Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky says that the polio vaccine was a "hoax" and so are all vaccines!
Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky, is the founder and dean of the Talmudical Academy of Philadelphia, his wife, Temi, speaks out against vaccinating children. The rabbi wrote a letter on R.B.’s behalf, leading to her son’s principal relenting and apologizing.
When reached by phone, both Kamenetzkys confirmed their belief that vaccinations, not the diseases they prevent, are harmful.
“There is a doctor in Chicago who doesn’t vaccinate any of his patients and they have no problem at all,” said the rabbi. “I see vaccinations as the problem. It’s a hoax. Even the Salk vaccine [against polio] is a hoax. It is just big business.”
Kamenetzky says he follows the lead of Israeli Rabbi Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Kanievsky, who rules that schools “have no right to prevent unvaccinated kids from coming to school.”
“What about the people who clean and sweep in the school?” argued Kamenetzky. “They are mostly Mexican and are unvaccinated. If there was a problem, the children would already have gotten sick.”
Sharon Billing, a Baltimore nurse and mother, said she once challenged Temi Kamenetzky at a lecture.
“How can you advise young mothers to do this?” she asked the rebbetzin. “You’re old enough to remember whopping cough and diphtheria. As Jews, we are required to guard our health.”
Billing has a cousin born just prior to the development of the polio vaccine.
“He was wheelchair bound all of his life and had the use of only one arm,” she said. “I find it distressing that so many are so uninformed about vaccines.”
Now read a response:
BY RICHARD DAGGETT
So, Rabbi Kamenetzky and his wife believe that vaccinations, not the diseases they prevent, are harmful (“A Healthy Dose?” Aug. 29). Kamenetzky is quoted, “There is a doctor in Chicago who doesn’t vaccinate any of his patients, and they have no problem at all. I see vaccinations as the problem. It’s a hoax. Even the Salk vaccine [against polio] is a hoax. It is just big business.”
I won’t question the rabbi’s authority on rabbinical law, but his opinion on vaccines and illness is just his opinion. I give it no more weight than I would someone who believes the earth is flat. On the other hand, stating that vaccines are a hoax steps beyond his rabbinical authority. It is dangerous. I am president of the Polio Survivors Association. I survived polio … just barely … and work with polio survivors every day. In 1952, nearly 60,000 people in the United States contracted polio, and polio killed more American children than any other communicable disease.
Has the rabbi ever seen a hospital filled with children in iron lungs? Probably not. Why? Because we now have a vaccine!
And calling vaccines “just big business” is an illustration of his lack of serious thought. Does the rabbi grow his own food? Does he weave his own cloth or make his own clothing? I hope he understands that these things are sold for profit and are “just big business.”