MAILBAG: Your Selfish Stupidity is Killing People

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

I write this in response to the YWN article bashing NYS Senator James Skoufis for “attacking all Jews” in a statement responding to news that a Jew in Rockland County had become infected with polio.

First of all, to clarify: he did not “attack all Jews.” What he said is that there is a history of noncompliance with vaccine schedules in SOME yeshivas in CERTAIN areas. If he would have been talking about kindergartens in Harlem, everyone would call him a racist. He is not. He is stating facts while trying to prevent a large-scale outbreak, r”l.

Now, to all those who think that pediatric vaccine schedules (polio, MMR, TDaP, etc) don’t apply to them: Where is your sense of responsibility? Why is it that we can have outbreak after outbreak of measles, meningitis, etc., and yet there are STILL people who refuse to protect themselves, their children, and their community?

What will you say to Hashem when He holds you responsible for children who were infected, maimed, or killed because of your selfish need to go against the establishment? Will you quote some phony studies? Will you cite some quack doctors or “rabbis”?

The vaccines that are meant to be given to every child are essential to protecting our children from diseases that caused widespread illness, disability, and death in previous generations. Barely 200 years ago, most children didn’t live to adulthood! Polio was a dreaded disease, and simply uttering the word struck fear in the hearts of every parent until about 50 years ago. Through vaccinations, it was eradicated from the United States entirely, yet due to the irresponsibility and selfishness of some people, it is making a comeback.

Measles can be deadly as well and has serious effects if contracted by babies and pregnant women, in particular. Meningitis can cause lifelong brain damage, disability, and death. Chickenpox, if contracted as a child, remains in the body as a latent virus and reemerges in later years as shingles, which can cause severe nerve damage. I could go on and on.
These vaccines exist for a reason!

Obviously, I am not talking about children who cannot receive certain vaccines due to weakened immune systems. But in fact, the existence of these children makes it infinitely more important for everyone else to be protected, so as not to spread these dangerous diseases!

If you are selfish enough to still refuse to give your child the standard schedule of vaccines, then be brave enough to stand up and tell me, tell your children, tell your community, and tell Hashem, “I threw away the opportunity to protect my kids in the name of selfish activism. I knowingly and selfishly endangered countless lives with this choice.”


NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. Considering that the person actually caught polio from the oral vaccine, are you sure that you want to use this story to prove your point?

  2. Interjection, you are misunderstanding.
    The person who caught it was not vaccinated at all.
    He caught it by someone who had received the oral polio vaccine, which is known to shed the live virus (the US does not give that type-we give a killed version vaccine) but some other countries still do). Vaccinated people who come in contact with the shedded live virus are protected.

  3. Interjction, your point is irrelevant. In fact it strengthens his argument. The young man recently visited Poland and Hungary, where they vaccinate using the live virus. In the United States the live virus is never used. Had he gotten vaccinated here, he would not have contracted the Polio virus.

  4. The short response to this article is that there is serious corruption in the echelons of pharmaceutical companies and the agencies that regulate them. Those who chose not to vaccinate do so with the belief that the vaccines can cause more harm than good and are not necessarily effective as the “science” claims.
    They are just as “effective” as the COVID vaccine – not effective at all.
    With time most diseases either disappear or weaken pass through true heard immunity. The pharmaceutical companies like to take credit that it was due to the vaccine, but data does not support that.

    While I understand that the author doesn’t agree with this, there is another school of thought out there with gedolim that back it – as with all areas of halacha. Different opinions. The consensus of conventional medicine and the media are NOT the deciding factors in our society.

    Writing articles like these are the perpetuation of machlokes and sin’as chinom which are far more dangerous than any disease. Shalom is the greatest protection for klal yisroel – even in times when we were guilty of the worst aveiros.

    May we be zocheh to the geula bkarov

  5. interjection, are you sure? the story i read is he is unvaccinated and caught it from someone else who had the oral vaccine.

    I don’t disagree with this letter at all and i certainly do not think that skoufis said something anti-semitic BUT i do want to point out a glaring double standard:

    the monkey pox is now a global health emergency which according to the WHO is at a concern level of 10 out of 10. yet, not one person – not one politician – wants to point to the one community that is spreading it! On June 26 of this year, at the outbreak of monkeypox, NYC had a parade for this group of people where 5-6 million people were invited to attend and spread the disease to who knows who! where are the stats that tell us how many thousands of people got monkeypox at this parade? where are the angry tweets? where is skoufis asking that group to be more responsible? now that’s a double standard.

  6. I personally am 100% pro vaccine but it is not “Selfish Stupidity” that causes people not be vaccinated. It is because they believe vaccines are harmful. Disagree with them all you want, (like I do) but when you don’t even understand their point of view you are unlikely to change anyone’s mind. You just come across an arrogant silly ranter.

  7. To: Interjection

    Before you interject, would you like to explain what you mean when you say “he caught polio from the oral vaccine”.

    Did he take the vaccine, if so, why did he take it when he is already an adult?

  8. I don’t understand your concern. If you believe vaccines work then take yours and you’re protected. What’s up with this need to control and bash others?

  9. Amazing to see so many people comment, have opinions, accuse others, blame the anti Vax, etc.
    But most likely are ignorant of the data, science, facts and research.

    So let’s see…

    Can you answer any of the following questions,
    A. What is polio and what is poliomylitus?
    B. What % of polio cases develope paralysis symptoms?
    C. What are hospitals re criteria for testing for polio?
    D. What does it mean to catch a Vax induced strain?
    E. Does the vax protect against strain B?
    F. Did polio ever go away or they stopped testing?
    G. What is AFM?
    H. Why are the outbreaks of AFM always after the virus season? (even according to the CDC)
    I. What did Jhon Salks himself say OK the polio Vax Yeats later?
    J. Would there still be polio should they stop using the OPV with live virus?
    K. What is DDT?
    L. Is there any relation between DDT and polio paralysis?
    M. Was there polio paralysis prior to the major outbreak back in the 1948-1955? If not why?
    N. Did the vaccine end the paralysis or did the virus mutate to less invasive strain or something else changed?
    O. MS, Lyme, AMF, Coxsackie, Bartonella, GBS are they cross related?
    Specifically to the current story,
    A. Do you know what else the patient tested positive for?
    B. Is it a case or bothced medical / failed diagnosis so Dr’s did net fishing for anything that tests positive?

    Would he wise to educate before taking an opinion.

    Many people try to differentiate between covid and polio Vax, is it just because you were to young to see the lies being outplayed in front of you?
    Think of the narrative that will be pushed on the generations to comes… Once upon there was covid… And the vax saved the day…. Do you really want covid to come back….
    Like chicken pox? Of the deadly measles (that hardly anyone died since 1965…)

    #wake up.

    Education education education.

  10. The fact that the polio occured in the Jewish community is NOT a reason that a politician should publicize the source, while his statement can ignite hatred toward the Jewish community.
    So probably, James Skoufis anti Jewish rethoric was intentional. It is our obligation to remember and to play safe, when the time of voting arrives.
    R E M E M B E R ! ! !
    In the past, unfortunately, alot of Anti-Semitism was fueled by the anti Jewish rethoric of the previous New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio and the previous New York governor Andrew Coumo , when they blamed on the media in front of millions of people , that our entire Jewish communities are ignoring their Covid rules. While at the same time they were encouraging “Black Live Matters” protests, that were far more breaking of the law.
    But, New Yorkers remembered to END their political carriers, a payback for the injustice, and the damage done, by their hate spewing words and actions.

  11. Unfortunately, persuasion by seichel hayashar and logic is a non-starter here. Anti vaxers do not trust the preponderance of medical professional opinion, which entails a firm and conscious decision to reflexively reject seichel hayashar and logic.
    The only possible path would be to point out that if, chalila vachas, an epidemic begins because of demonstrably Jewish anti vaxers, it will begin a process that will result in a David Duke presidency and the expulsion of the Jews.

  12. To Smerel Sometimes someone is so wrong there is nothing to understand about their point of view. I can understand their point of view on covvid vaccines since they claimed it wasn’t tested properly (I took both doses) but with these vaccines that have around for decades and have a proven track record only a someone in lala land won”t give them.

  13. CHD, no vaccine is 100% effective. Vaccinated people have a small chance of being infected anyway. We rely on herd immunity to protect us from that small chance. In addition there are people who can’t be vaccinated, either because they’re allergic to something in a specific vaccine (such as egg, in the flu vaccine), or they’re immunocompromised, or they’re too young. Those people are also protected by herd immunity. Every person who could vaccinate but chooses not to reduced that herd immunity and harms everyone.

    And no, this person was NOT vaccinated, and he didn’t get it from a vaccine. He was infected by a STRAIN of the virus that ultimately derived from a live vaccine, possibly many decades ago. Had he been vaccinated it’s almost (but not 100%) certain that he would not have become infected.

  14. I stopped reading after you stupidly wrote people refuse to protect their community.

  15. יישר כחך to the writer of this article. It is a חילול השם that there was a measles outbreak in the frum communities.

    We’ll hope and daven that polio is truly eradicated once and for all.

  16. Chachmulugit HaDaatnit
    No one wants to control anyone, but when you make a hole under your seat on a boat the whole boat sinks. These diseases are contagious and when you don’t give them because of some quackery you endanger all of us, not to mention the chillul Hashem it causes. Hashem Yeracheim if G-D forbid this polio case is not an isolated incident.

  17. Millions of people have been saved from all kinds of dreaded diseases because of these proven vaccines. They’ve saved the world. They’re absolutely essential and every parent who withholds them from their children is likely guilty of abusing their children’s rights to healthy lives. The writer put his/her case beautifully. Certainly the world has its share of vocal anti vaxxers who will undoubtedly continue to comment and promote their ignorance and venom-filled opinions on this forum.

  18. @Chachmulugit HaDaatnit

    Here is the reason to bash others.

    Throughout Jewish history, Jews have been blamed for spreading disease. This occurred during the Black Death during the Middle Ages. It continues to this day.

    Every few years a story erupts in the press about some sort of infectious disease spreading through the frum community in the tristate area and/or in Israel etc. Now it is polio; a few years ago it was measles. During COVID you couldn’t walk into a Home Depot without a mask, but you for sure could attend a frum wedding without one.

    The individual in this story was unvaccinated and was exposed to someone who had taken a live attenuated (weakened) virus vaccine. Exposure to such people when you are NOT vaccinated puts you at risk of contracting the disease.

    It is tragic that this person might now be disabled for life and you can say it was his choice and why should we care.

    I think we should care because whenever this type of story breaks and it’s always in our communities, it just perpetuates the notion that we are disease spreaders.

    I don’t about you but I would rather our communities be known as virtuous and attentive to healthy practices instead of always looking like we are a menace to public health.

  19. lowerourtuition11210, what name did YOU get at your bris/baby-naming? ויקרא שמו\ה בישראל לאווער אר טווישן?

  20. @besalel
    Loo Yihyeh kiDvorecha, if only…
    Monkeypox, even according to the Liberal websites that show up when you google it, is spread through:
    “direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, including during —, as well as activities like kissing, hugging, massaging, and cuddling”
    Not unless you are specifically looking, will one find that the true spread is happening mostly between mishkav Zacharniks as i quoted before, university of minnisota quotes a study published in the Lancet, that an overwhelming 91.7% of 181 men that had it admitted to being Mishkav Zacharniks.
    it’s exactly like this past weeks Toras Avigdor, Parshas Maatos. It’s AIDS second edition.
    it’s mamash a neis nigleh Hashem made to show us that bad people get “rewarded”
    the fact it’s only hitting Mushachasim is, Ha Gufa, the reason no media wants to mention it. it would be bad PR for their skewed-Tayva led campaign against humanity.
    if only they spread it between themselves at rallies and gay parades like you said… it would be even more obvious.
    Yesh Din V’Dayan

  21. which, just to mention a hilarious anecdote, is why i thought the AP article quoted by YWN had the funniest picture:

    “People stand in long lines to receive the monkeypox vaccine at San Francisco General Hospital in San Francisco, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)”

    85.3% of San Fran County voted Democrat in the last election.

  22. To mobo1234
    When you have people saying black is white and white is black or the world is flat or that vaccines don’t work when it is obvious, after decades of giving these vaccines that they do work (I’m not talking about covid vaccines) then poskim or Halacha doesn’t come into the conversation. It may be a posek’s personal opinion but he can’t say its ossur to take vaccines when it affects other people.

  23. So where the writer comes across as foolish is that he thinks the people who are unvaccinated are morons who don’t care about others. First of all, they are the ones who do the most research of all parents. After all, higher education correlates with lower vaccination rates, Not the reverse. Secondly, while these parents may agree that some of these diseases are something to fear, they also believe that these vaccinations have much to fear. For example, autism rates have gone from near zero to almost one in 30 in just a few decades. Our health agencies have no answers except to say “better diagnosis”, to which I say, if autism was so prevalent forty years ago, find me all the 40+ year old autistic people, they are all out there somewhere and most likely needing supervised care. Why haven’t they been diagnosed now?
    So to many of us anti vaxxers, we would rather take a chance with measles or chicken pox, which have very good survival rates, than a one in 30 chance of autism, or a host of other childhood disorders and sicknesses which have SKYROCKETED in the last three decades since the vaccine schedule was vastly expanded.
    Lastly, if your eyes are still super glued shut to the criminals who run the medical mafia and the way they lie, cite phony studies, manipulate data, bury data, and basically avoid doing any studies so they can cry plausible deniability for the damages their products cause, you should wake up and smell the coffee. These people are not to be trusted.

  24. @Chachmulugit HaDaatnit
    if someone else is killing their children, and you truly believed they were; wouldn’t it be the least you could do to write an op-ed bashing this “delightful” practice?
    s/he believes that one who knowingly leaves their children unvaccinated, is, if anything Chas Veshalom happens, in fact partner in hurting/murdering their child. the virus & parent team. need I say more? like the fact that Rov Poskim nowadays seem to take this authors position?

  25. Joshua45
    You espouse such stupidity. Does one need to be an electrician to change a light bulb. Does one need to be a plumber to flush the toilet. i don’t need a list of your facts (or fiction) to know that many diseases have been eradicated because of vaccines.

  26. Anyone should have the right to refuse vaccination for themselves and arguably, for their minor children. They also are guaranteed the right to believe whatever conspiracy theory or pseudo-scientific facts about vaccines which they may believe to be true. However, they should have NO right to increase the risks to others through their “sincerely-held” beliefs. To the extent scientific evidence shows that unvaccinated children pose such risks to others in the context of highly communicable and serious diseases those children should be excluded from public schools, religious gatherings and other social interactions with vaccinated children.

  27. Proper yeshiva comes from when a similar situation to when someone didn’t overcome the nisayon comes up again at another time and this time you react differently. Hashem has given us the opportunity to do things differently. It’s no coincidence that this came up during the 3 weeks. Let’s not forget that we are all children of Hashem trying to do ratzon Hashem thru our own derech. May Hashem have rachmanos on us in the zechus of ahavas chinam and redeemed us all soon from this long galus. And may the same way we judge others favorably, may Hashem judge us favorably.

  28. Joshua45
    I know many answers to your questions. There is just one answer I don’t know,
    Trying to confuse people with bogus questions doesn’t make you smart or right!

  29. Polio definitely did happen…my aunt had in her twenties and spent most of her life in a wheelchair…A personal thought, if we are getting closer to the geulah and there are neshamos that need tikun maybe they are these autistic people that there are so many of. Also, just a heads up when the yidden had an out break of measles so did other communities such as the Latinos. .it may be that after a certain amount of time the vaccines dont stay strong in all people..just like we saw some people retained their antibodies for covid longer than others.

    but if you write an article then sign it!!

  30. @FakeNews

    Thank you for the help with figuring out how to reach YWN.

    Lol everyone else is busy saying how the person writing the letter is stupid or that he shouldn’t write himself as an anonymous and etc….. at least you helped someone out and answered a normal question the rest is just busy screaming and complaining about someone’s opinion.