An Open Letter to the Lakewood Community

Hi. I am a mother in Lakewood, I am a lot like you. In fact, I am your neighbor, your sister in law, your friend. And I will admit. I don’t vaccinate.

Now before you click away in disgust, allow me just a few short words.

In the last few days my family and I have been shamed, hurt, embarrassed and accused. We have been subject to judgement of the very worst kind wherever we have gone. My children have suffered tremendously at the hands of their schools, their friends and teachers.

Can you find it in your heart to believe that I really do care about my children? That as a result of my family history and extensive personal research I have decided that vaccines are not the right choice for our family?

You might be surprised to know that yes, we are very aware that by not vaccinating we are challenging the concept of ‘herd immunity’. We also realize your very real worry that we are putting your children at risk. Believe me if you will. We care about the community, we care about your children. And we would never, in any way, do something with the belief that it would help our children at the expense of yours. I know it’s hard to believe, but with the support of many doctors and medical professionals the world over, we are confident that what we are doing poses absolutely no risk to you or your family.

Does the fact that you disagree with my beliefs on this matter justify throwing all basic human decency to the wind?

Do the laws in the Torah not apply to your fellow sisters and brothers simply because you don’t like what they are doing?

Have you thought about what you are transgressing?

Onoas Devarim?

Shemiras halashon?

Hamalbin pnei chaveiro b’rabim?

Causing machlokes?

Hating another Jew?

And what about the requirement to judge every Yid l’caf zchus?

Contrary to popular belief, we know, and we really understand, that you are concerned about your family’s welfare and safety. The US Center for Disease Control concerns itself first and foremost with the health and safety of the public. And they have deemed it totally safe for our children to attend schools with other children. The Ocean County Department of Health, which is our local health authority, has also deemed it so. Are you trying to be holier than the Pope? Do we deserve to be thrown into the streets in a manner worse than would ever be done to a child addicted to the internet or to drugs? Or a child with an iphone watching movies and negatively impacting other children?

For what reason do our children not deserve to go to school and learn together with their friends?

Does my family need to walk around hanging our heads and avoiding anyone we know for fear of being bullied and abused? Is there no din v’cheshbon in this world?

Is there some clause in the Torah with regard to these halachos that we are not aware of which excludes people who don’t vaccinate? Why, oh why are so many Rabbonim remaining silent in the face of all this terrible behavior? Why are schools suddenly so quiet in the face of all the bullying directed at our children?

Is this just some sort of punishment you feel we deserve for daring to have a different view?

I promise you with all my heart and soul. And I speak for all my friends who are like me.

We are fine, ehrlich, frum families. We are aiming to do ratzon Hashem. We love our children. We care about them. And as their parents we are making the decisions that we feel are right for them. I’m truly sorry that you feel we are misguided.

But until someone explains to me how that gives you the right to treat us the way we are being treated, I remain hurt, shamed, and I have lost faith in humanity.


A fellow Jew, who doesn’t vaccinate

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  1. No offense but the only reason why you are allowed to send your child to school unvaccinated is because people have claimed that they don’t vaccinate due to religious reasons and this country is very careful about religious freedom. We are all Orthodox here, and we all have the same religion and we all know good and well that there is no part of Judaism that says that you cant vaccinate. The Rambam probably would have agreed with me.
    Do you claim a health exemption or do you claim a religious exemption? if the answer is the latter that maybe you SHOULD be walking around with your head hanging in shame because it is made up. If you discussed this with a medical professional, and he/she said you shouldn’t vaccinate, then I’m sorry for your pain.
    I’ll just end with an interesting incident that happened to me a few years ago. A neighbor of mine was telling me about how she doesn’t vaccinate her kids anymore because her two older kids were vaccinated and they have terrible allergies and she is sure that the vaccination is the cause. Strangely enough the two younger kids that she didn’t vaccinate had the exact same allergies. But she was so blind that you didn’t even realize how her statement made no sense and her own family was proof of it.

  2. How to explain the hipocricy of quoting the CDC and the OCBH who you yourself didn’t follow their advise. R Chaim Kanyefsky Reb Shach Reb Elyashuv lable people like you a Rodef! Why should my wife go into a classroom with your daughter when you don’t give a flip about her unborn child?? How dare you not listen to establish the medical and proven advice to endanger others and still have the chuzpah to open you mouth? Shame !

  3. This is a typical straw man logical fallacy.

    This is something entirely within your control and you choose to put your friends and neighbors in harms way. You haven’t listened when there was no outbreak and people asked nicely. Now you’re reaping what you sowed. This that you’re being “bullied” is entirely a side point. You’re being mistreated because you have been mistreating the rest of the community well prior to this current outbreak.

  4. First of all you don’t know what “Ratzon Hashem” is. So don’t be so confident.
    Secondly I would never send my kid to your house and for a very good reason. So don’t cry when your kids have no friends. Maybe rethink your decision

  5. You disgust me. You want us to care about you, when you don’t care about us? TLS should never have published this.
    דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה. You have no respect for other peoples’ health. Why should we have any respect for you?

    • @Berish, wish i knew who you were so i can personally come down and embarrass you in front of your entire shul and neighborhood. Shame on you for talking like this. Wether she is right or wrong does not matter, she does not deserve to be spoken to in this manner

  6. You missed one more מגלה פנים בתורה שלא כהלכה therefore a physician should avoid quoting from a torah prospective rather they should remain only from a medical prospective medically its permitted to shame permitted to talk lashon hora etc.

  7. Look lady,
    Noone is justified in embaraasing u,
    But you have to realize,
    If GD forbid your kids get the measles and exposes
    An elderly woman
    A pregnant woman
    A baby who cant get immunized
    A former cancer patient
    Or even my daughter who has a low immune system.
    They could DIE!
    And if they did DIE because of your family,
    Cause of your “choice”
    Cause of your “decision”
    What will u say then?
    It’ll be too late.
    All the Hoopla
    All the screaming and yelling
    and besides if I were someone who is not immunizing, I’d at the very least Shut my mouth about it?!?

  8. Ok.

    Then please explain how doctors, community heads and Rabbis all agree to vaccinate.

    Are they all wrong?

    Also note, you are single handedly putting others in danger.

  9. Just to clarify the Ocean County Health Department stated that schools have every right to send all unvaccinated children home, so they must not deem it so safe. And many rabbonim have choice words for people who choose not to vaccinate their children.

  10. The Torah said watch your own health. Where do you have the right to ignore Hashem Rules?? If Hashem said you have to then you have to. There no excuses for not vaccinate your family. You learn from Torah and Hashem. It for our sakes.

  11. I am also one who doesn’t vaccinate but now I gave the MMR. It’s wrong to be treated that way. But it’s also wrong on your part not to listen to the Gedolim. When a psak is put it out and you clearly don’t follow it it’s hard not to be judged…. that’s just life …

    • @non lkwd, how do you know if she did not personally ask a sheila?? Why are you so quick to judge?? Do you think for a minute to contemplate that maybe for medical reason this woman had to make the hardest choice in her life by not vacciating her kids?? I am appaled! Who says she isnt listening to her doctor and gedolim?? Go blame her rabbi if you insist, but dont judger this mother like that!!!

  12. Please don’t say your decision poses no risks for the rest of us who do vaccinate. It does.

    I’m really sorry you’ve felt abused. People are rightfully afraid for their families and children but abusing you is not okay.

    People have a right not to want to associate with you though now. Other than that, what kind of abuse have you suffered?

  13. You are right, you shouldn’t be shamed. But only if you keep your kids home. You endanger many who truly are immunocompromised, or those who can’t vaccinate. You are endangering others. There is a halacha about that. So stop sobbing, keep your kids away, and we’ll all respect your choices. Otherwise, please zip the lip.

  14. Your entitled to your opinions so long as they do not affect others. Now, If you have a medical reason why you CAN NOT vaccinate and that reason has been validated by a Physician, then you are excused. (Would you rely on your own extensive research to tell someone how to perform brain surgery or would you leave that up to a medical professional with proper training???) BUT keep in mind that you can still negatively affect others! That in not excused. Out of curiosity, Can you provide the names of some of those physicians?

  15. I feel your pain! And I am apologizing for the way everyone is acting! Its disgraceful! They are so worried about the measles and worried enough about how they are treating their fellow jew! This is why we are in golus! I hope hashem will not punish us in a worse way C’V. And i did vaccinate!

  16. The writer may be correct in her protest against harsh treatment, insults and humiliation. She may be entitled to have her own opinions, but, as the saying goes, she is not entitled to her own facts. The overwhelming weight of the scientific and medical evidence is that either one vaccinates or one must be excluded from schools and other public gathering places, especially at times of a known outbreak of contagious diseases that can be fatal. You don’t have the right to your own facts that you are not endangering others. I don’t have to be insulting to get this point across: you are not only wrong, but dangerously wrong.

    • can you share the overwhelming studies that you reference? the landmark study proving that the MMR does not cause autisim was done by the CDC and published by journal of pediatrics back in 2004. this was a peer reviewed study and guess what it actually proved that in certain cross sections of society getting the MMR before age 3 increased the chance of the child being diagnosed with autisim by 400%. This of course was not an acceptable result and so the studies doctors altered the documentation to report the famous “no link” finding. In 2014 Dr William Thompson who was working at the CDC at the time retained all the documentation that was later fudged and submitted the documents to Rep Bill Posey who requested a formal hearing into this matter. Now can someone explain why the CDC blocked Thopmson from testifying in congress? and continues to block him?

      Also it is always amusing to me that people think this is a so-called “Lakewood machlah” that people chose not to vaccinate and that the non-vaxxers are old school and ignorant. There has been a lot of concern across the world and is a rather cutting edge position to take in a few years even the lakewood pediatricians will be singing a different tune.
      Regarding the safety of vaccines. instead of making broad ridiculous statements like overwhelming weight blah blah blah do some research and bring some studies:

      1)bring the studies that show that the safety of the overall vaccine schedule was tested against a control group that had no vaccines
      2)bring the study that shows that the levels of aluminum in say the Hep B vaccine (250mg) which by far exceeds the CDC’s own recommendation for what is safe for an adult is safe for new borns
      3) bring the study that shows that the Guardsil vaccine is safe (note in the actual studies done to test this particular vaccine the “control group” was given shots with the metals just not the HPV what type of “controlled” study is that? isn’t a placebo salt water not aluminum water? and the long term outcome of the safety study for this vaccine that is meant to reduce the risk of cancer is that 10 years out recipients actually had a slightly higher risk of cancer… go figure.

      there are many more studies that are not present in the overwhelming weighted studies you referenced but lets start with that.

      I’m not at all advocating that people should not vaccinate. I do advocate though that people get educated on their own and not rely on doctors who rely on the pharma reps to determine what is safe and what is not. there are familial pre-dispositions that make vaccines unsafe for some and shifts the benefit versus risk argument in a direction where it does not make medical sense to vaccinate.

      There are many people that will trust their doctors implicitly and do exactly as they are told by their doctors without asking questions and that is fine if that is how they chose to do things. But others have witnessed first hand reactions and injuries that doctors outright deny (like the baby is home having seizures very soon after a vaccine and on the phone the nurse tells the mom no it can’t be that your child is having seizures just give them Tylenol … yes this happened in real life it is hard to mistake a seizure) and a perfectly healthy neuro typical baby reacting immediately after a six month round of vaccines with screaming non-stop high pitched for several days and when finally stopping to scream regressing and later being diagnosed with a severe neurological disorder that was not present prior to the vaccine. Once a parent or family member witnesses this type of event it is hard to continue to trust the pediatricians opinion which is vaccines are 100% safe and that is usually the first step which leads a parent down the path of going against what society demands of them in order to protect their children from injury which is very real. if you never witnessed or experienced a vaccine injured child consider yourself lucky. If you would really be a truth laser you would seek out such a family and ask to hear their story.

      Hashem should have rachmanus on all of his children and you should never experience the terrible life long pain and suffering of a vaccine injured child.

      • The very first person on this blog to present evidence. And of course, like anyone who actually studied the topic themselves, you are anti vaccines.
        Responsible, sensible parenting. Good for you.

  17. Did you ever consider that your a rodef?
    Please check how the torah says a rodef should be treated.

    I have also lost faith in humanity because of people like you… I don’t have an issue with you having a different view, however when your view puts my family in danger it’s a whole different story.

    • @rodef, did you ever cosider that you are a malshin? Please check how the torah says a malshin should be treated. I have also lost faith in humanity because of PPLE LIKE YOU WHO DO NOT KNOW HOW TO WATCH THEIR MOUTH!!!!!!!!!

  18. It deserves to be mentioned again so the kehillah can understand why some families have not vaccinated their children.

    There is the presence of genetic disease and compromised immune systems in some children.

    A family member was vaccinated and had a severe reaction to the shot resulting in total paralysis, brain encephalitis, complete loss of brain activity and interruption of growth.

    The figures around the turn of our century (2000) in Brick Township showed an autism rate of 1 case in 29 from a serious ‘batch’ of MMR that has resulted in retarded growth, retarded behaviors , unmanageable behaviors, and loss of a connection with reality for some of the autistic kids. Thank G-d we have a nice big school like SCHI that has carried the burden of minding and mending the children who lost their normalcy and became disabled physically and mentally..

    Allergy to eggs: This is a big one. Many of our children are allergic to eggs. The whole base of immunizations is chick embryos. Children who are allergic to eggs and are given an injection can go into anaphylactic shock, their airway closing up, body swells up, and they need an epi-pen to revive them. My niece has this problem.

    This is a take you’ve probably never thought about. Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir who had a severe Parkinson’s disease, with all its symptoms of shaking, and neurological loss of control, told me himself personally when I met with him that he will not take any medicines especially any that may have any animal products in it, as he was afraid it would interfere with his li-mud torah. Then he told me it was a ‘tim-tum ‘ ha-lev. He told me you can never get that animal impurity out.

    How many objectors know that the MMR immunization contains the following animal bloods: monkey blood, horse blood, pig blood, chick embryo, sheep blood, caterpillar blood, and human aborted fetal cells.

    This is injected into the muscle, and is not processed through the liver during regular digestion like food is and the filtering of toxins.

    I also had some very outstanding doctors tell me that the use of these bloods , specifically the human aborted fetuses could cause bi-polar behavior in humans. Hence, the rise in bi-polar diagnosis among the kids these days.

    The list could go on and on.

    The epidemic will probably stop if the schools are closed for a week or two. Last year in the state of Oklahoma, where the teachers and the children were so sick with the flu, the whole state closed their schools and the epidemic ended.

    May HaShem bless you that you all stay well, and we will hear only good news that no one else gets sick with Measles, and we can get back to our torah life. .

      • “MMR contains… monkey, horse, pig…sheep and caterpillar blood” etc. I could not find this anywhere. Where in the world do people come up with this nonsense, and how do they ever think this is something that is worth contributing? Give me a break. You know, this argument was so convincing, I think I’m now going to change my mind…

  19. I was hoping someone would bring up this point. While I personally do vaccinate, I do it with hesitation and prayer since I know their are risks and I completely understand both sides!! One thing I cannot understand is how some- thankfully the minority- mature adults can get so angry and fight like children! Where is our ahavas Yisroel? Please show some before the saga is over, before you lost your chance to win this nisayon that you were sent! Show that you love your fellow Jew NO MATTER WHAT!

  20. How can you say that there’s no risk involved with a straight face, when this outbreak is directly related to non-vaccinations?

    Why are only you entitled to do what’s best for your children? Why aren’t we equally entitled to do what we believe is best for out children? We believe that non-vaccinated children post risks to our children, so we prefer that they don’t mingle.

    You do yours, and we’ll do ours. But don’t berate us for doing ours, when with the same breath you’re demanding acceptance of yours.

  21. We think you have the absolute best interest in mind for your family and all of us. It still doesn’t take away from the fact that you are making a mistake and putting people with weak immune systems in great danger, causing regular people lots of unnecessary stress, and a loss of money. Even if the community were to deal with you as you would find correctly, it still would not take away from the things you are cussing to others around you. I sincerely hope you rethink your desicion.

  22. I am sorry that your family is hurting because of YOUR decision. This was your choice. Your children are hanging their heads because of you.
    Perhaps move to a different community where you can choose not have to vaccinate and still be accepted.
    If your health is more important then move.

  23. Dear fellow jew,

    There’s no place for hate or shame ever, and I will not justify it. However, if you choose to remain anonymous, why not put the facts on table so we can better understand. True we are more judgemental than you’d like, but we sacrifice everything for the health and safety of our families, that we feel you pose a serious threat. Being that you haven’t mentioned 1 good reason not to vaccinate, we can’t help but feel vulnerable by your children’s presence in our homes or their classrooms. Sorry for your loss of faith in humanity, but your behavior has ramifications.
    Good luck!

    • @therapist
      What business do you have to ask for personal information? Especialy coming from a therapist who hopefuly abides by the laws of confidentiality and HIPPA. Boy, i sure hope i am not your client nor do i wish to ever be. asking for information that for obvios reasons was not offered…gee!!

  24. Dear fellow residents
    I’m a regular Lakewood yid like you and I love my children by I just have one little thing different than you I give my kid a loaded gun to walk around with and shoot people especially young babies and kids with cancer r”l does that give you a right to make me feel bad and to talk about me? What happened to Vehavta Lreiacha Kmocha? Why do I have to be harassed?? Why can’t everyone be nice to me and let me raise my kids how I see fit?? I just want what’s best for my kids and that’s to let them walk around with a gun that’s my choice please respect it
    Thank you
    A fellow Lakewood Yid

  25. To the author:
    Thank you for sharing my sentiment. I am in the same situation as you are. For various reasons, after significant research (before Google was invented and before the world heard about Andy Wakefield), we have opted to not vaccinate our children. That does not mean that all other Jews are exempt from the Mitzvah of ahavas Yisroel and all that comes with it.

  26. Very well written. You are absolutely correct that there is no reason the you (and of course not your children) should be embarrassed or degraded. Even if you are making some very wrong choices (as I believe you are, but, of course, not know for sure without hearing your whole story) it does not give anyone the right to act in a way that is not allowed by the Torah.
    However, please separate the actions and steps that are being taken by doctors, health officials (see the updated note from the health department) and schools, from mean and uncalled for comments that are directed your way by misguided individuals.
    The schools have every right and responsibility to do what is best for all children (and not just yours). Even if your children did not receive vaccines because they have a true medical allergy, these rules would apply to them. I would feel bad that they are being excluded from school but it would be the correct thing to do nevertheless.
    I hope you can find in your heart to understand that most people out there (and certainly in Lakewood) are trying to make some very hard decisions and doing their best to do what is right . Don’t give up on humanity yet!

  27. Challenging the concept of herd immunity” it’s not a concept it’s a medical reality. The recent measles outbreak affected primarily orthodox Jewish areas in Monsey, Williamsburg, Lakewood and Israel. Places where the vaccination rate is under 95%
    My child is imumocompromised and cannot be vaccinated. Furthermore if he were to contract the measles it would be catastrophic for him. He can’t attend school because of parents who share your beliefs and are not vaccinating their children.

  28. Kol hakavod
    If you have made the decision to go against the grain and not vaccinate then you must have done your due diligence. You must have calculated that your family is of the percentage that are vulnerable to harm from vaccines. You do not want to risk injury even if you might possibly be eligible for a payout from the vaccine Court. While most people do not understand and simply don’t want to understand you have to keep strong and do not put your family at risk for harm. People want things to be simple. black and white. But there is no one-size-fits-all

  29. Majority of people disagree with your letter!!!! Keep your kids home, they won’t be bullied. A month of staying home to sacrifice for your shitah is not so bad. We don’t have to out up with your.mishugassim.

  30. You say that you don’t wish to put others in danger and Drs and professionals agree you’re not putting others in harm. I can’t believe you really believe that ridiculous claim.
    My baby has a health issue and is currently on 2 different immune compression medications, and was unable to get the MMR. Do you know that people like you are putting her in serious life threatening danger? Measles is extremely dangerous for people in her situation to get.
    Before you complain about being shamed, how about you for a second think about the very real fear and terror of me and many other people in my situation. I personally have had to quit my job to stay home with her and haven’t left my house with her in over a month to keep her isolated and away from selfish people who don’t vaccinate and don’t care about anyone else.
    Anti vaccers are like the guy in the ship who drills a hole through the wall of his room and says “don’t worry, the boat is safe, it’s just my room, you won’t drown”.

  31. Attention ladies and ladies. There is no way to argue that if everyone would stop immunization it would 100% go back to the olden days where entire cities died!!! We are spoiled to have vaccinations! So who do u think u are to not give vaccines!! Unfortunately ur kids get made fun of when ultimately it’s the parents fault bec the parents didn’t ask the child before if he or she wasn’t to be vaccinated. So I truly feel bad for your kids for being made fun of but few worse for them that they had parents make such ill advised decisions.

    • Please check your facts, yes there was a time when these diseases caused serious damage but most of these diseases were on a steep decline before the introduction of each respective vaccine, to say if we stop vaccinations we go back to your scenario is not correct and borders on ludicrous.

  32. I have one question. If no one knows who’s right why is everyone so strong minded?! There are Doctors that back vaxxers and Doctors that back anti-vaxxers. Just because the majority vaccinates why do you think you are right?????? Every single person who does not vaccinate has reliable sources backing them. Why are you vaxxers automatically right?? Why is everyone so closed minded!

    • Agree,

      Its only in lakewood people are so closed minded and going nuts , Monsey Willi Boro Park figured out how to live with each other and respect one an other.

      Its time for you guys to grow up, Yes people have differences of opinion, with rabbonim and Doctors backing them.

  33. To the letter writer and all other anti-vaxxer mothers: You are of the opinion that you have the right to “protect” your kids by denying them vaccines (and/or modern medicine). I disagree with you, but I can’t tell you what to do.

    However, and I hate to break it to you, but your neighbors and the rest of this city have an equal right to decide not to be exposed to you and your family. Why should we be forced to potentially get infected just to save your kids feelings? The person who put them in this painful situation is their mother.

    Kids look down on your kids, won’t socialize with them? These are the beginnings of the consequences that THEY will suffer because of YOUR decisions, because let’s face it, your kids are the ones who are going to pay for your crusade. If you think this is bad, wait until shidduchim. You can try to sue schools into accepting your patient zeros, but you can’t sue anyone into marrying them.

    If you’re thinking of your kids, think again. Because otherwise I have a feeling you’ll be facing a reckoning in a few years.

  34. Dear “Mother in Lakewood” Amus”h,
    I read your letter carefully and I respectfully took it into consideration.
    Although we may not agree with each other I would like to understand your points.The easy points to understand were that for some reason you and your children feel belittled and embarrassed.I even can empathize with you that you probably feel guilty that you may damage others for your own (and your childrens) benefit.For even if you “believe” in an “anti-herd-immunity” theory,but you must surely believe that we believe in herd-immunity.That doubt must create some guilt on your end.Hence your use of the word “admit”.
    My problem is that you are failing to be sensitive to your neighbor who is screaming “you are stepping on my toe”and you are saying toes are not that important.
    Just playing devils advocate here,a better argument for you would be I need to save my family even if it hurts you.(picture jumping from a cattle car if nazis would shoot others when they found out you jumped)
    for the record I do not agree with this argument.(I also trust the reasoning and judgement of Drs. Roberts and Shanik)
    people may sense that this is your true stance and feel the right to harass you (albeit subtly) .I don’t “believe” you were outright harassed unless you instigated or disobeyed rules.I hope we can agree to disagree and keep Lakewood a place without Machlokes.
    Best of luck,

    Sincerely wishing the best of health for you and yours,


  35. Ok vaccinations saved thousands and thousands of children no doubt.

    However my children had serious serious reactions that even the doctors in Lakewood that are screaming you must vaccinate admitted that the reaction was due to the shots.
    so did they report the reaction to the CDC NO THEY DID NOT – why probably because it will hurt them and their shita that all must be vaccinated –
    however I was advised by Doctors who yes are pro vaccinating to hold off on giving shots. And yes I did consult with Daas torah as well and yes they have a say in medical matters and if you don’t believe that then you have some KIFRA in you and they as well advised to hold off – so why should I be screamed at by people who found out somehow about this that I am a murderer is that really so
    does my children’s health not matter at all am I supposed to pump toxins into there body because you my neighbor decided that I have to – What do you know about anything medically

    And I pray that no child has a reaction to a shot as there parents shita will change quickly.

    May hashem protect us all

  36. The fact is big gedolim put out a psak to vaccinate. Listen to the podcast Vaccination and Halacha. It is a very informative discussion from top experts on this whole issue.

  37. Everyone agrees there is big risk with vaccines, and the only risk to catch it is for people with low immune system , so why do I have to risk my kids in order these people with low immune system to roll freely ? What would u say when I give my kids her vaccines and than ch”v becomes autistic ?

    • AUTISTIC? There may be some medical risk to a small minority of people who vaccinate, but the risk of autism has been disproved and it is pure ignorance to believe it. Even the dr. who originated this misguided idea admitted he lied. The risk of autism from vaccines is nonexistent. The people who have valid medical reasons for not being vaccinated do not have to put their lives at risk because of your ignorance.If you don’t vaccinate because of the risk of autism, please crawl back into your cave and stay there.

  38. You choose not to vaccinate, which is your prerogative, and you need to take responsibility for the repercussions of your decision – which in this case is keeping your children out of public areas. People who vaccinate were forced to keep their babies home (and miss work and lose money…) because they were exposed to the virus. They understand the risk and accept the responsibility even though they did nothing to bring it on themselves. When you make the decision not to vaccinate, this is part of the decision. Stop complaining and grow up.

  39. We were about to say yes to an amazing shidduch for our son, when we found out that the girl’s mother is an anti-vaxxer. We decided to turn it down. Turns out it was the right decision- their little son came down with measles.

  40. Your children are walking with loaded guns around innocent people. Everyone is trying to save lives, and you are selfish enough to put people’s lives at risk, including your own children’s lives. It is totally assur to put people’s lives in danger.

  41. This machlokes is terrible and the motzei shem rah is horrendous!

    The holy arizal writes on the posuk bein dom ldom, why klal yisroel suffers more than all nations is because divrei rivos bshaarecha. the satan is dancing between us. shame on all the outspoken, hurtful words and actions. the people that are hurting others in word and action will not be absolved

  42. I wonder how many people had more kavanah by davening for those that vaccinate and especially for those that don’t vaccinate, or do we “of course not daven for them because they should….blah blah blah”
    Are we truly putting our trust in Hashem and vaccinating as hishtadlus or do we deep down think only the vaccination helps??
    If you are truly scared of the sickness, have you done teshuva yet for the reason hashem has sent this scare? Or are you using this to show that you are right in your “decision” to vaccinate?
    Headlines seen on certain websites and papers like, “Thanks to Anti-Vaxers blah blah blah” has no place in yidishkeit nor even in a “nice, friendly chesed-full community”.
    It’s not about being right here, it’s about praying to hashem that he does not bring a plague upon us. If we don’t understand this message and we are blinded by the blame game, then we have missed the point here. It’s frummer to daven to hashem than to vaccinate! On the contrary, those that haven’t vaccinated probably daven harder for the Am Hashem.
    Let’s start being real here and stop the name calling. When we see someone come collecting do we also start asking how many jobs has he tried to get? No, we try to help, and we daven that hashem should guide him the right way.
    Btw- I do vaccinate, but I do know that, that is not the message here.

  43. and that girl you said no to, probably had real immunity from having the actual measles when she was a kid(not just 90-93% immune), not like your son- just saying!!!!

  44. I’m appalled by some of the comments. Anti vaxxers deserve at least as much ahavas yisroel as the kedoshim of Pittsburgh even if you believe they are misguided. The Torah did not make exceptions in loving ‘misguided’ Jews and the comments above exude anything but love. Shame on all of you and may Hashem watch over us all during this trying time. We are maaminim bnei maaminim and believe only Hashem can protect us so lets behave in a way which will make us worthy of His protection.

    • I was just saying the same idea to my wife. After all those rabbonim going back and forth about the mere mentioning that it was possibly not a kiddish Hashem because it was a conservative synagogue – where are those rabbanim now saying how we have to exude love???

  45. I vaccinated my kids before I was aware of the potential dangers of vaccination. Now I am on the side of the anti vaxxers. If they ask for a religious exemption it is valid because our religion says venishmartem meod es nafshoseichem, which if you believe that vaccinations are potentially dangerous you are guarding your health by NOT vaccinating. If you believe in vaccines and your family had vaccinations and you believe they work why are you worried? – you or your kids won’t get sick. If you are of those with weakened immune systems then keep your kids home, why does someone who firmly believe it is wrong to vaccinate have to do something that is entirely against their beliefs and principles?

    • And if I truly believe that because you are not vaccinated you are a danger to me and my child or parent, why should I be forced to go against what I truly believe and be exposed to you…?!

      (which is the case especially in schools because they are being bullied into letting your potentially harmful child sit together with teachers who are expecting and other children that may have low immune or other susceptible situations which can be extremely harmful and even fatal if they catch something because of your child…)

      So let’s be fair…

      No one is saying that they have to vaccinate, everyone is simply saying that since the Rabonim and Doctors of Lakewood have unanimously requested that anyone who is not vaccinated stay away from public areas where it can fatally affect others, that they should please listen and respect the majority of the citizens of our town…

      Don’t publicly announce that you are a potential danger to be near (according to the majority of the Rabbonim and Doctors in this town), and then when people start running away from you, wonder why they just can’t be a little nicer…

      That’s like walking into a crowded arena with a suitcase that says BOMB INSIDE and people start to run away from you, and you scratch your head and think Hmmmm why is everyone running away? How come no one wants to sit next to me or even be near me? why can’t they just be nice and take a chance?

  46. @jewishbrit and @amazing,

    The shadchen found out why we said no, and told the mother that he is not going to redt them anything any more. As for the son, I don’t know what happened. Last I heard, he’s still in the hospital.

  47. Just to preface I give my kids vaccines and they r all up to date but I am in total shock how mean and nasty many of the commentors are even if u don’t agree with the anti vaxxers it is 100 percent assur to talk badly about them and to shame them there is no heter whatsoever to be oiver hilchos shmiras Halashon and make another yid feel bad just bec u don’t agree with their views I really hope to see ppl change their attitude and middos so we can bring an end to this golus. Sinas Chinam is terrible pls everyone just be nice

  48. How did you “become aware”?

    If you happened to have a special child, who made you aware that vaccination had anything to do with it?
    Why does it make you less angry?

  49. Btw in monsey and elsewhere ppl don’t go all crazy attacking anti vaxxers they can live beshalom with ppl who do things differently the main thing is to daven

  50. To “Just to Understand”:
    The vaccination-autism link was clearly proven to be a hoax. By bringing it up, you provr how uninformed you are. Do any research at all, and you will see how it was debunked. Did you listen to the Headlines podcast? The Chemed teleconference a while ago? A person who buries his head in the sand and shuns all intelligent discussion, is not entitled to an opinion.

  51. Do you beileve in Hshem?
    Do you believe in emunah?
    Did u see the letter signed by 50 plus rabbis stating to vaccinate?
    Do u know its also dangerous to go outside on the street or drive in a car? Do u kmow how many ppl die from car accidents a day? Do u drive a car? Maybe u shld do ur research and stop driving in a car. Do u ever take any medicine? Do u read the side effects? you have to do the proper hishtadlus and vaccinate and Hshem will do the rest

  52. If anyone listened to the podcast on Dovid Lichtenstien Headlines would have heard Rav Sruli Fried. He was in the room with a mother holding her dying child because the child/baby was too young to be fully vaccinated and was exposed to someone who didn’t vaccinate. Can we even imagine the pain of that mother?? She did nothing wrong but someone else who decided not to vaccinate their kid has now killed her kid. Rav Sruli brought up a great point. Cancer and other diseases we have no control over. We can’t prevent really do anything to help us not get cancer. It doesn’t fall on anyone to prevent cancer. Not immunizing your child who can be immunized ( as opposed to a child that can’t get immunized because of their immune compromised body) is like turning your child into a killer. Try to put yourself in that ladies position and picture yourself holding your dying child would you then tell someone not to immunize would you not run to immunize your other children??? There is a very good reason for you and your children to stay home and that is for others that can’t protect themselves from diseases ie newborns, pregnant women, immunocompromised people, etc. I understand you feeling hurt by being singled out and feeling looked down upon but it is the reality. You are harming others by going out in public and compromising others. Think of their needs as well. You didn’t ask for this and neither did they. Just keep that picture in your mind of that mother having to hold her dying child and crying because she is loosing her for choices she did not make but people that chose not to vaccinate made.

    • Maybe there would be less cancer if there would be less people vaccinating? There are zero long term studies on the effects of vaccinations. We see people get cancer. We generally DO NOT KNOW THE CAUSE. Did we trade measles, mumps, and rubella for cancer?

  53. It’s been said many times before but if you “anti-vaxxers” don’t care enough about your children to protect them, then so be it. But 99% of Lakewood residents don’t want them in our schools, our shuls, our stores, our simchas, our doctors’ offices. If you continue to refuse to do the responsible thing, keep your kids inside at home where they won’t cause damage to others – or themselves.

  54. I can’t believe how much misinformation is being communicated by anti-vaxxers as the results of “research.” I wonder if 90% of them have any idea what it means to do research. And anyone who still mentions autism as a consequence of MMR is absolutely off the wall. That has been debunked beyond a shadow of a doubt. Anyone who says otherwise clearly has no idea how to do research because if they’ve ever looked at anything scientific, they would find that that’s ancient false history.

    • Just for the record, there is new science coming out recently about autism, not necessarily related to MMR. You may want to read this article:
      A Lone FDA scientist could end the autism epidemic

  55. Klal Yisroel. I sincerely hope that each and every one of us is as fearful of Hashem and Beis Din Shel Ma’ala as we are about the measles.
    I will continue to say tehillim for all of you – Hashem should protect the all of His children whether they do or do not vaccinate. Hishtadlus is imperative. After that it’s in Hashem’s hand – and Hashem’s hand ONLY. You do what is right for you and your family. Looks like the only solution out of this mess is Moshiach’s arrival and setting this world straight once again.

  56. Most of us “anti-vaxxers” do so much more for our children’s health than the rest of you out there- and we are – often enough – with Hashem’s help, more protected than the vaccinated.
    It’s so much more about building the immune system than the vaccine. For the people who won’t do anything else to build their child’s immunity – vaccinating is the smarter choice. But for those of us with low metabolisms, kids that have a hard time detoxifying from whatever it is in the vaccine, vaccines won’t make us any less vulnerable to disease – but rather just the opposite. (and then it won’t be the measles – only rsv etc…. – like my 15 month old nephew who got rsv 10 days after the mmr and is developmentally delayed – his pro vaxx mom now agrees he was much more verbal before the vaccine 2 weeks ago).
    Or my daughter – who half of her class had the flu last year and BH she was spared – without getting the flu shot, but rather by helping her build immunity in general…
    We all do our hishtadlus for the health of our children, and we make well educated decisions. We usually end up knowing alot more about preventing disease, and we do care about your children. Please do care about ours!!

    • @ Esty you’re completely missing the point

      The debate is not about whether or not you care more or less about your child or whether your child is more or less healthy with or without the shot…

      Very nice that your child is very healthy and has a great immune system… so now if G-d Forbid they get sick their own bodies will be able to fend off the sickness, however, because in this case, we are dealing with measles which is extremely catchy, if your child gets sick there is an extremely high percentage rate that they will pass on the sickness to others especially in overcrowded poorly vented closed areas (even before you are aware that you have it) such as schools or grocery stores, who may not be as healthy as your child, who may not be able to fend off the sickness and who you may potentially bring tremendous pain and suffering and possibly worse too…

      Therefore it was requested that people who are susceptible to getting this illness to please not gather in public areas where an infected person can potentially do tremendous harm to others…

      So hurray for you that you have a healthy child that should be able to beat this sickness if G-d forbid they catch it, but how does that justify them potentially spreading it to others who may not be able to beat the sickness if they catch it!

    • i won’t got through all you said. just one point. RSV is very taxing on a baby and it often takes a long time for an infant to get back to themselves. my baby had rsv NOT close to shots-it was 2 months after. and yes, he regressed significantly from it. It took him a few months to get back on track! and in those few months he had a weak immune system, making him suseptible to other illnesses, and putting him in the caragory of people for which measles and such can be DANGEROUS.
      It’s very convenient to blame it all on shots. It’s very nice and all to say that the toxins stay in a child’s body for a long time, so anything that happens any time after shots can be blamed on it. That’s like the doctors that blame every issue a pregnant woman has on the pregnancy. Hip pain? definitly because of pregnancy. and the doctor can give you a whole biology lesson to prove it. Until you ‘remember’ that you had slipped on the ice yesterday…oh!!!

  57. I read all the previous 51 comments. Although no one should treat any one else without the proper respect, I am really wondering what the problem is. If you, as an anti-vaxer feel that not vaccinating is best for your family you should easily believe that your children must be separated so that other children should not chas vashalom suffer. You want to be respected, so in turn, you must respect others when there is a real chance that unvaxinated children can carry a real disease that can be life threatening to others. You feel you are protecting your children with the choice you have made, why can you not understand that the other parents want to protect their children? If you choose not to vaccinate you must accept being separated so as not to endanger others. You have a right to your choice but not at the expense of exposing other children who may have serious repercussions.
    Do you really expect other parents to allow their children to be exposed ? If you make a choice then you have to abide with the rules that come with that choice. Unvaxinated children do pose a risk to other children and while this epidemic is going on you have an obligation to keep your children separate. How can you expect other parents to want their children going to school or playing with them? You say you are being treated unfairly, but please understand you are not being fair to those children that can be affected by your decision..

  58. I am an immunocompromised adult who was vaccinated as a child. I was told by my doctor that I should try to avoid being exposed even though my risk is slight. I have a good friend who keeps asking me to visit her but I know she doesn’t vaccinate. I have not told her why I have made certain that I have not seen her in person in awhile and wont until the measles outbreak is over. The bottom line is that no matter how hurt she might be to hear that I am frightened to spend time with her and her unvaccinated children, I still have an obligation to my own health to stay away from her and her family. I love and respect her but her choice not to vaccinate has consequences!

  59. peach magazine – why?
    Letters against vaccination in dr offices – why?
    Letters on homes against vaccination – why?

    If people can’t vaccinate with a medical exception so fine but why work so hard to convince the masses not to vaccinate.

    I think that is who you should be upset at because they give all those that don’t vaccinate a bad name.

  60. Silly letter. Did you really think you were going to receive a positive response? (The scoop probably wrote it themselves just to create).) some hock).

  61. Wow, just read thru all these comments and I can’t help but wonder if this is how the churban started with real machlokes of everyone feeling they’re 100 percent right with rabbonim and professionals backing them.
    Of course I vaccinate all my children right on time and completely disagree with anti vaccers and wish I can convince them otherwise and help them see the light. However the negativity and hate is no excuse! We need moshiach now! Enough hate! Enough tragedy! Enough golus! Maybe that will be our biggest protection against measles and chv anything else.

  62. Dear Parents,
    Now it time do right follow up your child vaccinated and listen to your pediatrics doctors. You must obey Hashem children health. This isn’t your decisions. Hashem wrote in Torah clearly. In Deverim “Watch your own Health”. Please don’t take your hand away from it. I am Hashem your g-d took you out Egypt. Just remember how many rumors and falsehoods is telling you disagree. Just do what is right for your entire family protection. I love you all and just count right blessing. Hashem
    Loves you.

  63. I dont get it here. If your child IS vaccinated, then exposure to measles shouldnt bother him in the least. Also those children who dont vacinate, do not all have the measles. Obviously if they do have the measles, then they should stay home until they are no longer contagios. By the way, i read online that the mmr is only effective for 20 years. Did all the rabbonim, and teachers shlita, and older concerned parents get their booster shots?

  64. What’s the bottom line ? Are the schools letting the kids come with their shotguns to harm the rest of the kids or are they keeping the schools secure ?

  65. I am just blown away that she compared herself embarrassment and shame and treatment to that of an drug addict.. what does one have to do with another? That was such an ignorant comment and you should probably not compare things you have no idea about. As a nurse working in the substance abuse population, you my darling are walking on “golden egg shells” compared to the judgment, embarrassment, bias, and shame addicts go through on a daily basis. Not vaccinating your child is your choice, yes. But do not compare it to something totally outside of the spectrum, you tried to make a point and you failed horribly. I don’t see Lakewood attempting to help any of the addicts or rehab facilities in ocean county which the heroin epidemic has been on going for years, you look the other way and keep moving with your life but now that your feeling attacked.. it’s a different story and you want EQUALITY and RESPECT

  66. just wondering how in general kids have gotten into school when they start primary: doesnt everyone have to bring in a letter fron their dr, regarding their kids being vaccinated?

  67. Let’s be xtra nice to the anti vaxxers especially to the their children, it’s not the children fault. Would be nice to see a philanthropist step up to the plate create a program just for these children. We need to make shalom. Keep the peace.

  68. This is probably not the best time to be writing and publishing this article about not vaccinating when there is an active measles outbreak in Lakewood. ????

  69. My bottom line is I try not to get involved. I can understand bad results both ways but I will not risk being judged in heaven for shaming either side . As we see in our history u should jump into a fire yourself rather than shame someone. Just heard a great story from a Rabbi
    A fellow got picked up while hitch hiking and he noticed 2 steering wheels up front. He asked the driver if he where in the driving school business and the driver answered no. The driver explained that he has a son who likes playing with the steering wheel while he drives so he made a fake one in the passenger seat so his son could “ drive” as well. The hitchhiker said “ u taught me a great lesson we think we are in control but it is really g d who is and we just turn a fake wheel” of course there’s hishtsdlus to be done but remember in the end whatever happens was going to happen anyway. This ongoing argument is all over the world. I heard that in the rich parts of California there’s a 50% rate of anti vax s . The world is watching. Im sure there’s a lot of emotion but remember there are some great Jewish leaders who do not vaccinate ( Rav Shmuel Kaminesky among them) so it seems there must be 2 sides to this.

  70. What is going on?? I really wonder how many people are really so afraid of the measles and how many people just like to fight and fight and fight. Why did this become a war? Why doesn’t everyone whose child is vaccinated just daven that they should stay healthy and stop putting their child at a bigger risk from a lack of shmirah from all this machlokes?
    (by the way I vaccinate.. I just am so disgusted the way things are turning out)

  71. Dear lakewood mother. I vaccinate my kids. You don’t. And that’s ok. We are being tested but nobody realizes. This is what happens before mashiach. Sinas chinam is here. I for one will not make it about the vaccines or anti vaccers. Its deeper than that. I choose to respect you because you are a Jew. I choose not to take sides because this is a test. I choose not to fight because we are making a chillul hashem. Its not about the measles anymore it’s about us. Dear mother I feel sorry for what you are going thru. Shaming someone and playing gd is never ever ok. I’m sorry on behalf of people who are too blinded to see that we are in exile for too long. Hashem yiracheim. for all those who do their hoshtadlus and do what they think is right, your next step shouldn’t be pointing fingers it is to pray to Him. Nothing will help you when you fight. Nothing at all. Even if they choose to vaccinate.

  72. The letter writer and comments make no sense. What does Lakewood and living in shalom and being nice to one another have to do with anything? It’s not two sides here having an argument. There are facts. Pro or anti vaccination has nothing to do with anything at this point. There is an outbreak of measles and the health department gave guidelines about the right protocol for what to do in this situation. ie: vaccinate, keep non vaccinated home… we have clear guidance from Daas Torah. What is there to argue at this point? The letter writer and all of the comments supporting her have to follow Daas Torah like everyone else. If you don’t, what do you want from everyone else?

  73. BREAKING: 2 Boro Park infants are in the ICU after getting infected with measles!!

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