Covid-19: Russia’s Chief Rabbi Urges People to Get Vaccinated as New Cases Soar

Rabbi Berel Lazar has called for members of Jewish communities of Russia and other CIS countries to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as country battles new wave of infections.

On Saturday, 17,906 new cases were reported in Russia, over a 30 percent rise from the previous week and a record high since February.

While Levada Center polls show that nearly two-thirds of Russians are not planning to get the Sputink V shot, Rabbi Lazar called the vaccination absolutely safe and highlighted the positive effects of nationwide mass vaccination in Israel: “More than half of the population has been fully vaccinated in Israel and the result is clear: the Jewish state approached collective immunity and the infection rates decreased significantly”.

He added that the leading religious authorities of the Jewish world have found the vaccination against Covid-19 to be necessary.

“It might seem that vaccination has nothing to do with keeping the commandments, but that’s not true. There are many commandments in the Torah that are specifically dedicated to the rules of conduct, rules of nutrition, rules of treatment – everything to keep the body healthy. After all, physical health is a necessary condition for the health of the spirit,” reminded the Chief Rabbi of Russia and stressed the seriousness of the virus.

“Don’t forget that coronavirus infection is very dangerous – not only for seniors, not only for people with chronic diseases. How many people have already passed through the hospitals, through the intensive care units! How many people weren’t able to survive at all!”

He continued: “Doctors warn that even asymptomatic cases can have very unpleasant consequences and complications after the virus is already gone. Most importantly, asymptomatic patients can infect others. Are any of us ready to be a threat to the health of our family and friends?”

Even though Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines have been available for months, according to the Russian President’s announcement on June 12, only about 18 million people have been vaccinated, which is less than 13 percent of the population.

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