Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"The vaccination of children who can medically be vaccinated is absolutely the only responsible course of action!"

Statement on Vaccinations from the OU and Rabbinical Council of America

February 10, 2015 
Orthodox Jewish parents, like responsible parents across the United States, overwhelmingly vaccinate their children against measles, mumps, rubella, polio and the other childhood diseases for which inoculations are now almost miraculously commonplace. As in many communities, a small minority of parents chooses not to do so. The ongoing measles outbreak demonstrates how this could bear very serious consequences, not only for their own children but others’ too, especially those medically unable to be vaccinated.

 The Orthodox Union (OU) and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) strongly urge all parents to vaccinate their healthy children on the timetable recommended by their pediatrician.

Parents who choose to not vaccinate often cite a medical study that purported to link autism and the MMR vaccine.  The study was discovered to be fraudulent and was withdrawn; its lead author was found to have acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly,” and his license to practice medicine in Britain was revoked.

Judaism places the highest value on preserving human life. It is well known that those facing even a potential life or death situation are instructed to set aside the Sabbath and other key tenets of halachic (Jewish law) observance until the emergency has passed. Prayers for good health and for the complete and perfect healing of the ill are an ages-old aspect of Jewish tradition. But prayers must go hand-in-hand with availing oneself of medical science, including vaccination.

There are halachic obligations to care for one’s own health as well as to take measures to prevent harm and illness to others, and Jewish law defers to the consensus of medical experts in determining and prescribing appropriate medical responses to illness and prevention. Therefore, the consensus of major poskim (halachic decisors) supports the vaccination of children to protect them from disease, to eradicate illness from the larger community through so-called herd immunity, and thus to protect others who may be vulnerable. The vaccination of children who can medically be vaccinated is absolutely the only responsible course of action.


Making Sruli Belsky Proud: "AVB said he and his family had been bullied, harrased and vilified for trying to rid the ultra-orthodox Chabad commuity of the sexual abuse scourge."

Rabbis accused of sex abuse cover-up granted religious honours at Yeshivah Synagogue

A JEWISH victim of child sexual abuse was forced to sit and watch at the weekend as Rabbis accused of a widespread cover-up were granted religious honours.
The victim, known only as AVB, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse today that the honours were granted during a shul service at Yeshivah Synagogue.
He said both Rabbi Abraham Glick and Rabbi Yosef Feldman were given the honours in front of the congregation.
Rabbi Glick is yet to give evidence to the commission but has been blamed for failing to handle complaints of child abuse appropriately.
The former Yeshivah College principal still holds one of the most senior positions at the school despite reports he didn’t pass on numerous alleged incidents of sexual abuse to authorities while in charge between 1986 and 2007.
He was in charge of the school when convicted paedophile Rabbi David Kramer was hurriedly shipped to the US after complaints were made by parents alleging serious sexual misconduct in the early 1990s.
Rabbi Feldman sparked widespread criticism yesterday when he made a shocking defence of paedophiles, saying some should be left alone if they have not offended for several decades.
Rabbi Feldman said he didn’t agree that paedophiles who had repented and not reoffended risked jail time if they were prosecuted.
While the men were granted the honours at the weekend victims of abuse have complained that they have been shunned from receiving them since going public with their stories.
AVB said he and his family had been bullied, harrased and vilified for trying to rid the ultra-orthodox Chabad commuity of the sexual abuse scourge.
He said one Rabbi had even referred to him as a ‘moser’, the most offensive term for Jews, referring to one who breaks the rule of Mesirah, informing on Jews to secular authorities.
“We are being victimised. We’re being judged,” he said.
“The foundation is rotten to its core.
“I often wonder whether I made the right decision coming forward.
“I know I need to do what I need to do if we’re going to change things.”
Comparing the child sexual abuse crisis to the Holocaust AVB said Jews needed to learn from the wrongs of the past.
“We will never forget (the Holocaust). That is always etched in our history so it shall never happen again,” he said.
“The holocaust was the murder of Jews.
“We’ve heard evidence from multiple rabbis that the perpetration of abuse is a kin to murder.
“We need to accept and hold up that the murdering of children through sexual abuse by our own is also a crime.
“Those individuals need to be, I’m not sure if the word is banished, but they need to be held in that regard as having perpetrated that murder.”
AVB, who was molested by Yeshivah employees Daniel Hayman and David Cyrprys in Melbourne and Sydney, said abuse perpetrated on him was wholly avoidable.
And he said the Yeshivah community continued to rally around his abusers.
Yesterday, Rabbi Feldman, a close friend of Daniel Hayman, admitted being angry when he was charged fearing he would end up in jail.
“Is it just a situation where we punish someone for what they did 40 years ago even though they’ve changed totally? They’re not a threat to society and everything else,” he said.
“Of course according to law you’re supposed to, I never said it shouldn’t be done according to law.
“But I’m certainly not happy about it. I’ve said this again and again. I done know why this is an issue.”
The hearing continues.