Would You Pay $500 to Know?  And Does This Back Up Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita?

HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky signs letter calling for day of tefillah against the decrees of the Bennett government.

By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

There is a shocking study that is going to be publicly discussed today.  The study will have a number of people asking themselves whether they should spend the $500 to know whether or not they have undetected “cardial myocarditis.”


Every year, many of the radiologists in this country get together and discuss pertinent issues dealing with their field.  In a session that will be presented today (Nov. 29th) at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, they will discuss how a good percentage of athletes who suffer from post-COVID-19 repercussions develop myocarditis that is, just plain, missed.

It seems that for 54% of those who have myocarditis – a dangerous inflammation of the heart muscle – their situation can only be seen on something called cardiac MRI.  (The cost of a Cardiac MRI is between $600 to $2500.)  The other methods – don’t detect it.


The study that will be discussed mentions that 2.3% of people, that’s 1 out of 44, who have had COVID-19 develop COVID-19 myocarditis.  Older people demonstrate the symptoms more readily and it can be observed with general types of heart imaging and testing.  For the more athletic types, however, most of the time it is missed.  This author is unsure what percentage of children who have had COVID-19 end up with Myocarditis, but it is clear that whatever the percentage is – most of them are missed.

Myocarditis can affect the heart’s rhythm and its ability to pump. It often leaves behind lasting damage in the form of scar tissue onto the heart muscle. It has been linked to as many as 20% of sudden deaths in younger athletes.

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Last week, it was widely reported that Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita said that everyone should vaccinate their children. Indeed, this was actually videoed so that people would not doubt the authenticity of the report.  Nonetheless, a number of people remarked that they would rather have COVID-19 than to have the vaccination.  It is this author’s view that from a halachic point of view – this is questionable.

This author feels that this study presents a strong argument for three things:

1] Against those who are limiting monoclonal treatment to those who are not at high risk.  1 out of 44 is a very significant number.

2] Getting monoclonal treatment right after one tests positive for COVID-19 – for everyone, even if one is not in the high risk group.

3] Getting children vaccinated as soon as possible because it will reduce the spread of COVID as well as the severity.


We should perhaps be looking at these things – not as a nuisance, but rather as the fulfillment of a Mitzvah.  Looking at it like a Mitzvah (which it is, by the way, and not just one Mitzvah but many) invokes other side aspects and halachos too. These “side halachos” are discussed in the Chayei Odom in Klal 68.


There is a concept called, “Zrizin makdimim l’Mitzvos” those with alacrity look to fulfill Mitzvos eagerly and early – with readiness and promptness.  This is discussed in Rosh haShana 32b.  From the Gemorah in Rosh haShana we can also conclude that doing it promptly – even beats out doing it in the most public manner possible.


The Chayei Odom (68:8) cites a Pasuk in Dvarim (8:1) Kol HaMitzvah.. tishmerun laason – be careful to fulfill the entire Mitzvah. This is significant. The Midrash (Bereis Rabbah 85:3) tells us in the name of Rabbi Yochanan that one who begins a Mitzvah but does not complete it – end up burying his wife and children.


There is also a concept called Hiddur Mitzvah – doing the Mitzvah in the best way possible. The Gemorah in Shabbos 133a seems to indicate that this is, in fact, a Torah requirement.  If that is the case, shouldn’t we want to ensure that we have the top professionals performing these inspections?  In this case, it seems that Morabito is a top firm.  Often, however, when we involve ourselves in these type of issues – we look for getting the best price.  That may compromise quality.


There are, as mentioned earlier, a number of Mitzvos involved in these safety vaccinating.  This author believes that there is six.

There is the Mitzvah of “veNishmartem me’od b’nafshosaichem (Dvarim 4:9) – the Mitzvah of protecting our health and well-being.

Few have heard of the second Mitzvah. The verse later on (Dvarim 4:15), “Rak hishamer lecha” is understood by most Poskim to actually comprise an actual second Mitzvah (See Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita Shaar HaTeshuvos #25) – to take special care.

There is a third Mitzvah, “V’Chai Bahem – And you shall live by them” (VaYikra 18:5).

There is a fourth Mitzvah found in the verse in Parshas Ki Taytzai (Dvarim 22:2) which discusses the Mitzvah of Hashavas Aveida, returning an object, with the words “vahashaivoso lo – and you shall return it to him.”  The Gemorah in Sanhedrin (73a), however, includes within its understanding of these words the obligation of returning “his own life to him as well.”  For example, if thieves are threatening to pounce upon him, there is an obligation of “vahashaivoso lo.” In other words, this verse is the source for the Mitzvah of saving someone’s life. I believe this is the general mitzvah the Shulchan Aruch refers to in Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim 325.

Lo Saamod Al Dam Rayacha – There is a fifth (a negative Mitzvah) of not standing idly by your brother’s blood as well.  This is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch (CM 426:1) and in the Rambam.  Collectively, if we do take protective measures – we can ensure that we do not stand idly by our brother’s blood.

And finally, there is a sixth Mitzvah of – “Lo Suchal l’hisalaym – a negative commandment associated with the positive commandment of Hashavas Aveida, and that is the verse in Dvarim (22:3), “You cannot shut your eyes to it.”  This verse comes directly after the Mitzvah of Hashavas Aveidah. The Netziv (HeEmek Sheailah) refers to this Mitzvah as well.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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  1. 1 out of 44 is a significant number, although the number I saw reported earlier for children was much lower. It is also worth noting that there have been reports of children getting myocarditis from taking the vaccine (again, though, the numbers reported are a small percentage).

    But at this point we have to note one difference. The recommendation is to vaccinate 100% of all kids. On the other hand, I think about 30% of kids or so have so far been infected with Covid.

    So, if we are going to discuss risks, we have to ask the question as follows. What are the risks posed to 30% of kids getting covid as opposed to the risks of vaccinating 100% of all kids.

    Of course, a good percentage of those 30% of kids have been vaccinated and it is highly unlikely that we will ever get to 100% vaccination rate. But the general point is that a mass vaccination campaign means that we are going to be exposing more kids to the vaccine then would otherwise get covid — and that fact needs to be taken into consideration.

  2. 2cents, you are right that these risks need to be weighted as not everyone gets a disease v. everyone getting a vaccine. In a case of a pandemic, this ratio is not that big – as you are saying 3x – not 1000x as in the case of rare measles or polio. Furthermore, more will get it, so it is 2x at best. Now, to the risk itself:
    1 in 50,000 for vaccines and (one estimate I found) 1:700 for disease for young people.

    That is 70 times difference, or with 2x factor you suggest – 35 time difference. That is in addition to other complication from COVID damage that does not happen for the vaccine.

    And, as this article suggests, there may be hidden damage that can affect people later.