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the mRNA-vaccine


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Cheshvan 26, 5781
Dear Rabbi, would you please help me with a halachic question? After observing the natural and understandable euphoria of the media around the world about the possible discovery and approval of the corona virus vaccine, I began to think about what position an observant and conscious Jew would or would not take with regard to the mRNA-vaccine(Biontech vaccine). I belong to the risk group due to my age (61 years and asthmatic) After reading scientific literature on mRNA technology and discussing it with my daughter, who is doing her PhD in epigenetics at Erasmus Rotterdam The netherlands I came to the conclusion that mRNA vaccines are as critical as DNA manipulation. Without mRNA, our genetic code would never be used by our body, proteins would never be produced and our body could not perform its functions. mRNA plays an important role in human biology, especially in the process of protein synthesis. mRNA carries the genetic code of the dna in the nucleus of a cell of our body to the ribosomes (protein production machinery of the cell). Therefore, I am sure that the mRNA vaccine manipulates our original process, designed by G "d and created by nature, without knowing exactly the long-term risks and without considering the body adaptation process controlled by our brain. My question is whether or not Halacha advocates an mRNA vaccine and why? Kind regards Yosef Baruch
ב"ה Shalom I will not address this issue specifically, since an answer to a specific situation must be based on complete accurate information. However, there is a fundamental question in Jewish faith on the intervention in G-d's creation. There are specific Halachot in regard to hybridization of seeds, fruits and animals which are forbidden, but there is no general prohibition of intervention. Basically, we can question the very right of a doctor to offer medical assistance. If G-d made a person ill, what right do we have to cure him? That is not the attitude of the Torah. The Talmud (בבא קמא פה.) says that a doctor has the permission to heal. This is codified in the Shulchan Aruch (יורה דעה סי' שלו :א) not only with permission to heal but it is a mitzvah to heal and everybody knows well that to save a person from danger, one may desecrate the Shabbat. We find in a philosophical discussion in Midrash Rabba (בראשית רבה יא:ו ) where Rav Hoshaya was asked by a Roman philosopher why we have the mitzva of Brit Mila? Without going into the whole conversation between them, the bottom line of Rav Hoshaya was that G-d created things in his world which are not always suitable as they are created, wheat has to be ground, certain beans have to be sweetened and similarly man is also upgraded with a Brit mila. There is also a similar debate in regard to a Brit Mila between Rabbi Akiva and Turnus Rufus in the Midrash Tanchuma. (,תזריע ז) In another debate between Rabbi Akiva and Turnus Rufus (בבא בתרא י.) Rabbi Akiva was asked if G-d loves the poor why doesn't he support them? Basically, Rabbi Akiva answers that Hashem gave us these challenges to allow us the privilege in assisting a poor person. In short, G-d has placed challenges and imperfections in this world for us to work on and to improve upon. Especially when it comes to finding a cure for multitudes and saving lives is a fulfilling a mitzva. All the best
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