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WATCH IT: Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky: People Are REQUIRED To Take Vaccine; “Don’t Be Afraid”

Degel Hatorah MK Yitzchak Pindrus, arrived at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Yerushalayim on Sunday, in order to take the COVID-19 vaccine, but prior to getting vaccinated, Pindrus spoke with Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky about the vaccine, and whether or not a person should take it.

Pindrus asked HaRav Kanievsky whether it is ‘permissible’ to take the vaccine or whether a person is ‘obligated; to take the vaccine?

HaRav Chaim answered that it’s a Chiyuv of “Hishtadlus” to take the vaccine, and not “an option”.

Pindrus then asked HaRav Chaim about the fear some people have regarding what unknown damage that it can cause in the future. To which Rav Chaim responded “tell them not to be afraid.”



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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

13 Responses

  1. Why must the YWN translations always contain inaccuracies — no matter how trivial — when we are discussing the holy words of the gadol hador? Rav Chaim did not say “‘TELL THEM’ not to be afraid”; he said, “Don’t be afraid.” (He also did not even appear to respond when they decided to needlessly bother him by greasily and yeshivishly asking him whether or not taking the vaccine is “the chiyuv of the hishtadlus” immediately after he said that vaccination was halachically mandatory; he most certainly did not “[answer] that it’s a Chiyuv of ‘Hishtadlus’ to take the vaccine, and not ‘an option.’)

  2. Also, does anyone know the reasoning behind Rav Chaim’s apparent desire (judging by everyone around the table in his presence) that people dispense with mask-wearing? He clearly believes the virus should be actively dealt with (judging by his ruling that vaccination is mandatory)… why would mask-wearing not be included? Additonally, why do we wear masks if he clearly believes we should not be doing so?

  3. Note the nuance, as always, that the Rosh Yeshivah answers according to the limitations of how he is being addressed. ‘Im mitz’rachim?!’ They need it?!’ Then, of course, they already are davening that the vaccine will help them. Well then, so be it. Etc..

  4. What if you live in England, where there is a virus variant? Israel isn’t letting in people from the UK because of a change in the virus. The shot helps, everyone? All of the time?

  5. Hopefully, the Rav’s edict of there being a chiyuv of Hishtadlus will encourage many in the frum tzbiur to be vaccinated as soon as it becomes available to them. However, I’m wondering why given the Rav’s age, the photo above shows one of his gabooim bending over his shoulderwithout wearing a mask. A plastic face shield alone does not provide much protection in an enclosed area.

  6. The people in the room asked whether taking the vaccine was an obligatory level of hishtadlus. No one in the room is wearing a mask. Since MK Pindrus later received a COVID vaccine, I’m assuming that he (like Rav Chaim, shlita) wasn’t COVID-19 positive. Other than MK Pindrus, did everyone in the room already have COVID-19? I don’t see any masks.

  7. Rav Chaim for whatever reason makes people take masks off when coming in to see him.
    Avi Kane- Pindrus did not have Covid, UNLIKE Rav Chaim, who did.
    Lastword- They very clearly asked – “Should ppl. be told that it’s OK to do it or that they MUST do it?” And he answered “They MUST do it”.
    The rest of the comments don’t really warrant a reply.

  8. At the beginning of the video, you can clearly see that a member of the government was at that table.

    If that man was not present, maybe Rav Chaim would word his answer slightly different.

  9. @After Eight – Unfortunately, reviewing this, it seems the Rosh Yeshivah did respond that if advising people about it, then you do have permission to say ‘it’s a must!’–m’stam, because it’s been considered safe by general consensus by too many already and it would possibly cause certain people other damaging stresses if told ‘maybe it’s alright’ at that level of uncertainty.

    However, the consensus of safety is quite shoddy by the growing independent-research taking place in the world at large; this aside from the issue that it isn’t promised to effect any type of cure whatsoever, only unnecessary artificial stimulation of the natural immune system. If you ask, then you really should have known better before. Now, it’s too late–just pray that you can walk on water and have a healthy enough biology not to be affected by the side effects that statistically are bound to affect many.

    It doesn’t seem that the Rav answered too clearly that people should go out and advise others to take the vaccine altogether. In fact, it seems he answered ‘No, of course not’, and his grandson seemed to not allow him to respond to that point twice since he didn’t want him to have to repeat it.

  10. Lastword- First of all, I was just trying to make sure you understood what their question was and his response to it. I don’t think it’s unfortunate at all that Rav Chaim said people MUST take it. Ppl. tend not to do things without hearing from a gadol that they should. And this is at this point the only way to really slow/stop the pandemic, b’teva, so we have to do our proper hishtadlus. The point wasn’t to find a CURE.
    Not sure what side effects you refer to but I have read a lot on the science of it and didn’t find anything earth-shattering from any reliable source. (Of course one may choose to read all the bogus material out there and wait for limbs to grow out of their heads, but I try not to waste my time on that stuff. I’d rather read the comics.)
    Also, the rav very clearly stated “צריך” so we can absolutely take this that he means ppl should advise others to take the vaccine. He did not say “no, of course not” at all. Not sure where you heard that. I watched it 5 times.

  11. Question for ywn-
    If R Chain had said we shouldn’t take the vaccine, or that there’s big risk so only some should take it etc… Would you have posted that here?
    Are there any videos or statements from rabbanim opposing this vaccine that you havent shared? Just wondering if you’re being objective here

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