Another episode about COVID-19? Yes – because we need to address the fact that Am Yisrael, which should be a light unto the nations, which should be at the forefront of caring about science and expert opinion, which should be loudly proclaiming to the world that pikuach nefesh – the saving of life – takes precedence over almost anything and everything, has not collectively risen to the challenge. Twenty months into the spread of the coronavirus, we still have large groups of openly Orthodox Jewish people who simply don’t care. Or deny. Or -worst of all – try to convince other people to deny reality as well.
This is NOT to take away from the many religious Jews – including roshei yeshiva and Chassidic rebbes and others – who are demanding that their communities vaccinate and be careful. And it’s also not to say that many vaccine and COVID deniers don’t honestly believe what they say, and have honorable and good intentions. But Jewish thought emphasizes behavior, not unrealized motivations. G-d may well judge them favorably, but our job is to be honest: and people who convince others to avoid the vaccine are involved in a type of manslaughter.
Dr. Blima Marcus is at the forefront – both in the field and on social media – of fighting against their propaganda. In this episode, Scott speaks to her about her experiences in the ultra-Orthodox community, and why vaccine denial is so anti-scientific and insidious.
Please listen to and share the podcast, and let us know what you think on the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/432020081498108).
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Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com