By COLlive reporter
Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau has suspended a Dayan who serves on the state’s rabbinical courts for conversion for having refused the COVID-19 vaccine, Jerusalem Post reported.
A spokesman for Lau, who is the president of the Supreme Rabbinical Court, said that he believes all rabbinical judges have an obligation to get vaccinated and that “a judge who does not get vaccinated will not be able to serve in his position and endanger those who come to the court, as far as is legally possible.”
On Monday, Lau issued a statement saying it is forbidden to refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 unless following specific instructions from a doctor not to do so.
“It is forbidden for a person to damage his own body and all the more so that of someone else,” wrote Lau.
He said that the dangers of COVID-19 are a verifiable fact and that any dangers inherent in the vaccine are uncertain, and that it is, therefore, an obligation to get vaccinated.
“Someone who does not get vaccinated is not only likely to harm himself but is also likely to harm someone else,” Rabbi Lau said.
This week, Rabbi Yitzchok Yehuda Yaroslavsky, who heads the Chabad Beis Din in Israel and is considered the top halachic authority for Chabad in the Holy Land, announced that entrance to local Chabad shuls in his community in the Nachlas Har Chabad neighborhood in Kiryat Malachi will only be permitted to people who have been vaccinated or can provide a document of recovering from it.
“Those who have not been vaccinated and don’t have a recovery (antibodies) document should continue davening in the open courtyard shuls etc. and not be allowed to enter the regular shuls,” he stated.
Rabbi Yaroslavsky said that those working with the public, such as staff of the educational institutions and members of the kollel, must be vaccinated as well.
“The need to be vaccinated isn’t elective but mandatory according to Torah,” he stated in Tuesday’s letter. “Do not be clever with all sorts of different and strange opinions that have no basis in reality.”
He went on to warn that those who don’t get vaccinated and convince others to do the same should be wary of the day of judgment and are causing bloodshed.