Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Lakewood Suicide Squad

Who would engage in actions that could lead to the deaths of their own children, and the deaths of many other people in their very own community? The following astonishing email arrived in my inbox a few days ago:
Dear Friends,
B’siyata D’shmaya we have formed The Vaccine Coalition, a Coalition of Non-Vaccinating Parents in Lakewood, New Jersey.
This coalition was founded by R’ Malkiel Kotler shlit”a, R’ Shmuel Meir Katz shlit”a and R’ Refael Szmerla shlit”a, and it aims to address the current pressing issue of schools rejecting or dismissing non-vaccinated children. It will also be available to help non-vaccinating parents in Lakewood in any area we feel we can, as well as to provide support of ‘strength in numbers’ to pro-vaccine choice Lakewood families.
This coalition depends on a collective voice and will not be launched until we reach a minimum of 250 families. If you live in Lakewood and have made a decision not to vaccinate your children, we encourage you to please take a few moments to sign up to join the coalition, for your benefit, and for the benefit of all other Lakewood families like yourselves.
By joining the coalition you agree to have your name and personal information added to our private database. Your information will never be released to a third party without your permission. If the coalition should find it absolutely necessary to release your name in the course of assisting it's members you may receive an email requesting your permission.  Any such instance will be authorized by the Rosh Hayeshiva R’ Malkiel Kotler shlit”a beforehand. 
The success of this endeavor is contingent on enlisting as many non-vaccinating families as possible. Please take the time to reach out to your friends and family who don’t vaccinate and encourage them to join.
To join, please visit www.vaccinecoalition.org. Alternatively you can join by emailing vaccinecoalition@gmail.com or call/ text 732-806-7739
At the website, we find a familiar name added to the list of rabbinic endorsements:
The Vaccine Choice Coalition is endorsed and backed by HaRav Malkiel Kotler shlit"a, HaRav Elya Ber Wachtfogel shlit"a and HaRav Shmuel Meir Katz shlit"a. If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us at 732-806-7739 or vaccinecoalition@gmail.com
Pictured: Rav Malkiel Kotler and Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel.
Not pictured: The corpses of children who died from measles.

Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel of South Fallsberg was, of course, one of the driving forces behind the ban on my books (along with a number of criminals), and Rav Malkiel Kotler was one of the signatories. Curiously absent from this list, although also known to be a strong opponent of vaccination, is Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky (see my post Frum Ways to Die; ironically, he originally endorsed my books and stood by his endorsement against tremendous pressure).

Now, it's important to understand that the Vaccine Coalition certainly do not (yet) represent the normative charedi approach to vaccination. The vast majority of people in the charedi community vaccinate their children. The vast majority of charedi rabbanim believe that it is important to vaccinate. The charedi world in general usually has enormous respect for physicians. And charedi websites such as Matzav.com and YeshivaWorld.com have issued blistering condemnations of the [Anti-] Vaccine Coaltion.

Nevertheless, it is undeniably the case that this is a charedi phenomenon. Lower incidences of vaccinations have been reported in British charedi communities as well as in the US. You'd never find such a thing happening in Dati-Leumi or Modern Orthodox communities. It is occurring because of particular aspects of charedi society. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the comments section of the aforementioned articles at Matzav and YeshivaWorld. And although most charedi leaders would be against the Anti-Vaccine Coalition, they all share a certain degree of responsibility for it.

One of the leaders of the Anti-Vaccine Coalition is Rabbi Refael Szmerla. You might recognize that name - he is the author of Alternative Medicine in Halacha, a book that I critiqued in my post When Rabbis Quack. That book is an all-out endorsement of all kinds of quackery and an attempt to discredit Western medicine as being theologically problematic. In my critique, I argued that taking such an approach is likely to lead to opposing vaccinating children, and lo and behold, I was correct. So all the rabbanim who endorsed that book likewise share the responsibility of people not vaccinating their children.

But that book itself did not emerge in a vacuum. It was a predictable consequence of how charedi society broadly adopts an anti-rationalist, anti-scientific approach to the world. There's the near-universal position among charedi Gedolim that it is heretical to talk about the world being billions of years old. There's the anti-scientific emunah books endorsed by Rav Aharon Feldman and Rav Shlomo Miller which present pseudoscientific rebuttals of mainstream science. There's scientific ignoramuses such as Jonathan Rosenblum and Avi Shafran writing allegedly sophisticated critiques of evolution and global warming. All this feeds the idea that any non-expert can shlug up things that have overwhelming support and consensus in the scientific community. No doubt many of these charedi rabbanim and writers are horrified at the anti-vaccination group, but they contributed to its development. You reap what you sow.

The anti-vaccination movement is also the result of the charedi anti-establishment position in general. The goyim are out to hurt us with their lies! They claim that metziza b'peh is dangerous, but we know that it's not! They claim that Shalom Rubashkin committed crimes, but we know that he is a tzaddik gamur and a public hero! Etc., etc. Vaccination becomes just one more example of the government anti-Jewish conspiracy.

Another factor that might contribute is the charedi downplaying of hishtadlus. This is reflected in people claiming the vaccinations, which are not what Jews traditionally did, compromise emunah and bitachon.

Then there's the additional problem that once some charedi Gedolim put their names to something, others are terrified to criticize them for it. So whoever gets in first is able to exert disproportionate influence. Szmerla published his book with prestigious endorsements, and Mishpacha magazine wrote a largely enthusiastic feature article on it. True, they later printed a "Clarification" which was largely a retraction, but the clarification was much less explicit and prominent than the original article, and the damage was done. And once Rav Elya Ber Watchfogel declares that people have good reason not to vaccinate their children, who is going to openly declare him to be badly wrong? Even the critiques at YeshivaWorld and Matzav dare not mention his name. Because, as we saw with Rav Shmuel Auerbach, almost nobody ever dares publicly say that a Charedi Gadol is wrong. That would undermine charedi hashkafah, and it's also socially unthinkable in a society where everybody is always looking nervously over their right shoulder.

On many occasions, I have written that I don't think that it really matters if charedim are anti-evolution or if they believe that Chazal were scientifically infallible. I am actually very sympathetic to their wanting to adopt the anti-rationalist approach. But this is one potentially lethal effect of that worldview.

232 comments:

  1. "I am actually very sympathetic to their wanting to adopt the anti-rationalist approach. But this is one potentially lethal effect of that worldview." And therefore why you cannot be sympathetic to their Luddite approach.

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  2. If they only harmed themselves, I'd have little problem with it.

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  3. This is completely disingenuous. If you think injecting your kids with toxins will prevent them from getting a disease, go for it. But don’t complain about other who don’t buy that. If you think other unvaccinated kids can make YOUR vaccinated kid sick the OBVIOUSLY you don’t really think the vaccine is effective! You can’t have it both ways either it works of it doesn’t. The CDC has been proven to lie about the connection to the toxins in vaccines their their link to autisim. Dr. William Thomson who worked for them for over 10 years blew the whistle on their cover ups. They can not an should not be trusted. The big pharma does not test new vaccines for safety for more then 2 weeks and there is NO proof that injecting kids with heavy toxins like Aluminum, Formaldehyde, MSG, Mercury, Monkey Kidney and much more is safe in any way! It is also medical propaganda that vaccines are effective at all. When they introduced the smallpox vaccine in the USA smallpox want UP! in England they did not have the vaccine and isolated people and it went down. Then they did the same in America. There is NO proof vaccines ever did anything other then damage! Who do you trust pharma funds Medical school and publications that make billions of vaccines and the damage they cause, or thousands of REAL people whose kids were perfectly normal then brain damaged of killed after vaccines watch vaxed and the videos of REAL parents all over then tell me that are ALL lying and the big pharama is trustworthy??? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwZDSEpPvE398OLazdituKQ

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    1. Sigh. I know this won't work but will try anyway.
      Do you honestly think that hundreds-of-thousands of doctors, nurses, and medical researchers have all been taken in by Pharma? That they WANT kids to get sick?

      "There is NO proof vaccines ever did anything other then damage!"
      Look at the worldwide drop in the rates of smallpox, measles, diptheria, etc since the 1950s and tell us how there is no proof.

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    2. Totally agree with you Anonymous.

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    3. If you stand so virulently by this view - why are you not prepared to put your name to it, anonymous?

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    4. Anonymous, your reply is utter rediculousness. Go to med school, nursing school and a few third world countries who 30 yrs ago had no vaccines. Then strongly spew your simplistic logic.

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    5. Literally every sentence you wrote is untrue. It's pretty much parroted from antivax propaganda.

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    6. If you want any credibility, start by learning to spell the word "than".

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    7. I agree with Anonymous, although until recently I never thought I would. There are many toxins in many vaccines, and many people are permanently injured or die from them. There is much new research on this online, and one would do well to seek it out.

      For instance, it is VERY difficult to get one’s child inoculated with the MMR components separately. One may have an easier time going to Japan, because public outcry there has led to separate shots being given so the child’s immune system (and who knows what else) has time to recover.

      Why are people lining up for flu shots when there is so much evidence that those who receive it are more likely to come down with the flu? Even the CDC says the flu shots have only a 10% efficacy rate.

      A healthy immune system accomplished with the right immune-revving supplements, enough sleep and a healthy diet and life-style is enough to keep most contageous diseases at bay.

      We have maintained this, and B”H, we have not been sick with ANYTHING for the eight years that we have been doing so. Peer-reviewed articles abound with the success of a immune-revving supplement approach.

      A note on the supposed superiority of peer-reviewed articles in major journals. Studies are often financially backed by Big Pharma or others a step or two away. In such cases, the outcomes should be rigorously questioned. In addition, it is not uncommon for accepted, peer-reviewed journals to issue retractions.

      Sadly, there exists the tendency to ridicule and marginalize researchers who challenge the staus quo. This can be seen in many scientific disciplines. Science is dynamic, and sometimes it takes quite some time until the status quo has been debunked.

      For example, when my children were young, the routinely received antibiotics for ear infections and pre-infections. This is no longer the case, at least in our area.

      As a teacher, a number of my parents vociferously demanded that we used antibacterial soap rather than regular handsoap. Now the science has caught up to where antibacterial soaps are discouraged.

      How much more billions does the pharmaceutical industry stand to lose if a candid, thorough and honest reevaluation is done on the issue of vaccines?

      Troubling too, is that the law was changed so that US citizens are no longer able to sue Big Pharma directly when people are permanently injured or die from vaccines. Instead, we can only sue the US Govt, which takes far longer and often leads to smaller awards. This is because the government has given carte blanche coverage to the pharmaceutical industry for vaccines.

      It is in everyone’s best interest to get out of their comfortable echo chambers and look into the newer data that have been pouring out about vaccines, their true efficacy and very real dangers.

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    8. Almost everything you wrote is untrue and complete nonsense.

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    9. To Ari Elman: your response is not a counter- or any other kind of argument. You might ss well have your fingers in your ears, your eyes sqeezed closed and your tongue stuck out. The only thing missing are ad hominem attacks.

      Let’s hear honest counter arguments worthy of Rabbi Slifkin’s comments section.

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    10. Carol, would you like me to sit and refute your points one by one? I will take the time if you would actually read it. I've found mostly that those who are antivax will not be convinced even after I've debunked them point by point.

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    11. Well, let me ask first: are you or anyone you know employed in the pharmaceutical industry or derive monetary or quid pro quo benefits for selling or prescribing pharmaceuticals? If not, would be interested to hear your opinions.

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    12. Ari Elman has not responded, that is true. The truth is though, that Carol hasn't actually put forth any evidence to refute. For example,"peer-reviewed articles abound with the success of a immune-revving supplement approach." is not actually evidence. That's a claim. Provide the links please.

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    13. Do you mean to ask am I or anyone in my family? Because I'm sure people that I know are employed by the pharmaceutical industry. That would just be a silly non-starter.

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    14. We have maintained this, and B”H, we have not been sick with ANYTHING for the eight years that we have been doing so. Peer-reviewed articles abound with the success of a immune-revving supplement approach.

      Go visit one of the many places with measles or polio outbreaks and see how well you do. You are relying on herd immunity, and don't seem to have any understanding of, or desire to understand, this.

      Your children are at risk and you don't care. You are a horrible person.

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    15. Shlomo, that is fair enough. Rather than going through and try typing up the thousands of references on this subject, let me me direct you to (at least) two sources from which you can get these citations. BTW, let me be perfectly clear that I receive nothing from either of them. The first and foremost source I would recommend is a company called Life Extension. You can call 1-800-544-4440. Ask to be put through to one of their health advisors, and if need be even one of their MDs. Tell them that you are involved in this discussion, and you would like a list — as long as possible of all of many of the citations of peer-reviewed hournal articles on enhancing/revving the immune system to avoid getting virtually viruses, etc. I would ask as many questions as you can till you feel that you’re satisfied (or more satisfied). Another site you might visit is the Vitamin D Council. The information from both of these sources is up-to-date, and recommendations are made from current data as well as past studies. They have a highly educated advisory board.

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    16. Ari, yes that would narrow it down further.

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    17. Avi, you have read into my statements things I have not said. My children were inoculated fully according to schedule. They are adults now. One follows a supplemental regimen, and she does not get sick.

      Do you really think I have never heard of herd immunity, have any understanding or don’t care? I think your post is quite on the presumptuous and hysterical side.

      Our own own physician has a big oractice, and I found it intriguing that with all the sick, contagious people he sees, he deliberately does not receive any immunizations and he does not get sick because he is exposed to so much and thus receives a much stronger and longer lasting immunity from many illnesses because of it.

      There are documented geographic outbreaks of polio and measels of children who have received all of their vaccines. Clearly, there far more complexity to this issue.

      There is also really so much more discussion, but without the histrionics. Pesach cleaning awaits.

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    18. Sorry, Carol that ain't gonna fly. Put up or don't but I'm not calling "a highly educated advisory board," whatever that is supposed to mean. Give me the links for three of the most convincing peer reviewed articles on the subject. Otherwise you're blowing smoke, plain and simple.

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    19. Sorry, Shlomo, it’s going to have to fly. You have access to boatloads of info at your calling a phone number. All you need to do is ask them to send the data to your email address.

      This is the easiest possible path for you and me. To conclude that this is smoke and mirrors is fallacious. It sounds more like stubborness.

      There is another option, and that is that you youself can go to their website, use the search bar and easily find their articles about immune system enhancement and either read the artcle or look to the end of each article and see the citations. Difficult to think of a reason why this is not a valid approach to finding the data.

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    20. So you *are* just blowing smoke. Have a nice day.

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    21. Carol - you make some very good points and, even though I am not yet convinced enough not to vaccinate, I concede there is, at minimum, more to investigate. But you're not going to get any traction with some of the wild-eyed fanatics I see commenting here. Such people have no problem identifying fanaticism in the religious, but cannot shift their paradigms enough to recognize it in themselves.

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    22. DF - what good points does Carol make? Which one do you find the most compelling? I personally love her assurance that I can "boatloads of info," that's a real convincing bit of evidence right there.

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    23. Shlomo, this is not an argument but a cheap, unconvincing, irrational, intransigent and lazy attempt to “win” an argument rather than doing your homework and be partner in the quest for truth.

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    24. Is there a reason you are so reluctant to share your evidence? It was amusing at first, but seriously, why are you so hesitant to share your proof? The fact that there are "boatloads of info" means that I wpuld need an enormous amount of time to sift through it. Let's cut through all that and present the three most compelling peer reviewed articles proving your side. Otherwise, it would take me years to read through all the mass of research. Help a guy out here.

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    25. DF, yes, that is precisely the point — there is much more to investigate before I or many people can claim firm territory on either side of this argument.

      I remember taking my children to the pediatricians’ practice, being given information and release papers to sign, and when I didn’t sign immediately, because I wanted to read through the risks, etc., nurses’s toe-tapping and impatience-filled exaggerated breathing was enough to intimidate me to just sign the papers quickly so I wasn’t inconveniencing and holding up the flow. And could my pediatrician who I was so fond of and knew before he went into practice be wrong? I trusted that he thiroughly knew all the data. How many other parents have been put into similar positions of being intimidated into vaccinations this way or because their state won’t let their children attend school, or pressures from other sources?

      On the whole, I think vaccinating is largely a good thing, but with a number of caveats.

      To say that studies have irrefutably proven that there is no connection to these heavy-duty vaccination schedules on these tiny little bodies rings untrue. Many studies are known to have design flaws, data massaged or invented, and often because there are powerful ulterior motives to the studies’ outcomes.

      I think this warrants healthy skepticism when one tries to imagine the untold billions, if not trillions, of dollars the pharmaceutical industry and goverment would be liable for should such inconvient connections be made.

      In response to Avi’s remark to go visit one of the many places with measles or polio, I would give just a couple of examples out of these two diseases where full immunization did not confer protection against them, though there are quite a few more instances where this is true.

      For starters, Google sciencemag.org, “Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Patient for First Time.” By Nsikan Akpan, April 11, 2014.

      Regarding Polio, check out “Outbreak of Paralytic Poliomyelitis in a Highly Immunized Population” by MR Richler, 1977. Oxford University Press.

      I would also like to say that even IF the decision of a certain population to participate or not to participate in a specific course of action regarding health and safety is demonstrably non-scientific, it 1) should be assumed that the parents do care and 2) the course of action may be correct regardless.

      I am reminded of a fascinating documentary account during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, in which some 280,000 people lost their lives.

      A primative, polytheistic Indonesian tribe on an island had a strong oral tradition. It informed them that if they ever witnessed the ocean water rush away from the shore and this left fish flopping around in the damp sand, it means that the so and so gods are angry and they should immediately run into higher territory. And this tradition/ course of action saved the lives of the entire tribe.

      So even if the narrative/cause is questionable, the course if action from it may nevertheless be the correct one.

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    26. Shlomo, you can lead a horse to water.....

      Start with reading ONE of their articles.

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    27. "But you're not going to get any traction with some of the wild-eyed fanatics I see commenting here. Such people have no problem identifying fanaticism in the religious, but cannot shift their paradigms enough to recognize it in themselves."

      DF: It's amazing what you can prove with your method. The wild-eyed fanatics where will all go bonkers if you suggest any of the following:

      1) Only a few thousand Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
      2) 9/11 was an inside job.
      3) The moon is made of green cheese.
      4) DF has invented a perpetual motion machine.

      BTW, don't try to wiggle out of that last one. That will just prove that you really did it.

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    28. Carol you cannot recommend ONE of their articles? Whenever I start reading these "articles" and have problems with it, the anti-vaxxers say, "Oh not THAT article, that's not such a good one, read a different one." And on and on it goes.
      Which article is your favorite? I honestly cannot comprehend why this is a difficult question to answer.

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    29. I'm beginning to get the sneaking suspicion that your anti-vaxxing stance is based less on an intellectual decision than an emotional one...

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    30. Shlomo, please indicate who you are addressing. I already posted a response which has not been put up yet. Read my above comment to DF to see that I’m not antivaccination, unless doing so is too difficult and time-consuming for you.

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    31. I do not understand why my previous comment hasn’t been posted on immune enhancement by supplementation. Here we go again. I called LE as you could have easily done. I feel like you would need someone to help you dress when your clothes sre laid out.

      “Perhaps this information will be of use to you:

      Reishi http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2014/8/Fight-Immune-Decline-With-Reishi/Page-01
      NK Cell Activator (modified rice bran) http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2015/1/Activate-Your-Natural-Killer-Cells/Page-01
      Probiotics: http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2018/2/Probiotics-Fight-Dangerous-Winter-Flu/Page-01

      Bonus: this protocol is relatively comprehensive: http://www.lifeextension.com/Protocols/Immune-Connective-Joint/Immune-Senescence/Page-01


      Sincerely,

      Shaylind | Senior Wellness Specialist
      Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine
      (800) 226-2370 · x 2349 · fax (866) 844-1703”

      Call the number above if you have questions.


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    32. Like DF, I thought you were arguing anti-vax and had peer reviewed articles to that end. I guess not.

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    33. Shlomo, Have you been reading my posts? You have been showing the tendency to see what you want to see.

      Please Google —if it’s not too much trouble — “vaccination settlement lawsuits”. Also Google: Vaccine Injury Compensation Programs, if you are under the impression that vaccines are without risk of serious side effects or death.

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    34. You might want to consider vaccine injuries and deaths from another angle — compesation cases settled — via Google. Also see the goverment site “vaccine Injury Table” in accordance with section 312(b) of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. Table of vaccines, the injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions and deaths that occur after vaccine adminitration for purposes of receiving compensation under the Program.

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    35. R. Slifkin, is there any reason not to include the info on government tables on injuries and deaths occuring from vaccines?

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    36. Sorry I haven't had a chance to keep up with this discussion. In the meantime, Carol has posted even more untruths. Let me start with just a few, after reviewing her comments again briefly:

      "There are many toxins in many vaccines, and many people are permanently injured or die from them. There is much new research on this online, and one would do well to seek it out."

      No, there are not many toxins in vaccines. To begin with, the term "toxin" is a nonsense term in medical literature as any chemical on earth, even water or oxygen, can be toxic. What makes something toxic is not just the chemical structure, but also the dose. You will need to provide specific examples of toxic chemicals as well as the studies which you claim exist which show a direct correlation between ingredients and toxic side effects.

      "public outcry there (Japan) has led to separate shots being given so the child’s immune system (and who knows what else) has time to recover.”

      Another piece of nonsense, namely the argument that the shots, especially those against multiple diseases such as the MMR and DPT shots, are supposedly too much for a child’s immune system to handle. Anti-vaxxers will often point out that there were only a few shots in the 80’s and many more nowadays. This logic is nonsense on a number of grounds. First, the human immune system can respond to literally thousands of challenges daily. We all encounter untold viruses and bacteria, and are able to mount an immune response to virtually all of them on a daily basis. There is no evidence of anyone getting sick due to their immune system being “overwhelmed.” Second, even by the logic that the immune system can somehow be overwhelmed, it isn’t the number of shots that should concern you, but the number of foreign proteins (foreign antigens) that are being presented to the immune system. With the older versions of vaccinations, we didn’t know which part of the viral unit or bacterial cell triggered the immune response, so they just included all of them. In 1980, children were protected from 7 diseases, but the shots included 15096 antigens. Today, children are protected from 16 diseases and the shots only include 177 antigens. Even accounting for multiple doses of some vaccines, the total number of antigen exposures from birth to age 18 is only 653. So much for the “good old days” argument.

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    37. PART 2
      “Why are people lining up for flu shots when there is so much evidence that those who receive it are more likely to come down with the flu? Even the CDC says the flu shots have only a 10% efficacy rate.”

      Completely false. There is absolutely no credible report (or even scientific rational) that those who receive the flu shot are more likely to get the flu. True, the efficacy rate is not nearly that of other vaccines because the influenza virus is constantly mutating and changing. Also, there are many different versions of the flu circulating, with the shot only protecting against four strains predicted to be the most common. Even if you are lucky to not get the flu, the shot still continues to have protection against those strains in subsequent flu seasons. Now, as to your 10% claim, again, completely false. This is easy to find information, so I’m not sure what it says that you are quoting data that is false. Either you made it up, or someone else did, which I hope would lead you to question their other claims. The CDC released an interim report on this season’s flu cases on February 16, 2018 with extremely detailed numbers. You can read it here: https://goo.gl/xdPmws. There is a lot of info there, so I will pull out the relevant information for you: “Interim estimates of 2017–18 season vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza A and influenza B virus infection associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness in the United States was 36% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 27%–44%).” Now, you may say that 36% sounds like a pretty bad number. Of course it would be better if that number were higher. But consider this from elsewhere in the report: thus far, there have been 63 pediatric deaths from flu in the 2017-2018 season. Of those, only 14 had been vaccinated, meaning 49 were not. Assuming the 36% efficacy overall, 17 of these 49 children would be alive today had they been vaccinated. Even with your 10% number, it would be 4 or 5 children. Just 1 death is too many.

      “A healthy immune system accomplished with the right immune-revving supplements, enough sleep and a healthy diet and life-style is enough to keep most contageous diseases at bay.”

      Well, you are partially right. A healthy immune system is usually enough to keep most diseases at bay. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to keep all diseases at bay. There is no evidence that any supplements can “rev-up” the immune system. ZERO. I’m not sure why anyone would want to “rev-up” their immune system since an overactive immune system is exactly the problem with diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, mixed connective tissue disease, and many other autoimmune conditions.

      “We have maintained this, and B”H, we have not been sick with ANYTHING for the eight years that we have been doing so. Peer-reviewed articles abound with the success of a immune-revving supplement approach.”

      I’m glad that you think it has been working for you. But no, peer-reviewed articles do not abound with any such research. In fact, I openly challenge you to point to a single double blinded phase three study that shows benefit from a single dietary supplement. Oh don’t worry, many studies have been done. They just don’t have the outcome that you claim.

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    38. PART 3
      “A note on the supposed superiority of peer-reviewed articles in major journals. Studies are often financially backed by Big Pharma or others a step or two away. In such cases, the outcomes should be rigorously questioned. In addition, it is not uncommon for accepted, peer-reviewed journals to issue retractions.”

      Yes, much research is funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Yes, retractions do occur. I would disagree though that major retractions are extremely uncommon and usually come to light because someone has either examined the original data or someone has attempted to duplicate another study’s results unsuccessfully. I work with clinical researchers every day and am a (nonpaid) co-investigator on many trials. Anyone who is involved in this field finds your claims laughable. The sheer number of people involved in a clinical trial stretches into the thousands. Many hundreds have access to the data for review. The data usually comes from patients at many different sites. The FDA pores over it all with a fine tooth comb (I know many of these doctors too and many are religious Jews if that matters to you.) It is IMPOSSIBLE for a pharmaceutical company nowadays to run a trial and manipulate the data to show efficacy when there is none. The amount of people involved and the rigor of the data collection would shock you. These protections are there for good reason. Think of all the negative trials with unsuccessful drugs. For every drug brought to market, there are at least 99 that fail along the way. Often times, pharmaceutical companies will spend BILLIONS of dollars on a drug just to get to phase 3, only to see it fail. If they could just massage the data, don’t you think the rates of drug approvals would be even just a little bit higher??

      “How much more billions does the pharmaceutical industry stand to lose if a candid, thorough and honest reevaluation is done on the issue of vaccines?”

      There have already been literally thousands of these studies. The problem is, no number of studies will satisfy you. There has been no single question more thoroughly studied in the past 20 years than the link between autism and vaccines. At this point, there is no possible way to prove more definitively that there is no connection. Let me spin this back to you: at what point, and how many studies would it take for you to be satisfied?

      “It is in everyone’s best interest to get out of their comfortable echo chambers…”

      I couldn’t agree more.

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    39. Shlomo, u misunderstand, peer review unnecessary when u have a "Wellness Specialist", a "Senior" one at that, with a "Doctorate", possessing inside connections to "lifeextension.com". I think that really explains the whole argument...

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    40. FYI while I am not following the comments closely, I have not rejected any from being posted. So if you don't see your comment appear, then you must have submitted it incorrectly. (Or perhaps it was rejected as spam...)

      Delete
    41. For starters, Google sciencemag.org, “Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Patient for First Time.” By Nsikan Akpan, April 11, 2014.

      This is a common red herring trotted out by anti-vaxxers. No one has claimed that vaccines are 100% effective. One of the reasons we rely on herd immunity is that they aren't. (The other, of course, is that not everyone can be safely vaccinated.)

      When there are billions of people on the planet, it's inevitable that at least one vaccinated person will still contract the disease. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to stop vaccinating.

      Delete
    42. @carol,

      You say you aren't anti-vax, but you still come across as a conspiracy theorist. It is one thing to question whether a particular vaccine is safe for a particular person. It is quite another to pull into question the entire concept of vaccinations. Virtually everything we do is unsafe for someone, even things we do for health reasons. The mortality rate for surgeries of all kinds is higher than that for vaccinations, but people still go for tummy tucks or appendectomies.

      What makes vaccines so much more different is that a choice to not vaccinate puts other people at risk. I don't care if a random person forgoes an appendectomy after their appendix bursts. But if they don't vaccinate their child and my baby gets polio, I'd be rightly pissed.

      Delete
    43. Carol, are you a self-educated genius who can read mountains of dense scientific literature on the side or do you do this professionally? Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that the "research for yourself" crowd is extremely arrogant. I'd love to go through a scientific article (not the touchy-feely "wellness" drivel) line by line with you and see how much you actually comprehend. Setting aside trusting the experts do you actually have ANY idea what the literature says? You're either a one-in-a-thousand genius (possible) or a too-many-in-a thousand fool (also possible). I don't see any room in between.

      Delete
    44. Wow. Those are arguments But I do not have time to check out counter points. I can see why this is a male-dominated discussion so close to Pesach.

      I have had a decades-long experience-driven journey with conventional medicine in which the standard protocols have made me far sicker. Slowy this drove me to look at alternatives, and I have been very relieved to see a growing field of medical doctors who are trained in and practice both. My experience is not an uncommon one.

      It has caused me to question and look at different sides of approaches. On the whole, I believe vaccinations are a good thing, but as I said earlier, not without some caveats.

      I have gotten the flu after receiving flu shots. This is not to say that the flu shot caused the incidents of flu, which I don’t believe is the case for a number of reasons.

      I’m sorry that there are some who do not know or ridicule the fact that there are ways to rev the immune system. Doing so has helped me and my family who do likewise almost beyond measure, and I have been reading up on this issue for well over a decade.

      We do not get the flu shot or flu, despite the many people around us who do get both, many of whom we are exposed to. We do not disinvite people for Shabbos when they warn us they have a cold or anything else that has come up thus far. And yet, we don’t get sick, B’’H. This is a radical departure from when we used to come down with strep, colds, sinus infections, swollen glands, etc. on the order of once a month or more.

      It is healthy to read about and question the motives of pharmaceutical companies, the history of the FDA, etc., which has put drugs on the market and later pulled them becase of often lethal side effects, or has fined and threatened or actually had jailed, for instance, people who recommended taking one baby aspirin a day.

      I must depart this discussion as it has taken far
      more time that I can afford. Thank you for your responses.

      Delete
    45. So that's your response? Again, I'm glad that you feel comfortable with whatever it is that you are doing, but none of it has been proven empirically. Again, there is no way to “rev” your immune system. If there were, someone would have been able to show it in a double blind study and gotten very very rich.

      And again, I’ve already addressed why your conspiracy theories regarding pharmaceutical companies and the FDA are nonsense, yet you just restate these claims and ignore my points.

      But glad you are leaving as soon as you are challenged with actual arguments and facts. Perhaps these are the facts you should be examining and maybe using these to question your beliefs and the things you have been reading from other websites and books peddling in misinformation and lies.

      Delete
    46. I don't see any real arguments in what Carol writes here. It's just a hodge podge of personal experiences, feelings, and suspicion. None of those are arguments, convincing or otherwise.

      Delete
    47. Yasher Koach to Ari Elman for his lengthy treatment here.

      Delete
    48. Carol,

      While I am definitely not an expert in medicine, I too share your experience with conventional medicine, which exacerbated by symptoms. Ever since I settled on using a certain alternative medicine, I barely get sick anymore. Further, a close relative of mine had a severe skin condition for a long time, whose symptoms became much worse after using conventional medicine. After going the alternative route, his symptoms immediately diminished, significantly.

      So, my life experience has made me a bit skeptical as well.

      Delete
    49. All the paople who report flying arround thw world are all liars. The world is flat. The aero-space insutry which is worth billions together with the milirary giovernement complex have managed to persuade the whole world taht it is a globe. Any intelligent person would understand that if the world was round the australians would fall off.

      Delete
    50. How do you rev the immune system in an infant that cannot be vaccinated for measles? And then what happens when infants die from measles because of idiotic parents and rabbis who refuse to get their children vaccinated, are those parents going to hold themselves accountable for murder?

      Delete
    51. Sorry based on Natan's follow up post to this one, the parents and rabbis who chose not to get their kids vaccinated should be held accountable for involuntary manslaughter and not murder. I stand corrected.

      Delete
  4. I don't believe Reb Elya Ber has endorsed this. This is the first time his name has beem associated with this nonsense. Let us see his John Hancock

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See this letter. His signature is visible 3rd from top on the right side.

      Delete
    2. That letter does not say not to vaccinate. It says to accept non vaccinated children into school. That is a different point

      Delete
    3. Did you actually read what this group is asking for? They are asking for parents to be exempted by the schools from the vaccine requirement. It's exactly the same as the letter.

      And it only makes sense if non-vaccination is a good thing, which it isn't. We can't literally force people to vaccinate, so required it for school is both effective and related to the problem: if you bring your unvaccinated child to school, this puts other kids at risk.

      Delete
  5. I must say that I am surprised that you accept the word of an anonymous email and one-page website (containing only a simple Google Form), that was created one week ago, that does not contain any signatures of any of the Rabbis who supposedly support this coalition. A healthy and significant skepticism is in order over here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See my comment above. The same Rabbis have signed onto this before.

      Delete
    2. http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b71f69e201bb08689add970d-pi

      Delete
  6. It should be known that the view expressed by the 2 rabbis featured from Lakewood is a minority opinion.The vast majority of Orthodox rabbis follow the universally accepted directive to vaccinate.
    The 2 rabbis aforementioned have no medical training and are endangering lives with their advice.
    they should repent and withdraw their support for the anti vaccination position.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The article says that explicitly. The article also says that despite the fact the only a minority agree with the anti-vaxx approach, the general practices of the chariedi world -- practices endorsed or tolerated by a far larger percentage of chareidim -- have set the stage for this.

      Delete
  7. Seriously you have no understanding of what you are speaking about, what your suggesting is that everyone should follow you ideas of medicine and submit to medical proceedures against their will. I stand with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These aren't Natan's ideas - they are the ideas of the vast majority of trained physicians. You know, the same guys we listen to when they tell us to be mechallel Shabbos and eat on Yom Kippur.

      Delete
    2. "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled" -- HaRav HaGaon Feynman z"tl

      Delete
    3. Professor Feynman was right, but he was certainly no "tzaddik" by any definition.

      I find this blog increasingly confusing, as its goal seems to have become exclusively one of attacking Haredi Judaism (most of which is identical to "Modern Orthodoxy" as preached by the serious Talmidei Chachamim in that movement from Rav Soloveitchik to this day.)

      If you don't want to be an Orthodox Jew, no one is forcing you. There is a lot more pressure in the opposite direction, whether from government or endless social and financial forces. Please, leave and leave us alone.

      Delete
    4. You are a dangerous person. I hope you don't have children.

      Delete
    5. Another one! Learn to spell if you want any credibility!

      Delete
    6. "Can't you understand a parent being suspicious of flooding her baby with 50 different vaccinations when she and all her friends got around 15 and were fine (except for chicken pox!)?"

      Paranoia is the number one symptom of fluoride poisoning.

      Delete
    7. What happened to the reference to s U.S.congressional report about the link between vaccines and autism? I logged on to see if it's real, which I absolutely can't believe, and it seems the author has deleted it.

      Delete
    8. @fsy: I was being facetious, but since he was a great genius and teacher and is remembered for good by many, I could you drop the "z" and be mostly right :).

      Your other comment makes no sense. If you think that Charedi Judaism is basically identical to that approach of someone who pushed for women to learn Gemara, who was a Zionist, who thought you could build a philosophy of Judaism on top of modern philosophy, who valued academia, and who accepted the findings of modern science, then this website *is* pushing Charedi Judaism in your definition.

      I'm not sure who elected you to decide who is Orthodox and who is not, but it seems self-defeating to say that it is prohibited to criticize an Orthodox sub-group and then turn around and call another Orthodox sub-group heretics.

      Delete
    9. "Paranoia is the number one symptom of fluoride poisoning."

      +1

      Delete
    10. @David Ohsie:

      I heard Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, ztz"l, quoted as having told a talmid, "We agree with the Haredim on 99% of issues, and the 1% we disagree on are over your head."

      All the issues you mention are peripheral when compared to the commonality of accepting Torah min-ha-Shamayim and the authority of Chazal. They are no different then any other machlokes within each of these communities, and the effort expended by this blog (and perhaps more so by the commenters) to polarize Orthodox Judaism is getting very tiresome, to me at least.

      Delete
    11. All the issues you mention are peripheral when compared to the commonality of accepting Torah min-ha-Shamayim and the authority of Chazal. They are no different then any other machlokes within each of these communities, and the effort expended by this blog (and perhaps more so by the commenters) to polarize Orthodox Judaism is getting very tiresome, to me at least.

      So you deplore the ban on R Slikins books as something that polarized Orthodox Judaism? Same for the strong anti-Zionist and anti-MO sentiment among the right wing? And you welcome R Slifkin into the fold? Just above you were calling him non-orthodox.

      Delete
  8. "almost nobody ever dares publicly say that a Charedi Gadol is wrong. That would undermine charedi hashkafah..." So it's about time that the real Jews went all the way and condemned the Charedim as idolaters. Every Charedi believes in at least two gods: the Real One plus one or more G'dolim.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why have these rabbanim taken this view?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lets skip the polio vaccine and see what happens

    ReplyDelete
  11. My understanding is that the choice to not vaccinate could lead to manslaughter as well as suicide and filicide (killing of one’s child).

    Controlling the spread of disease is largely a game of statistics. Immunization happens to a population as a whole and therefore depends on the population as a whole to accept vaccinations. The vaccinations are not perfect. A small percentage of the population will remain vulnerable to the disease despite receiving vaccinations. An additional small percentage cannot be vaccinated due particular sensitivities. There is therefore always a small percentage of persons at risk. But, if everyone cooperates then the percentage of vulnerable persons within the group will drop to a sufficiently low level to prevent the spread of the disease.

    In 2015 there was a breakout of 2015 measles in Lakewood. In addition to the children that were not vaccinated, the outbreak put other persons at risk as well.

    Disclaimer – I have no professional expertise in diseases. This is a layman’s understanding. Feel free to correct mistakes!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I sincerely hope everyone stops giving any money to causes/yeshivas associated with these rabbis, if this is true. That is likely the only way to get them to change their minds. And if this is true, this is murder.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, author of How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, was the head of the medical licensing board of Illinois and a perfectly reputable physician. I know nothing about the issue here, but this is one more example of repression of dissent (just like what goes on with Global Warming, and most importantly, Darwinism), which is of course the essence of the scientific method.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one is suppressing dissent. In America, you have a right to publish false and stupid opinions and they are taking advantage of that right.

      Delete
    2. You literally found one guy. Honestly, I'm sure there are more. But think: being the head of the medical licensing board says nothing about your scholarship and everything about you being an efficient wielder of a rubber stamp

      Delete

  14. On many occasions, I have written that I don't think that it really matters if charedim are anti-evolution or if they believe that Chazal were scientifically infallible

    Sorry, but putting sane skepticism about the ability of Darwinian fantasy to explain the vast complexity of life in the same category of believing (based on nothing at all) that Chazal knew everything about everything seriously damages your credibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't talking about explaining the entire complexity of life. I'm talking about their denying that whales are descended from land animals.

      Delete
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIEoO5KdPvg

      clearly explains whales are descended from land animals

      Delete
    3. Common descent and undirected Darwinian generation of information are two completely different subjects.

      In any case, this seems to be one more example of how this blog has gone from 80% Haredi-bashing to more like 99.9%, and that was what I was responding to.

      Delete
  15. Wow you sound very bitter.... Time to get over the book fiasco and move on with life... Your new life age da seems to be smearing and degrading chariedim to the people who already hate the.. Not much productivity there... U have alot of talent and knowledge time to move on and be productive again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, the fact that he voices what many people feel needs to be publicized does a great service. If you think Moshiach is gonna come with our "great leaders" believing such nonsense, we're sunk.

      What I hate is that these leaders are just so, so selfish. My goodness, we forget just how awful the world was without core vaccines. Remember polio? The fear? The terror that your child would get it?

      Selfish, selfish. And they make a caricature of Torah.

      Delete
  16. How long before this minority opinion becomes the majority?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Unfortunately, so-called expert opinion that has turned out to be wrong time and again (for example, the "expert" opinion that Trump didn't have a chance of becoming president) have made people less trusting. I think they are wrong in this case, but I understand their skepticism.

    Incidentally, is there a reason that kids today get about three times as many vaccines as kids 30 years ago got? Which new diseases have we eradicated? I can think of one: chicken pox (thank G-d!). But which others? In the 1980s, kids were vaccinated (if I'm not mistaken) for mumps, measles, polio, etc. What new diseases are all these new vaccines for? Is it then possible that at least some of these new ones are really not necessary?

    Can't you understand a parent being suspicious of flooding her baby with 50 different vaccinations when she and all her friends got around 15 and were fine (except for chicken pox!)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don't you ask a doctor what they're for, instead of assuming they're unnecessary? That you even trot out a comparison with the pundits opining about Trump's chances demonstrates that you're not a skeptic, you're an uneducated boor, at best.

      Delete
    2. What on Earth does Rubashkin, of all things, have to do with vaccinations??? And is there nothing, RNS, literally nothing, for which you won't somehow find a way to make it all about yourself and your books? Truly amazing.

      In any event, Yehuda has it exactly right. I too think the anti-vaccers have it wrong in this particular case, but I completely understand their skepticism. I pointed out elsewhere that it wasn't so long ago that lobotomies were touted as a miracle cure for the mentally ill, and today people look back with horror at what the medical establishment was recommending. No one could rebut the point. And there are countless examples of such reversals. But go argue with the true believers in anything said to be the current "science." They'll just keep repeating, "No, No, that science is so often wrong is a FEATURE of it, its NOT a bug."

      Likewise, the person who commented above expressing much skepticism about what so-called "medical research" says is also 100% right. One must either be very stupid, or very naïve, to put his trust into something based on nothing more than what "studies" show. On this as on any other matter, one has to review the available information on both sides, speak to people he deems knowledgeable, then make a decision. That so many of the true believers foam at the mouth to attack anyone who disagrees with their opinion smacks of Medieval Christianity - but again, go point this out to a true believer. He'll look at you like YOU'RE the nutcase.

      Again, I happen to think the evidence lines up in favor of vaccinations. But I totally understand the dissenters, and find the rabid opposition offensive. And then they wonder why other Jews look so askance upon them. Look in a mirror!

      Delete
    3. There is no "both sides". There is ZERO evidence that vaccines cause any long-term health problems, and the risks regarding reactions to the shots themselves is known. There is risk with every medical procedure, but we don't avoid them out of fear. There is, however, plenty of evidence that vaccines save lives. Untold millions have been saved since vaccines were introduced. A tiny fraction of a percent have been harmed.

      Delete
    4. One must either be very stupid, or very naïve, to put his trust into something based on nothing more than what "studies" show.

      DF, please stay away from topics that relate to science. They are not your forte.

      That so many of the true believers foam at the mouth to attack anyone who disagrees with their opinion smacks of Medieval Christianity

      People can be vehement about both true and false things. Their vehemence is not evidence of incorrectness. I assume that you would vehemently oppose someone bulldozing your house while you are at work. Are you then a Medieval Christian?

      Delete
    5. David Ohsie - sorry, but I find it difficult to respond to someone who believes Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was no different than Louis Farrkahan.

      Delete
    6. @DF: You are repeating the ad hominem reasoning that characterizes your errors above.

      But FTR, I didn't say that ROY = Farrakhan. I've never read Farrakhan and I've read and continue to read ROY.

      Someone can be right one one thing and very wrong on another. ROY was very wrong on some things.

      Delete
    7. Sholom Mordechai gives an inoculation of emuna for all of klal yisrael. We do not need vaccinations when we have Him!

      Delete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fine.
      Don't vaccinate your kids.
      Just don't impose them on my children or grandchildren.

      Go ahead, start your own yeshivos, Beis Yakovs, and pediatric practices.

      This group is not about choice, but about denying yeshivos and doctor offices their own choice, which is to exclude non-vaccinated kids.

      Delete
    2. You are a dangerous person. I hope you never have children. If it's too late, I hope CPS takes them from you and vaccinates them.

      Delete
    3. Pro-vaccine people know very little? Would you like me to respond to every single one of your points? I doubt you are much open to debate other than cutting and pasting silly talking points from anti-vaccine (pro-disease) blogs.

      Delete
    4. "The ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS" wow that sounds very chashuv!

      Do you know anything about that group?

      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-journal-of-american-physicians-and-surgeons-ideology-trumps-science-based-medicine/

      Delete
    5. please all move to California [the peoples republic]---or pass its vaccine law----such a person will have NO yeshiva option--only legal to homeschool where he can damage only his own...

      anyways, damaged kids [lo aleinu] will turn into another tzedaka organization....

      Delete
    6. Even supposing vaccines cause 1730 deaths per year, they save over 2 million lives per year. Not even a question where the balance lies.

      Delete
    7. " It's estimated that as little as one percent of incidents are reported. That means that since there were 173 deaths reported in 2016, there may have been 1730 deaths."

      With math skills like that, you must have an I.Q. of 600.

      Delete
    8. "It's estimated that . . ." Classic use of passive voice to obscure lack of authority.

      RM

      Delete
  19. FYI the comment that people are putting others at risk by not vaccinating was not disingenuous. It doesn’t mean the commenter then obviously believes that vaccines don’t work. There are some children that cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons unrelated to vaccines. Those children rely on herd immunity for protection. The more people refuse to vaccinate, the higher their risk of infection.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The anti-vaccine people have been around since the 18th century when the first vaccine against smallpox was developed. The physicians of that time had no idea how it worked because viruses were not yet discovered and no one understood the immune system.

    Polio and smallpox have been eliminated from the world as health hazards because of mass compulsory vaccinations. The current controversy concerns MMR (Mumps,Measles, Rubella.) This is based on an erroneous article that was later recalled by the publication The Lancet. I'm no medical expert, but I know how to read and analyze. As the saying goes, "trust, but verify."

    BTW there are some new vaccines being developed for diseases that older adults are susceptible. While no vaccine is 100% effective, I would take my chance when the preponderance of the evidence indicates that treatment is better than non-treatment.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Interestingly, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, who was as mystically-oriented as they come, and was extremely skeptical of the doctors of his time, strongly endorsed vaccination, and required his followers to vaccinate their children, once it was clear it worked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is very interesting. Source please?

      Delete
    2. Here is the quote from Rebbe Nachman:

      "Every parent should have his children vaccinated within the first three months of life. Failure to do so is tantamount to murder. Even if they live far from the city and have to travel during the great winter cold,they should have the child vaccinated before three months" (Avaneha Barzel p.31 #34).

      (Cited in R' Avraham Greenbaum, Wings of the Sun).

      Delete
  22. Penn and Teller on Vaccinations. Language not safe for your Neshama:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfdZTZQvuCo

    ReplyDelete
  23. Natan, have you seen the new sefer שאלת המטוטלת on dowsing/pendulums/kinesiology?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just love the heading of this post...

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is typical pro-vaccine rhetoric. Pro-vaccine people know very little other than supposedly everyone is in favor of vaccines.

    They don't know that:
    • There are at least 15 studies showing an association between crib death (SIDS) and vaccines. See https://www.learntherisk.org/sids/
    • After a 3-year investigation by a US House of Representatives committee, they prepared a very critical report against vaccines. One of the things they said is "To date, studies conducted or funded by the CDC that purportedly dispute any correlation between autism and vaccine injury have been of poor design, under-powered, and fatally flawed." See https://vaccines.procon.org/sourcefiles/Burton_Report.pdf
    • The ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS is against forced vaccination because there are risks involved. See http://www.aapsonline.org/testimony/hepbstatement.htm
    • The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting Systems has over 100 reports of death each year after vaccines. It's estimated that as little as one percent of incidents are reported. That means that since there were 173 deaths reported in 2016, there may have been 17,300 deaths in the US alone. See https://vaers.hhs.gov/data.html

    There is a mountain of evidence against vaccines. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are at least 15 studies showing an association between crib death (SIDS) and vaccines.

      The defining feature of SIDS is that no one knows the cause of death. If the cause is determined, it's not a case of SIDS.

      Any other trash you'd like to spew?

      Delete
    2. @avi, details please. Till then it's just a "true Scotsman" argument.

      Delete
  26. One should remember that one outcome from the Nuremberg Trials was that no person should be forced to do medical procedures against their will without their consent. This is now International Law. The fact that Dr Slifkin feels that he endorses that we should return to such draconian laws with their avalanche capability, suggests a problem on his part, not opposing viewpoints. As one Professor stated "we have to accept that we have wide ideological differences that will not be agreed upon". This applies to every area of life, medicine, religion etc. To follow Big Pharma in the same manner as haredim follow Gadolim does not have much difference in the thinking. Blind obedience to questionable practices will never yield anything good. Dr Slifkin needs to accept that there are other viewpoints than his in the world and quit slandering those who oppose his viewpoint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one if forcing anyone to do any medical procedures - just isolating them from other people if they choose not to do so.
      This is analogous to a parent who refused to bathe their child for a month or so - if the school wouldn't let the kid in, that is not forcing them to bathe....

      Delete
    2. And separate but equal isn't discrimination in your eyes either, right? And you have no problem with anything in Meah Shearim either, on the same principle that no one is forcing them to live there, correct? And you're totally cool with metzizah bpeh for the same reason, yes?

      Delete
    3. DF: Your argument seems confused. Of course the anti-vaxxers are wrong and it is important to try to stop them via legitimate means. However, forced medical procedures are not one of those means. Not allowing them in school is a legitimate means and is even better because it directly relates to the problems they are causing. But they should also be given pressure from their Rabbis to vaccinate, avoid MPB, etc.

      Delete
    4. Not the Nuremberg Trials. Boy, some people have a limited frame of reference.

      The issues are much more complex when it comes to parents declining medical care for small children. That is separate and apart from the public health/herd issues.

      You think this is the same as performing cruel experiments on prisoners against their will? Yeesh! This kind of disordered thinking is exactly why immunization should NOT be left up to individual choice. The lives of young children can't be left up to the whims of the ignorant.

      RM

      Delete
    5. We ask people who have the cold to stay home, and catching a cold is just annoying. I don't think asking potential polio carriers to stay home is any worse. Polio is no joke.

      Delete
  27. Thanx Avigael. True new age logic.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Another site for you anti-vaccinators:

    https://theflatearthsociety.org/home/

    ReplyDelete
  29. When people die from measles because of idiotic parents and rabbis who refuse to get their children vaccinated, are they going to hold themselves accountable for murder or blame, the internet, pritzus, zionism, for all the deaths they caused?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I’m against vaccines for the simple reason that vaccines cause adults and adults suck

    ReplyDelete
  31. Two thoughts. One: for all the anti vaccine people the point of this post was not to prove that we need to vaccine but rather that where the belief is coming from in the orthodox may be misguided. Two: I am not sure why you make an assumption that this isn't a problem in the modern orthodox or secular world. The anti vaaccine movement is not by any means limited to the jewish world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is something of a problem everywhere. The issue here is Rabbis being part of the problem, especially in a somewhat hierarchical society.

      Delete
  32. Avi: They call it SIDS when they don't when there is no apparent reason, that doesn't mean there is no reason. That's kind of ridiculous to say it just happened with no cause. Again, there are 15 studies showing an association between crib death (SIDS) and vaccines. Why don't you read them before you comment? See https://www.learntherisk.org/sids/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it starts at day one, when newborns receive both the Hepatitis B vaccine and the Vitamin K shot (both containing toxic ingredients).

      That statement is either outright false, or deliberately misleading. After all, water is a toxic ingredient. If that's your source of vaccine-related information, I'll continue reading chicken entrails for mine. Much more likely to give relevant and accurate information.

      Delete
    2. "Immunisations are associated with a halving of the risk of SIDS. " (Vennemann, et al. 2007)
      "These indirect indices (i.e. declining SIDS rates), despite their limited interpretability, do provide some reassurance that HepB vaccination is not causing a clear increase in unexplained neonatal or infant deaths." (Niu et al, 1999)

      "These data may support findings of past controlled studies showing that the association between infant vaccination and SIDS is coincidental and not causal. VAERS reports of death after vaccination may be stimulated by the temporal association, rather than by any causal relationship." (Silvers,et. al., 2001)
      "There are many implications arising from this work, particularly the use of vaccination as a means of reducing infections, and consequently the number of SIDS deaths." (Murrel et. al. 1994)
      "no incease in the risk of SIDS after immunization.." (Griffin,et. al., 1988)

      The site you cite is scientifically illiterate d'oraita! They associate U.S. infant mortality rates with U.S. rates of vaccines. Why not other data points? Like age of mothers? Are there more teenage mothers, or older career mothers in their forties? What about poverty rates? What about drug use? You'd have look at ALL other factors. If you rule out every other factor and are still left with vaccination, then you have an argument. But they haven't. They just assumed that U.S. is exactly life every other country except infant mortality & vaccination rates. A pretty stupid assumption.

      Onto the site's papers:
      * A paper from a Human & Experimental Toxicology. A fourth-rate journal with a dismal impact factor of 1.7, that is ranked 64 out of 87 in its field.
      * A paper from Medical Hypotheses. This sideshow of a journal does not require peer review. Pay no attention to that nothing behind the curtain.
      * The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Impact factor 2.7. The paper showed that going to the doctor without getting a shot also causes SIDS. Or maybe it was the fluoride?
      * Virchows Archiv. Impact factor 2.8. Journal was started by guy who freaked out because his papers were constantly rejected. So he started his own journal. This paper was a highly speculative case study of one baby.
      * Epilepsy Currents. Impact factor 2.33. "There are significantly elevated risks of febrile seizures on the day of receipt of DTP vaccine and 8 to 14 days after the receipt of MMR vaccine, but these risks do not appear to be associated with any long-term, adverse consequences." They're dealing with an at risk population. That alone should limit the importance of this study. But did you read the second part of the sentence?

      The list of these studies is underwhelming:
      * Not a real study
      * Not peer reviewed
      * Nonsense results (going to doctor and not getting a shot is also dangerous.)
      * Shows only short term adverse event with no long term consequence for a small at-risk segment of the population.

      I won't bother to check the rest. You ought to do some peer-review of these crackpot sites. A little common-sense skepticism would do you well.

      Delete
    3. Thanx Ephraim. Finally. Sorry you had to waste your time, but no doubt there was a certain black humor associated with your research.

      Delete
  33. Avi: The US government itself agreed that in this case SIDS was caused by the vaccine, together with other factors, and they were awarded money from the vaccine compensation program. In that case, they presented evidence that vaccines can in certain cases cause SIDS. Read it: https://ecf.cofc.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2013vv0611-73-0

    Again I'm presenting evidence, and you probably will respond with rhetoric. That's what pro-vaccine people usually do. They science for vaccine safety is very weak. The safety studies are VERY short. There have been NO studies that show the safety of several vaccines at one time. Do you want a link for that. I could find several links for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No rhetoric required. Here is an excerpt from the link you provided:
      "In this case, I have concluded that petitioners have presented sufficient evidence and
      testimony to entitle them to compensation in the Vaccine Program. I have not concluded that
      vaccines present a substantial risk of SIDS. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary."

      This is the best you can come up with?

      Delete
    2. There have been NO studies that show the safety of several vaccines at one time. Do you want a link for that. I could find several links for that.

      The fact that several hundred million have lived, and are living, full lives with no noticeable side-effects doesn't do it for you? Please take some statistics courses, and in the meantime stay away from conspiracy sites.

      Delete
    3. A court ruling is not scientific evidence. In any case, the judge ruled:
      "In this case, I have concluded that petitioners have presented sufficient evidence and testimony to entitle them to compensation in the Vaccine Program. I have not concluded that vaccines present a substantial risk of SIDS. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary. The vast majority of vaccine recipients do not succumb to SIDS."

      "There have been NO studies that show the safety of several vaccines at one time."
      This is dishonest. Last time vaccines were discussed here, someone comment that we no vaccine safety studies. That was a lie. Now, we have your statement concerning MULTIPLE vaccines. Moving the goalposts, are we?
      Now the MMR is a multiple vaccine, and there have been many studies on its safety. So what are you talking about?

      Delete
    4. How is one "special master" the U.S. Government itself?

      How many cases were submitted that were rejected?

      Such amhaartzes.

      RM

      Delete
    5. "There have been NO studies that show the safety of several vaccines at one time."

      FALSE. First, when the studies on a new vaccine are conducted, they are done on children who are by and large getting the current recommended vaccinations. Second, vaccine safety trials and schedules are incredibly complex.

      Let me spin this back on you. There are NO trials showing harm to children who receive MULTIPLE vaccines at one time.

      Delete
  34. Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Marcia Angell is the author of The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. But more to the point, she’s also the former Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine, arguably one of the most respected medical journals on earth. But after reading her article in the New York Review of Books called Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption, one wonders if any medical journal on earth is worth anybody’s respect anymore.

    “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

    just sayin...

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    Replies
    1. V good Skeptic. So people are manipulating the scientific method, abusing it, corrupting it even. Problem is, it's still the best we've got, just like democracy with all its imperfections and abuses.
      I will still trust a reputable uni website before eg healthylivvingg.com, but I don't turn my brain off anywhere.

      Delete
    2. Agreed with curiosities, which is why we vaccinate. But the closes mindedness of some people to even consider that, Heaven Forefend, the holy "scientists" might either be corrupt or simply wrong is alarming.

      Skeptic, thanks for the reference. I've not read that book, but feel the same, especially after many years in the law and seeing scientific/economic "experts" regularly whore themselves out to the highest bidder. No one can be trusted, but no one.

      Delete
    3. I find it humorous that the judgement of a 9/11 truther and moon landing denialist is taken seriously here.

      No one can be trusted except contrarians with no evidence, apparently.

      Delete
    4. @David
      I guess you didn't see on the film that the nose of the plane emerges intact from the far side of the tower then.
      Some of us actually do cease to believe things we are told when they are obviously ridiculous.

      As far as the vaccines go, this season's flu vaccine had a 30% match to the virus.

      Personally I truly don't know whether vaccines do more harm than good, and I think there are different answers for different diseases, but historically it is clear that the infectious diseases were in steep decline long before vaccines emerged. It's really about good nutrition and proper hygiene. As you get to smaller numbers and milder conditions the risk from vaccine side effects moves closer to the risk of disease effects.

      Delete
    5. @curiosities
      perhaps switch it on... :-))

      Delete
    6. Please Skeptic, continue to regale us with Alex Jones theories. That more effectively undermines your argument than anything David can write.

      Delete
    7. What amazes me is that the observed story is so different from the official one and yet you continue to believe what you are told.

      Delete
  35. What happens when a person is open-minded, willing to believe scientists make mistakes and may be deceptive, yet as soon as he begins reading the literature, he realizes that he does not have the scientific or statistical background to render any sort of competent judgment? Either all of you who research for "yourselves" are polymathic geniuses (with an incredible amount of time on your hands) or you are deluded, arrogant fools who think you can determine everything with your own skill set. Which is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said. People read a couple of articles, or just the abstracts of a couple of articles, a few gut wrenching stories and some pictures and they have an opinion.

      The thing is,in Halacha and Jewish thought,people do the same. People who have never seriously learnt Moreh Nevuchim opine on Maimonidean theology. People 'know' kabballah is wrong, without having studied the topic extensively, or at all beyond a few blurbs and sound bytes.

      Delete
    2. You were doing great until the last sentence.

      Delete
    3. Perhaps a comparison can be made to Jewish thought as well, but let's leave that aside for now (that's it's own can of worms). Do DF, Carol, Avigael, Wolfson etal have extensive backgrounds in statistics and microbiology, chemistry, medicine etc? I am reasonably well-read and educated and I find medical journals very difficult to parse. Most doctors don't really have first hand opinions on this and just know and trust the medical establishment. Not to be rude, but it seems really foolish and pigheaded to think you can have any sort of opinion here. What am I missing?

      Delete
    4. So the self described Maimonidean cannot accept an argument that could theoretically end up with Kabbala being valid. Wow.

      'The ability to entertain a thought without accepting it, is the hallmark of an educated mind'
      (Attributed to Aristotle, but certainly a good point)

      I don't claim to know what Maimonides believed about Kabbala. But I have yet to find someone who actually worked on understanding Rambam who is as sure as the internet experts

      Delete
    5. One way around that genuine problem is to look at those who do have those technical skills and see what they say. If the head of the Cochrane research group Peter Gotszche says that a drug trial is not worth having then I think he knows what he is saying, and the 'scientific' smokescreen of those trials in my mind is gone. Of course if a housewife says that I might be more critical.

      Delete
    6. Menachem Kellner certainly "worked on understanding Rambam" and I am pretty sure he believes with certainty that the Rambam did not believe in Kabbalah. Of course, you are not bound by his opinion but there is such a person (probably a bunch more - Isadore Twersky and more)

      Delete
    7. Boy, if I wanted to caricature the type of person that advertisers laughingly prey upon, I could not have done it any better than Dovid Tzvi. So the public is supposed to just check their common sense at the door and just believe anyone who presents the right "credentials." In other words, "Trust us, we're scientists." Wow.

      Tell me, Dovid Tzvi: Why do people get second opinions from doctors - shouldn't they just trust the first one? Why are doctors sued for medical malpractice? What do you do when two people argue and they both have "credentials" - you must be in paralysis, b/c you have no right to any opinion, nor are you smart enough to determine anything for yourself. And are you such a "deluded, arrogant fool" [your very persuasive words]that you can ignore the countless people who have exposed the fraud and corruption underlying so much of what passes for science today? Dovid Tzvi, some of those people you're ignoring have "credentials" - so you HAVE to listen to them. Indeed, what gives you the right to have an opinion that other people's opinions are wrong? And come to think of it, how is it you have such an "incredible amount of time on your hands" to even post here?

      Let us know how the next lobotomy turns out.

      Delete
    8. Setting aside your invective, do you have an answer to my question? How are you able to interpret scientific texts written by and for highly specialized professionals? Are you a an exceptional polymath? Simple question should have a simple (unemotional) answer.

      Delete
    9. I answered your question, but notice you haven't answered mine. And don't speak of "invective" after you essentially called anyone who disagrees with you "deluded", "arrogant", "foolish" and, oh yeah, "pigheaded."

      Delete
    10. My question wasn't whether I am stupid or naive. I got that already - I am really, really dumb and easily fooled by the establishment. No need to go over this again.
      Once again, my actual question is, how are YOU capable of interpreting medical articles?

      Delete
    11. If you admit that you are really dumb and easily fooled, then you shouldn't go around insulting other people. In fact, even if you can't admit it, you still shouldn't do it. It's not nice, and its not persuasive. (And yes, I'm aware that you still haven't answered my questions above, but at this point my patience in responding to you has been exhausted.)

      Delete
    12. I didn't realize your question was anything more than rhetorical. People get second opinions because the first one might be wrong. When two credentialed people argue about a topic you are completely ignorant in you don't really have a way of knowing the answer. Back to my question: Are you qualified to read and judge medical journals?

      Delete
  36. Just to explain something. I know this won't persuade anybody, but it is nice to understand.

    The research says that there are some risks associated wuth vaccinations, but those risks are outweighed by the benefits. Now, when everyone, or almost everyone, is vaccinated, there will inevitably be a small amount of adverse reactions. Not enough to make someone make a sane decision to forego vaccinations, but enough to cause pain and suffering.
    Seeing as the public benefits from herd immunity, the public should have to compensate those who suffered. That is why there are vaccination courts.

    That does not PROVE that it is unsafe to be vaccinated.

    Btw, I am told that two rebuttals to the sci fi novel of Szmerla's have been published, although I have yet to read them

    ReplyDelete
  37. Both sides are understandable.

    The pro-vaccine people believe that anti-vaccine parents are exposing their children to dangerous diseases.

    The anti-vaccine parents are wary of injecting their young, vulnerable children with a foreign substance of which they know nothing about, and was only recently introduced. Couple this with the national call to get flu vaccines every 6 months - which many believe to be unnecessary, ineffective, and even potentially harmful - and you have yet more cause for skepticism.

    There isn't an easy solution to that. I think it is unfair to call parents evil, as some have done in the comments, for not giving their children certain vaccines. That being said, I think it is irresponsible for Rabbis to encourage parents to not give their children vaccines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You stated it quite accurately, only I would add that the grounds for skepticism are additionally fueled by vast wastelands filled with discarded medical theories that were each once touted as the medical consensus, but were later, after it was too late, shown to have disastrous side effects.

      I'm in favor of vaccines, but have no problem whatsoever with those opposed.

      Delete
    2. The anti-vax people are idiots, who happily take any antibiotic they can get a prescription for, whenever they get the sniffles. Or, they are Christian Scientists who murder their children by neglect.

      Delete
    3. DF, You have no problem with those opposed until your little Shloime or Devorala come home with a raging case of measles or mumps requiring hospitalization that is......

      Delete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  39. For those who would like to see some good evidence/science against vaccines, here are some excellent sources:
    https://www.learntherisk.org/resources/
    http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/learn-more/science/
    https://www.nvic.org/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ephraim already rebutted the ridiculous learntherisk website above. I wouldn't bother looking at the rest either.

      Delete
  40. There have been NO studies that show the safety of several vaccines at one time.

    As far as Avi's response: "The fact that several hundred million have lived, and are living, full lives with no noticeable side-effects doesn't do it for you?"

    The explosion of autoimmune diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Autism and ADHD, indicates that as a society we ARE doing something very very wrong.

    This does not prove that vaccines are the culprit, but it certainly does not show that vaccines are safe being everyone is going around perfectly healthy after vaccines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if that is true, do you really think that living with, saya, ADHD, is worse than dying of measles? Or being paralyzed by polio?

      Delete
    2. Actually, when a new vaccine is introduced, it studied in patients who have had all of the other recommended vaccines. Thus your statement is blatantly false.

      While your proposed hypothesis linking vaccination to autoimmune disease might make sense to you, there is absolutely no evidence that this is the case. There is however a mountain of evidence proving that it is NOT the case.

      Delete
    3. Despite your beliefs, qualified researchers actually test for these things. One cannot prove a negative, but one can fail to find a negative correlation.

      And you like to throw out garbage such as "safety of several vaccines at one time", without pausing to consider whether there's any mechanism by which multiple vaccines could interact to cause issues that a single vaccine would not. However, the researchers who formulate these vaccines, do think about these things, too, and they run studies. As I wrote before, millions of people have had the MMR vaccine and are still living to let you know.

      Delete
  41. Shlomo: There is PLENTY of science against vaccines.

    Websites:
    http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/learn-more/science/
    https://www.learntherisk.org/resources/
    https://www.nvic.org/

    Books:
    Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers, http://tinyurl.com/lwoq33z

    Vaccines and Autoimmunity, http://tinyurl.com/mp4y2ub

    Master Manipulator: The Explosive True Story of Fraud, Embezzlement, and Government Betrayal at the CDC, http://tinyurl.com/llqhs3b

    Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits, http://tinyurl.com/kt74mwd

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mention that there is PLENTY of science, but rather than posting a scientific article, you list websites and books. I mean, if there was PLENTY of science, one would think you'd be able to post some of this science.

      Delete
  42. As far as the court decision on the SIDS case, here's a quote from the last page:
    "In this case, I have concluded, after review of the evidence, that it is more likely than not that the vaccines played a substantial causal role in the death of J.B. without the effect of which he would not have died."

    ReplyDelete
  43. This again?

    The vaccine issue is quite simple: if you live among a vaccinated population then your risk of getting the vaccinated-against disease is effectively zero. Conversely, your risk of getting a complication arising from the vaccine is >0. Not big maybe, but >0. Therefore, the rational decision is not to vaccinate your child. However, if everyone does that then the disease will return. A classic prisoner's dilemma.

    Now, we have a solution to prisoner's dilemmas. We call them 'governments'. In this case, governments have two options. One, appropriate to a strong government is to be open about what is going on, force people to vaccinate and tell them that this is their patriotic duty. The other, appropriate to weak, sprawling governments (i.e. 'democracy'), is to try and fudge the issue and pretend it's a win-win. That's why the vaccine debate is full of such over the top invective, outrageous attempts to gaslight parents of affected children, stupid attempts to deny historical examples of vaccines gone wrong and general BS.

    The thing about Haredim, because they are smart by nature and antisocial by ideology, is that they are very good at identifying the flaws of systems. They worked out that democracy allows you to set up a political party with the express purpose of looting the rest of the population and there is nothing anyone can do about it. They also worked out that vaccination is you gambling the wellbeing of your child for the greater good and, since they don't care about the greater good, they don't do it. Now, since they are scientifically illiterate, they have miscalculated because Haredi population centers are large enough to serve as carriers for the relevant diseases. However, that's the basic mechanics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This incorrect and contra-factual analysis again? We're nowhere near the level of vaccination that would make an individual better off not to vaccinate unless they have specific health issues.

      The anti-vaxxers are not claiming some tiny marginal benefit by free-riding. They are claiming that the vaccines are poison and such.

      The thing about Haredim, because they are smart by nature and antisocial by ideology, is that they are very good at identifying the flaws of systems.

      I guess so are farmers and steelworkers and every other group that carries out successful rent-seeking under every political system?

      They also worked out that vaccination is you gambling the wellbeing of your child for the greater good and, since they don't care about the greater good, they don't do it. Now, since they are scientifically illiterate, they have miscalculated because Haredi population centers are large enough to serve as carriers for the relevant diseases.

      Do you see what they did there? It's obvious that they are clever enough to have worked out "theory A". Unfortunately "theory A" is false. So maybe this had nothing to do with "theory A". You also doesn't explain why the Rabbinic leaders are falling for this same false theory and that the vast majority of Charedim don't fall for it. This is completely contrary to your explanation. The Rabbis should be telling everyone else to vaccinate for their own good.






      Delete
  44. @Gavriel M - You said "if you live among a vaccinated population then your risk of getting the vaccinated-against disease is effectively zero."

    That's 100% a lie. There are cases of people getting mumps in a fully vaccinated populations. See: https://tinyurl.com/y8b6822z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shmuel, that's an argument for developing a better mumps vaccine, not an argument for not taking one at all.

      In studying populations of mumps outbreaks in vaccinated populations, researchers found vaccine effectiveness in three studied outbreaks to be between 91% to 94.6%. There was evidence of waning immunity and also possible antigenic differences between the vaccine strains and the outbreak strains. I would still take that 91% to 94.6% over 0% without a vaccine.

      Delete
  45. Shmuel Wolfson, let's do this. Rather than you throwing out lots of misinformation and being all over the place with your claims, let's discuss this one point at a time. I cannot respond to your posting three websites worth of material all at once. But I am willing to debate you on this point for point with specific citations. Do you accept?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course he doesn't accept. Anti-vaxxers love to throw out links but run away if they are asked to critically examine the validity of any specific study.

      Delete
  46. Contrary to popular belief, although the average life expectancy 500 to 150 years ago was under 40, a 45 year old was not considered old the way an 80 year old is today. Rather, such a large number of children died from childhood diseases that it depressed the average lifespan to under 40. But if you made it to age 20, even in the times Chazal or Tanach, you could be expected (absent wars) to live well into your sixties (Hence יְמֵֽי־שְׁנוֹתֵ֨ינוּ בָהֶ֥ם שִׁבְעִ֪ים שָׁנָ֡ה).

    The most important medical advancement increasing the average male lifespan (females also benefited greatly from improvements in medical care in childbirth) is vaccines. Losing one or more of your children to a childhood disease used to be standard, no it is blessedly rare.

    Even if the anti-vaxxers were right and vaccines caused autism and allergies and whatnot, vaccination is still a no-brainer.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Didn't read the whole piece or any of the comments (no time). But while there are unfortunately many ignorant people in Lakewood and elsewhere who are antivaxers... I wouldn't assume that the Rabbis listed are actually supportive just because their names are used...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Rabbis mentioned have quite explicitly endorsed this. See here.

      Delete
  48. This reminds me of the old story of the king and the wine barrel:

    There was once a king who was to visit a town, and the town decided to present him with a giant barrel filled with wine to celebrate the once in a lifetime visit. Where were they going to get so much wine to fill a giant barrel? They decided that each family in town would bring one flask of wine each week and pour it into the giant barrel, this way the barrel would fill with wine.

    They placed the giant barrel in the town square with a ladder reaching to the very top and every Sunday people lined up to pour their flask of wine into the barrel.

    The day finally arrived for the king's visit. Everyone assembled in the town square in their finest to welcome the king and his soldiers and retinue; people were fairly trembling with excitement, and so eager to present the king with their unique and wonderful gift. The king was escorted up the red carpet to the barrel's spigot, given a kingly goblet, and the mayor of the town turned the spigot.

    All that came out of the giant barrel was... water. The townsfolk were shocked, and the look on the king’s face was no better, obviously very displeased to have been made a public mockery.

    It turns out that each family thought to themselves why should I be the one to pour in a flask of wine, I will pour in water instead; surely no one will notice just one flask of water among all that wine. Everyone in the town made the same calculation and no one poured in wine, only water instead. Everyone was relying on someone else.

    והתברך בלבבו לאמר שלום יהיה לי כי בשררות לבי אלך למען ספות הרוה את הצמאה
    (And he will comfort his heart, saying I can follow my own desires, and even though I'm not slaked by the waters of goodness, I won't suffer G-d's wrath and curse, because the surrounding drench will wet and protect me too.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ונאמר: שומר פתאים, השם

      Delete
  49. Keep in mind folks that there are people who are hired by the pharmaceutical industry to write pro-vaccine comments on articles like this one. They are called trolls. See http://whale.to/vaccine/troll_h.html

    @Avi: Since you might be a troll, I'm going to ignore your bait. I posted the links for people who truly want to know the science against vaccines.
    Here again are some links with scientific evidence against vaccines.
    https://www.learntherisk.org/resources/
    http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/learn-more/science/
    https://www.nvic.org/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you've also ignored my invitation to discuss this issue point by point. Instead you give web links and hearsay from "big rabbis."

      Delete
  50. I personally spoke to a very big rabbi who told me that taking vaccines is "סכנת נפשות." His wife asked me not to publicize his name. His wife also told me that they personally know children who dies after vaccines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh an anonymous "big rabbi"?

      In the words of the great Rav Hirsch, "Any replies written anonymously or signed with a fictitious name will not receive any consideration from me. One who lacks the courage to sign his true name to his views must be aware that what he is saying is meaningless and that he therefore cannot expect others to take notice of it. Let the anonymous gnats buzz happily in the sunny meadows. I certainly do not want to spoil their pleasure."

      Delete
    2. Does the big Rabbi have a teshuva to prove it? Does he have any proof that the death was caused by the vaccine? And if it was, does that change the halacha? I know someone who died after getting into a car to go to hospital. What does that prove?

      Delete
    3. This very big rabbi could help his case a great deal by publicizing the names of the children who died from vaccines. I'll be here waiting...

      Delete
  51. I personally spoke to a very big rabbi who told me that listening to Shmuel Wolfson is "סכנת נפשות." His wife asked me not to publicize his name because Shmuel Wolfson will then troll him with anti-vaxx comments.

    ReplyDelete
  52. JD: The very big rabbi has publicized his name before about vaccines, but his wife asked me not to publicize the conversation I had with him, so I'm honoring her request.

    ReplyDelete

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