By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Yosef Braun, member of the Bais Din of Crown Heights, has addressed the ongoing debate regarding whether or not to vaccinate against coronavirus.
In a voice note message to the community, Rabbi Braun says he will address “the vaccine debate which is raging in our community.”
“I am not going to give an answer whether one should vaccinate or not, but I want to discuss the principle of Torah,” he said. “Like in every question, our Torah is the Torah of light and way of life and has clear principles and policies that provide us with a way of life.
“Our Torah is very clear – that medical questions are to be determined by doctors. You are not the barometer of truth. This principle that people should debate whether we should vaccinate or not vaccinate, and everybody has an opinion on the matter, is anathema to Torah.
“You are not entitled to your opinion when it comes to medical matters!
“You are not entitled to your opinion when it comes to Torah matters!
“Freedom, exchange of ideas, are all beautiful principles – but the Torah principle is that when it comes to medical matters, our job is to follow what doctors are saying.
“People think they have to research and check out every single thing…it’s not your job to research this stuff. When did you become a doctor? When did that become your responsibility?
“A, It’s a waste of time and bittul Torah. And B, the Rebbe wrote to people many times when it came to medical matters, they should not research this matter. They should listen to the doctors and not involve their minds in their condition other than to listen to doctors’ instructions,” Rabbi Braun said.
That was years ago, before the “information superhighway,” Rabbi Braun said. Nowadays, with the “social media explosion, everybody has an opinion which they spread around all over.”
“Every one of these WhatsApp groups should be closed completely – they have nothing to contribute to this discussion,” he said. “You can’t even answer a question about v’sen tal umatar, you are going to decide about pikuach nefesh issues – issues of life and death?!”
Rabbi Braun continued, “A question of pikuach nefesh is supposed to be determined by Rabbonim and Doctors. And someone will say, I will find a doctor who agrees with my opinion…I will shop out for a rov who agrees with my opinion,” he said.
“You shouldn’t have an opinion to begin with!
“And of course, as with everything we have a range of opinions…the Torah says to go with the majority when it comes to medical and halacha issues.
You can find a daas yochid – a sole minority lone opinion – which has been disqualified in mainstream halacha and rejected…but the majority of doctors who have licenses say one thing,” he said.
Rabbi Braun cautioned against conspiracy theories about doctors and Rabbonim.
“To say the Rabbonim have an agenda, is against the Torah,” he said. “Conspiracy theories about doctors and Rabbonim is apikorsis,” he said. “You are not an expert – you are not the one to decide if there should be an eruv or not, or to vaccinate or not.”
“Furthermore, you have no ownership of your body to begin with. That’s another principle of Torah – nobody has ownership of their body. This whole concept of liberalism where I get to decide what I feel is right and you are taking away my rights to make choices for myself, is also not according to the Torah,” he said. “You are not to decide whether to get vaccinated or not – that is a flawed way of thinking.”