Letter: A response

Dear TLS and the Lakewood community,

As I read the letter sent in by a member of our community about refusing to have unvaccinated children in our schools, I was extremely disturbed, specifically by the parallel drawn between the tragic episode of Kamtza and bar Kamtza. I therefore decided to perhaps address some of the parallels drawn by the author of this article.

A close look at the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza will be beneficial. An enemy of the ba’al haseuda was accidentally invited to his seuda. He was offered to let it pass in peace and do him a favor and let him stay, as Bar kamtza offered to pay for his portion, and the ba’al haseuda rejected the offer. The ba’al haseuda was offered up until the price of the entire seuda not to embarrass someone who was offering him an enormous sum of money. I think it’s self understood that the only motivator to reject an enormous sum of money to let bar Kamzta stay, can be an enormous level of sinas chinam, as his best interest was to do the opposite of what he did.

So I ask you, the author who drew such a parallel, what is the motivator of those who expelled these children? Do you think it is easy to throw a child you perceive as a victim of his parent’s mistaken choice, out of school? Do you think that they hate the parent and they are looking to pain them as much as possible? The answer is an obvious no. It’s obvious that the schools want to keep these innocent children in school, but rather they are prevented from what they see as an unavoidable lack of a better alternative.

Perhaps I can explain what you perceive as sinas chinam really is. The US government has an agency called the CDC. This agency is responsible for overseeing the health of the American public at large.
The average new drug takes years of testing to approve, and they have recalled many drugs in the past for mistakes they have made. This agency, and its counterparts around the developed world as well, disagree with your understanding of this issue. The majority of doctors around the world disagree with your understanding as well. Also let’s not forget that in Halachah we follow the majority of doctors and the expert doctors for the severest of aveiros, potentially being oiver on eating on yom kippur. This is one of the reasons why most poskim do not agree with you. This isn’t sinas chinam. It is people following the majority of poskim whose opinions are based on the majority of doctors, with the ultimate goal of Ratzon Hashem to keep the Mitzva of Venishmartem Meod Lenafshosaichem.

So based on the information above I ask you, is following halacha as paskened by most poskim sinas chinam? Is this motivated by just unbridled hate? The answer is a resounding NO. Whether a Bas Kol can change this I don’t know, as Torah Lo Bashamaim Hee. However, you who isn’t a Navi, certainly cannot change that with your opinion, as I don’t believe following our Poskims’ hadracha is causing this terrible mageifah.

Perhaps autism is unfortunately another illness people are born with when the Ribono shel olam wills so. As the number of diagnosed cases of autism rose, other similar conditions diagnosis numbers dropped. There are many answers offered by the medical establishment for the other claims you raised to defend your position.

As for shidduchim, if someone perceives a family as doing something dangerous, are they oiver on sinas chinam for not wanting their child and grandchildren to be influenced and affected by this? I hope I was able to address some of your points and bring more clarity to this painful topic.

Yehi ratzon that the Rebono Shel Oilam should bentch us with Refuos and Yeshuos, and Mi Sheamar Leolam Dai Yomar Letzarosainu Dai, and we should be Zoche to the Geulah Shlaimah Be’achdus Uv’shalom Bayachad Bimhairah Beyameinu


A Yid.

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There are 25 Comments to "Letter: A response"

  • beautifully said says:

    Thank you!

  • Yeshivas first! PLEASE says:

    without having all the yeshivas fully open and filled with learning everything else doesn’t stand

  • Anon says:

    Very well written.

    The one point I would like to make is that a few times throughout this response article, the author seems to think that one who wrote the Bar Kamtza article is an anti-vaxxer and that as he says “The majority of doctors around the world disagree with your understanding as well.”

    The one who wrote the Bar Kamtza article said he himself was a pro vaxxer. Just he felt that we were unjust to the anti-vaxxers.

    • Just Sayin says:

      Somehow there are so many of this written by people claiming to be “very pro vaccine”

  • sd says:

    Beautiful. Written with such respect for others and their opinion.

  • Just a thought says:

    If I may add my two cents, since I did not respond to the previous writer. Your reply was very well written, but I’m writing this to the first letter. Time to stop drawing parallels and trying to figure out why hashem sent this. Each and every person should make a cheshbon hanefesh, and try to figure out why hashem sent this to him!! See what you can do better for yourself. Not what other people should or shouldn’t do! Hashem never asked anyone for advice, and if he wanted to punish someone for the whole measles saga, he definitely knows how to do it without your help!!

    So as the writer very well articulated, very bad parallel and your comparing this to the aforementioned story is the same sin as chinam.

    • yottle says:

      Rambam in Hilchos Taanis disagrees with your royal highness. He states that a Tzaras tzibbur needs an assessment of tzibbur inyanim…. with a yeshivas bais din

  • Sedom says:

    When u write “ do u Think it’s easy to throw out a child? “ u remind me of an abusive husband who beats his wife and then is angry that she made him do it.
    Take responsibility for ur actions: do u fast three days before u do this great mitzvah? Did u give tzidakah to be podeh ur nefesh for killing innocent children for the greater good

    As an aside not that’s its relevant .I’m very pro vaccination but anti killing byadyim by throwing out a child from cheder

    • Moe says:

      While I was not directly involved, I can tell you that the schools that sent children home for being unvaccinated, spent a long time making a decision, while consulting with rabbis and doctors. It was not a decision made lightly. And especially not a decision made of anger, god forbid, like your example of an abusive spouse.

    • chaim says:

      no need to take it out of context, did you read the first letter that compared it to kamtza and bar kamtza, and why this letter was evenwritten

    • shmeryl says:

      as the writer articulated, it isn’t an easy thing to do, because it is a very painful thing to do, however their isn’t a polite way to write “throw a kid out of school” that exactly what it is, in its raw and painful reality, besides i don’t think it seems he is even involved in any moisad at all, he simply is just disturbed how the difficult decision that was made for the safety of other was deemed kamtza bar kamtza

    • abe says:


      Awful analogy.

      This letter was written beautifully.

  • Rabbi Feuer says:

    Wow! Wonderfully said!! You wrote exactly what I was thinking!! Thank You!!

  • Truth says:


    But there’s a lot of fake news lately.

  • Ponderful says:

    How can the premise be ok if the end result is tremendous negativity, hurt, pain,
    Excommunication from communities and family etc..

    • abe says:

      What an odd thing to say.

      Any time someone is sent to prison all of your adjectives apply.

      Would you like to shut all prisons down?

  • yossi says:

    Although most doctors agree that vaccination is a better option than the alternative- I certainly don’t believe that most doctors think that having your child in the same class as someone that did not vaccinate puts them in a situation where it is likely they will get the disease and certainly not to the point where it warrants their being expelled. This is what the writer is talking about. Please don’t confuse the issue. I also vaccinate but do so responsibly once they are able to handle it and one at a time – not five as some dangerous local physicians do. Please don’t judge why others chose not to and please don’t make decisions for them.

    • nyj says:

      yes, many people who vaccinate and don’t want to associate with unvaccinated actually, do NOT think that the vaccines work! They vaccinate their children so they won’t get the disease. But they are so afraid that even though they are vaccinated, they can catch that same disease from someone who is NOT vaccinated!! Why some people vaccinate their children, with possible side effects, even though they don’t think it even works is beyond logic!

  • Bubby says:

    Someone who opposes vaccines feels very strongly about it. That being said, all anti-vaxxers have the right to form their own community their own schools and their own shuls. If most Rabbanim and the gov’t insist that vaccinations are necessary then that must be the rule. Just as an anti-vaxxer feels threatened, that harm will come to their child, the other parents feel that sending in children that are not vaccinated could cause their children harm. Anti-vaxxers you want to be heard, and feel that you have a right to your opinion, then you must agree to segregation. Do not blame others, you made the choice! Even as a young child I was taught that majority wins. We are following the Psak of most Rabbanim and that is the way it is K’halacha. I spoke to a niece of mine who lives in Eretz Yisroel and she is an anti-vaxxer and she even agreed with me!

    • nyj says:

      yes, many people who vaccinate and don’t want to associate with unvaccinated actually, do NOT think that the vaccines work! They vaccinate their children so they won’t get the disease. But they are so afraid that even though they are vaccinated, they can catch that same disease from someone who is NOT vaccinated!! Why some people vaccinate their children, with possible side effects, even though they don’t think it even works is beyond logic!

    • nyj says:

      I don’t think you trust that vaccines work. If so, the ones who are vaccinated are protected. However, by thinking that unvaccinated children should not go to school, because they threaten the vaccinated. you are showing that you don’t even think the vaccines work!!

      Do you vaccinate your kids so that they should be protected from the disease, or not. Does the vaccine protect a person from the disease or not? So why are you afraid to be in the room with a healthy unvaccinated person? I will quote from the pro vaccine rally Monsey by a doctor there “Healthy unvaccinated people cannot spread disease”

  • To yossi says:

    You wrote doctors don’t think having your child in the same class as an unvaccinated child puts them at risk. Let’s think for a moment. My friend’s child was absent almost the entire two years previously due to yenna machla. He was finally cleared to go to school. Then the doctors said he has to stay home because his immune system was shot, it’s too dangerous for him at that point to get vaccinated again, so he cannot be in contact with anyone who was unvaccinated. This was a critical situation. He had to stay home yet again only because of those children. He was so excited to be with his friends again, yet that was short-lived. Once those children were asked to stay home, he got clearance from the doctors to go back to school. Yes, I do believe the schools were really sad to ask the unvaccinated students to stay home, but it must’ve been the lesser of two evils for them

  • Make Some Room says:

    Can’t we find rebbes and morahs who agree with Anti-Vaxxers and put them in a separate facility with the like-minded kids? Is this so hard to do in Lakewood where mostly everyone helps out each other?

  • Momnj says:

    To all those who have now been exposed to the crooked Dr Fauci and CDC – just realize these are the same people who test the vaccines you inject your child with for “safety” without double blind placebo trials like every drug should have. Wonder why we would trust them with our childrens health when weve seen just how corrupt they are. I vaccinated all my children until I had a child who was injured and learned about the poison toxins i was really injecting into my child when I thought all I was doing was ‘injecting a little bit of virus’ like I was told. Some informed consent i was given… People need to open their eyes.

  • Anon says:

    I strongly disagree.
    There is plenty of hate toward the anti vaxx community. If you want to claim it’s justified that’s on you, however there are plenty of examples during last years measles outbreak that show many people are more scared of non vaxxed kids than they are of measles.
    1)do you know anyone that canceled a trip to Israel when there were thousands of measles cases there ?
    That can’t be less dangerous than associating with a local unvaccinated kid who may have never been exposed to the illness.
    2) organizations that provide care and entertainment for the sick children that we are protecting by keeping the unvaccinated out of school, had large Chanukah parties with all the sick kids mingling, I though that was very dangerous as since the kids are at risk and can’t be vaccinated, they are also at risk of spreading measles a day before they are symptomatic.