JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Can a school compel its teaching staff to vaccinate? Can an employer require his workers to vaccinate? These are questions which have been the focal point of much public discussion in recent weeks in Israel, but a new spate of halachic decisions by leading rabbis have offered a clear view on the matter.
Rabbi Berel Povarsky, who recently lost his brother Rabbi Shalom Povarsky to coronavirus, was asked whether a principal can obligate his teaching staff to vaccinate. Moreover can an employer send a melamed (teacher) to unpaid leave if he refuses to vaccinate, as this may persuade the teaching staff to vaccinate?
Rabbi Povarsky responded that before getting involved in the monetary issues over here, we need to discuss whether such a person is worthy of teaching children Torah. He explained that the view of all the gedolim is that people should vaccinate and if this person thinks that he is more intelligent than the gedolim, how can he set an educational example to Jewish children?
Earlier in the week, Rabbi Yehuda Silman, a prominent Dayan who heads the Beis Din of Rabbi Nissim Karelitz Z’tsl ruled that principals of both boys and girls educational institutions can compel their staff to vaccinate and any employer is entitled to require his workers to vaccinate. A rosh yeshiva can require his students to vaccinate as well.
However if an avreich did not vaccinate and consequently contracted coronavirus and was forced to miss studies, he should not lose pay for this before Pesach since one needs to give time to people to go and vaccinate.
Chief Rabbi David Lau also ruled that if a Dayan did not vaccinate, he should not be permitted to sit on proceedings at the Beis Din
Rabbi Yitzchak Yehuda Yaroslavski, one of the leading Chabad rabbis in Israel, informed the chasidim that only vaccinees and those who recovered from COVID would be permitted to enter shuls ,whereas others should continue praying in the open air and should not enter regular shuls.