chevros Kadisha isn’t hefker. These are the people who have been devotedly standing at the forefront of the battle and endangering their lives from the beginning of the pandemic. I call to the Health Minister and the Religious Affairs Minister to solve this issue immediately.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)