By proportion all over the world, the single sickest group of people to population numbers is the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community. It is in the numbers and the math speaks for itself. These rates of illness (and death) are consistent in the US (with particular attention to New York and New Jersey), in Israel (Bnei Brak, Beit Shemsh, Beitar Ilit), in Belgium (Antwerp), in the Ukraine, in the Netherlands, in England (London) and the list goes on and on. And with the increased rates of illness and flouting of Covid-19 precautions, the increase in many of these places is resentment, hatred and ultimately anti-Jewish sentiment.
Everywhere there are large groups of organized religious people (whatever the religion), the numbers of Covid-19 infected people are higher. Most religious groups have scaled down. The ultra-Orthodox have not! Where they have stopped congregating, the numbers have reduced, sometimes dramatically. Sadly, the ultra-Orthodox Jews have, in large part, not stopped congregating. The rabbis are telling them that it’s all in G-d’s hands. But, if G-d sends us a lifeboat are we not supposed to acknowledge it is there for a reason?
As those same religious Jews profess to be pious and observant, (Talmidim Chachamim) to study Torah and worship One G-d as the Chosen People, they have set aside the single most important tenet of the Jewish laws, the notion of THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE. (Pikuach Nefesh) To that, they have said a glorious F-U.
If Vaccinations Cause Homosexuality, Can they Then Cure It?
There are no words to describe the the following article which almost feels like it should be satirical, if it were not such a serious and perilous approach to both vaccinations and homosexuality. Rabbi David Asor, who has tens of thousands of followers has told his followers that vaccinating against Covid-19 using a vaccination that has an embryonic substrate could cause homosexuality. It is important to note that leading religious leaders have supported vaccinating their communities. But Asor’s positions are dangerous.
Fervently religious observers of all faiths, sports fans, rioters and many protestors have put their followers, fans and fellow supporters at great risk. They have spread that risk to innocents, civilians with whom they come into contact following their acts of Constitutionally protected speech and assembly. Thousands and thousands have died or been sickened, some losing their livelihoods, some losing their homes, some spending months in and out of autoimmune flare-ups, not because they made a choice to be a proverbial conscientious objector. How Constitutional freedoms even have a place in a world that has been wholly upended due to Covid-19 remains a point of scholarly debate – but that’s an article for another day.
It may be that the only path to normalcy is vaccination, a point many religious leaders have acknowledged. But Azor is afraid of injecting a homosexuality gene? Huh?
Rabbi David Azor believes – and has preached his gospel – that Covid-19 was spread to cull the population, that Bill Gates is “trying to establish a new world order,” that a number of US governmental organizations are trying to create a “brutal arm” and that the vaccinations against Covid-19 can cause homosexuality. Let’s just say for a second that all of those assertions are correct. Ask yourself to define “organized and zealous” religious practice. Is it not similarly a way of controlling fellow followers, creating a religious world order? All organized religion, protest, cronyism, following is a form of control – whether it is control of religious belief and activity, methodology in protest, cronyism to political parties – it is all about control and some sort of vast organizing of the controlling body versus the controlled populous.
While many would disagree, sexual orientation and preference is not a choice. It is as much a part of a person’s being as their DNA. And it should be embraced like blue eyes, red hair, height and everything else there is about a person. We don’t need to love it or even approve of it, but acceptance and tolerance should come without question, it should be part of this “world order” to which Asor ascribes. To assume homosexuality can be “cured” by prayer, conversion therapy or some other form of demeaning and dehumanizing practice is to engage in abuse. Full stop. To assume that it can be spread or somehow injected is an absurdity.
But, let’s assume for a second that Asor is correct, that a virus based in human embryonic substrate can somehow cause homosexuality – only for the purposes of academic argument, we ask Rabbi Daniel Asor if the converse is also true.
If vaccinations can cause homosexuality then is the converse also true? Can vaccinations then cure homosexuality? Certainly it must work both ways?
In addition to purporting a false link between vaccines and homosexuality, Rabbi Daniel Asor also claims that both the virus and the vaccines are the work of a “global malicious government” trying to “establish a new world order.”
Rabbi Daniel Asor’s assertion goes against decrees issued by leading rabbis in Israel and around the world, who have called on ultra-Orthodox society to take every precaution against the global pandemic, including getting vaccinated.
The Haredi community has recorded extremely high morbidity rates due to repeated flouting of social distancing directives.
Asor, who has tens of thousands of followers on social media, is no stranger to controversy. In his latest online sermons, he argued that “any vaccine made using an embryonic substrate, and we have evidence of this, causes opposite tendencies. Vaccines are taken from an embryonic substrate, and they did that here, too, so … it can cause opposite tendencies.”
In addition to purporting a false link between vaccines and homosexuality, Assur also advocates various conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, claiming, among other things, that both the virus and the vaccines are the work of a “global malicious government,” comprising the Freemasons, the Illuminati, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and others, who are “trying to establish a new world order.”
He further argues that the virus was released to “cull global population” and that the vaccines seek to further this agenda.
Asor calls the World Health Organization and pharma giants Pfizer and Moderna “criminal organizations” that have deliberately mislead ultra-Orthodox leaders into supporting vaccination drives by presenting them with false data on its components and efficiency.
Further spinning his conspiracy theory, Asor claims that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, a Department of Homeland Security that has joined forces with Israel’s National Emergency Authority to battle the pandemic, maintains a “brutal army” in Israel that will be secretly embedded with local law enforcement to further the global government’s nefarious agenda.
The following opinion piece was posted to The Times of Israel, Marc Shulman blog. We have reposted some of this opinion. To read it in its entirety, click here.
Why No Jew Should Vote For President Donald Trump: Take Two
Exactly four years ago, I reluctantly wrote take one of this article. As a historian who maintains a website that includes a section chronicling the history of American Presidential elections, and a book with the same title, and as someone with a regular column in Newsweek, called “Tel Aviv Diary,” I had attempted to remain non-partisan. Over the years, I have largely succeeded in maintaining objectivity regarding American politics. But, at that moment, when it had become clear that the election of President Donald J. Trump was a real possibility, I felt I had no choice but to speak out against what I saw the genuine danger to Jews and the State of Israel, not to mention to the United States, and the world-at-large.
Now, four years later, unfortunately, much of what I predicted has happened. Again, like last time, I will not touch on all of the areas that have made Trump the worst President in United States history, or all of the harm he has done to the world in this article. I’ll leave that for my history website. Instead, I will focus on the ways in which Trump has been bad for Israel, and why he has been bad for Jews, through my lens as an American-Israeli.
Let’s start with the Jews in America. In 2016, I wrote that I did not believe Trump himself to be an overt antisemite — still true. Although I asserted: “However, as a result of the nativist, racist, xenophobic rhetorical approach of his campaign, Trump has unearthed a level of overt antisemitism in America that I thought would never return.”
Sadly, the nativist, xenophobic rhetoric never ended. Trump stayed in campaign mode throughout his Presidency. The Anti-Defamation League’s most recent Audit of Antisemitic Incidents in the United States recorded more than 2,100 acts of assault, vandalism, and harassment; representing a 12% increase over the previous year. This constitutes the highest level of antisemitic incidents since ADL’s tracking began in 1979.
The antisemitism that re-emerged incited both the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation shooting in Pittsburgh, as well as the attack in the Poway, California synagogue. Trump’s rhetoric never changes. He has failed to condemn QAnon (a clearly antisemitic ideology), which has become nearly mainstream in the Republican Party under Trump. Another four years of Trump will see more oil thrown on the extremist fire; fomenting even more antisemitism in the US. Will antisemitism disappear if Trump is defeated? That is not likely. But without the President of the United States stoking the fires, perhaps surging antisemitism can be brought back under control.
Now let’s turn to Israel. There is no question that Trump has been the most pro-Israel President in US history, in the short term. And Israel, like someone on a sugar high, has adored Trump’s love. However, like all sugar highs, the euphoria slowly wears off. Four years ago, I wrote: “A person who does not comprehend that US alliances have been the key to world peace for the last 70 years, and refuses to understand there is a price for that affinity, weakens the United States”.
The Times of Israel, Marc Schulman blog, click here.