The Covid-19 Vaccine, Shlomo HaMelech and the Comment-poster

5

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

Words matter.  Words have consequences.  Why so? Because some people listen to them and there are practical consequences and implications.

In Mishlei 18:21, Shlomo HaMelech tells us, “Life and death, are in the hands of the tongue.”

Perhaps there is no greater illustration of the practical implications of Mishlei 18:21 than the Covid vaccine and what people say about it.

There is a wonderful young man who could use our assistance.  Please read it and help.  https://thechesedfund.com/zechornilah/ayeshivastudentneedshelp

Let’s take, for example, a YouTube video produced by AP News, about an apparent former anti-vaxxer who did not take the vaccine, and later regretted not taking it after he almost died.

Someone posts a comment on the story, after it appeared on a Jewish website.

The comment says:

“Of course the AP (Always Propaganda) simply pushes these shots of unknown long-term (and short-term) safety, instead of mentioning the treatments they could have gotten once being diagnosed with Covid, like monoclonal antibodies or HCQ/Zinc.”

Really?  Let’s look at 3 statistics:

  • In the month of May, 2021 there were approximately 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States.
  • 17,850 of these deaths were of people that were unvaccinated.
  • 150 of these deaths were of people that were fully vaccinated.

Virtually thousands of studies, meta-studies, the CDC, the WHO, and the entire medical world are recommending the vaccine.

During the era of the Salk vaccine, would the commenter have posted such a comment?  Does the commenter realize that there is a good chance that one of the 5000 plus readers, who has thus far not been vaccinated – may entrench himself or herself because of the comment?

THE CHAZAL

There is a Chazal found in Vayikrah Rabbah (20:10).  Chazal there write concerning Nadav and Avihu: Rabbi Levi said, They were overly proud and harbeh nashim hayu yoshvos agunos – Many women sat as Agunos in the hopes of marrying them.  Chazal used that term – yashvu Agunos – a term generally reserved for married women that cannot remarry.

And they were punished for it, with the ultimate penalty.  In other words, according to Rabbi Levi in this Midrash Rabbah, it was not the direct actions of the two brothers that caused them to be punished.  It was the indirect repercussions – the pain that they had caused to women in contributing to the creation of a psychological barrier of these many women to marry others.

There is a wonderful young man who could use our assistance.  Please read it and help.  https://thechesedfund.com/zechornilah/ayeshivastudentneedshelp

But it wasn’t their fault!  How can we blame them?  It was the women who chose to remain single.  Why should Nadav and Avihu be blamed for the decision of others? And even more so, why should they be punished so severely?

SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY

We see from here something extraordinary.

Even when it was someone else’s decision and not one’s own –   that is punishable.  This is true when there is a barrier, even a psychological barrier, to getting married.

We are held accountable for repercussions of our decisions and actions – even when the repercussions are indirect – in that they involve the decisions of others beyond our control.

Before posting the comment did the commenter read any of the vaccine efficacy studies?

The warning above applies not just to the commenter but also to the moderator.  That click has life and death implications.  In the post-script here are a few of the studies.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

There is a wonderful young man who could use our assistance.  Please read it and help.  https://thechesedfund.com/zechornilah/ayeshivastudentneedshelp

STUDIES ABOUT THE EFFICACY OF THE VACCINE

Pawlowski C LP, Puranik A, et. al. FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are effective per real-world evidence synthesized across a multi-state health system. medRxiv. 2021;https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.15.21251623v1.full.pdfpdf iconexternal icon.

Andrejko K. PJ, Myers JF., et al. Early evidence of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness within the general population of California. MedRxiv. 2021;https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.08.21255135v1external icon.

Vahidy FS. PL, Tano ME., et al. Real World Effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines against Hospitalizations and Deaths in the United States. medRxiv. 2021;https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.21.21255873v1external icon.

Swift MD, Breeher LE, Tande AJ, Tommaso CP, Hainy CM, Chu H, et al. Effectiveness of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a cohort of healthcare personnel. Clin Infect Dis. 2021.

Thompson MG BJ, Naleway AL, et al. Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Vaccines in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Health Care Personnel, First Responders, and Other Essential and Frontline Workers — Eight U.S. Locations, December 2020–March 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;ePub: 29 March 2021. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7013e3external icon.

Tang L, Hijano DR, Gaur AH, Geiger TL, Neufeld EJ, Hoffman JM, et al. Asymptomatic and Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections After BNT162b2 Vaccination in a Routinely Screened Workforce. JAMA. 2021.

Pilishvili T. F-DK, Farrar JL., et al. Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines Among Health Care Personnel — 33 U.S. Sites, January–March 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7020e2.htm.

Cavanaugh AM, Fortier S, Lewis P, Arora V, Johnson M, George K, et al. COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a SARS-CoV-2 R.1 Lineage Variant in a Skilled Nursing Facility After Vaccination Program – Kentucky, March 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(17):639-43.

There is a wonderful young man who could use our assistance.  Please read it and help.  https://thechesedfund.com/zechornilah/ayeshivastudentneedshelp


5 COMMENTS

  1. “We see from here something extraordinary. Even when it was someone else’s decision and not one’s own – that is punishable…We are held accountable for the repercussions of our decisions and actions – even when the repercussions are indirect – in that they involve the decisions of others beyond our control.”

    Does this “extraordinary” standard apply strictly to tzaddikim or even regular people?

    We know a person is held accountable for “gramma” (indirect) damages. But it requires some action by the perpetrator.

    We also know of the prohibition of “lifnei iver”, but again it requires an active role of enabling, misguiding etc.

    How can you use as an example the standard of accountability of Nadav v’Avuhu (“bikrovei akadesh” – Moshe considered them greater than himself and Ahron), to a plain poshete yid?!

  2. Rabbi Hoffman, I don’t understand your criticism here. The comment does not argue about the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing covid symptoms. He simply argues that the media ignore the very real medical concerns for side-effects.

  3. I respectfully disagree;
    The writer of that post didn’t say that the vaccines do not work.

    He only pointed out 2 things, that happen to be truisms:

    1) There were/are a number of people that had serious reactions (including some deaths) shortly after getting vaccinated. (Perhaps the percentage/ratio is small enough.)

    2) That if all else fails (after all, vaccinated people too are getting reinfected) there’s always the HCQ+Zinc treatments that work very well to rid the body of covid within a few short days.
    And that, of course, isn’t being mentioned anywhere publicly.
    (It’s the best example of info suppression i’ve ever witnessed.)

    p.s.
    I did extensive research. You can too.
    Here’s the challenge:
    Either find a failed study about HCQ+Zinc that actually did it right (included the Zinc and began the therapy within 5 days of symptoms.)
    Or
    A study that did it right (including many doctor testimonials) that failed.

    You will not be able to find either of those 2 choices.

  4. Point well taken, people need to comment responsibly. Another point would be for sensible people not to take seriously some random commentator, especially in pikachu nefesh or safek pikachu nefesh matters be it covid or the thousands of other diseases which believe it or not do still exist other than covid. I would like to question Rabbi Hoffman where his statistics are taken from? Additionally, assuming the statistics are true, how many of the 17,850 unvaccinated people who died had natural immunity from having previously recovered from covid? According to the well respected Cleaveland Clinic, and I quote “individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection do not get additional benefits from vaccination”. So this detail that I question about the statistic you bring would make a very big difference to many people.