A few facts:
1) There are people who vaccinate, with B”H constitutes the majority of us.
2) There are people who won’t vaccinate as part of a movement, and will do their utmost to impose their opinions on the rest, with arguments, printed magazines, comments etc. to try and convince people not to vaccinate.
3) Then there are others – like the student in my brother, a local community Rebbe’s class. He is not up to date on his vaccination, and has not been vaccinated in over a year. Nor are the rest of his siblings. You see, his father passed away within hours of getting a flu shot. A connection? I and most others are not qualified to say.
Facts over, I present my humble opinions:
While they both made a choice not to vaccinate, the difference between the protagonists in fact#2 and the family in fact number 3 could not be further apart.
Those in number 2 are striving with almost a hysteria to try and make you think like them, and change your opinion about inoculations. One can try and argue with them, but from my experience – and I count one of these people as a friend for his other redeeming qualities – don’t bother. It’s like talking to a wall – one that yells back at you and doesn’t let you finish a coherent sentence.
Those in number 3 deserve our compassion. For them, it is simply a trauma that they are currently unable to overcome, and I do not believe that ostracizing them or giving a blanket ruling or threats about allowing them into school are whom the letters published by Rabbanim are directed at.
While number 2 are anything but shy about their opinion on the matter, number 3, and any of those like them with a medical reason are usually quiet about their decisions and certainly not on the campaign to “convert” you. Compassionate people like most of us understand their reasoning and respect their silent suffering.
Anyone who has ever asked a medical shaila will know that every case has its individual considerations that are taken into account.
I don’t allow my children to play at the home of my friend who won’t vaccinate. I can’t disagree more strongly with his decision, yet still consider him a friend. I even feel bad for him and his family about their block-headedness on the subject. Yet I have long since stopped trying to argue with him about it.
At the same time, those following Da’as Torah or suffering from legitimate medical reasons get my compassion, and I hope you’ll understand why.
A father of 8 (vaccinated kids)