By Anne Dachel
In my recent piece on Age of Autism Alan Dershowitz Says You Have No Right to Refuse A COVID Vaccine, I reported on the stunning comments by Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz that endorsed forced vaccination. One of the sources on Dershowitz that I cited was a New York Daily News piece he wrote on June 14, 2019. He was adamant that there is no religious right not to be vaccinated.
Dershowitz said this specifically about the Jewish faith:
I challenge any rabbi to debate me on the Jewish religious law regarding vaccination and communicable diseases. He will lose the debate because there is simply no basis in Jewish law for any such argument. Religion is being used as a cover for a misguided political, ideological, conspiratorial and personal opposition to vaccination. Don’t believe any rabbi who tells you otherwise.
New York Rabbi William Handler has been a courageous voice challenging mandated vaccination despite being attacked by the Washington Post and other media sources. I have interviewed Rabbi Handler a number of times and he was happy to answer the challenge.
This is his response to Alan Dershowitz:
Among Orthodox Rabbis who take Jewish Religious Law seriously, there is a spirited debate over the issue of vaccination.
There are two aspects to this issue:
- Are Jews religiously obligated to vaccinate themselves against all common diseases?
On this question, there is a vigorous debate among our Rabbinical authorities, and many leading Rabbis have stated that, if someone is fearful that vaccines may cause his family harm, we have no right to compel him to subject his family to the clearly-documented risks of vaccination.
- Does Jewish law obligate us to “quarantine” healthy people simply because they refuse to subject themselves to the clearly-documented hazards of vaccination?
On this question, it is clear that we cannot quarantine a healthy person simply because he refuses to undergo a medical procedure.
The question arises only when there is a large outbreak of a serious disease. And, even then, many Rabbis state that you can quarantine only when there is a widespread Pandemic, where people are literally dropping dead in the streets, like the “Black Plague,” which wiped-out one third of Europe.
However, under ordinary circumstances, like the annual flu/pneumonia, when only a small percentage of the people are affected, and the overwhelming majority of people remain unaffected, you have no right to force people to expose themselves to the known risks of vaccination.
Vaccines, like all drugs, have documented risks, and that’s why they must be prescribed by Doctors who are qualified to weigh the risks vs. the benefits.
However, vaccines are unique in the field of drugs, in that, unlike drugs, vaccine manufacturers are exempted from lawsuits if their vaccines maim or kill you. Therefore, there is little incentive for vaccine producers to insure that their products are truly safe.
The only recourse for people who are seriously injured by vaccines, like the 500 people who were paralyzed by the “Swine Flu” vaccine a few years ago, is to sue the Federal Government in a special “Vaccine Court” that was legislated by Congress in 1986 to compensate victims who were seriously injured by vaccines. This Court has, to date, paid out billions of dollars to vaccine victims.
The Federal Government does not properly protect the public from unsafe vaccines, as has been clearly documented in expose after expose.
So, the bottom line is: When there is no widespread plague, we can’t compel our congregations to vaccinate.
As for “Rabbi” Alan Dershowitz, he is a lapsed Jew, who is no longer observant of the Jewish religion, and he is certainly not a qualified authority on Jewish Law.