Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, the leader of the Belz Hasidic sect who lives in Israel, has urged teachers at to get vaccinated, following NYC’s latest mandate for private schools.
Writing a letter to the Jewish community residing in Brooklyn, the Rabbi wrote, “In the matter of vaccinations against Corona, indeed, it is proper for all staff members to be vaccinated — the men as well as the women, and may it be with great hatzlacha [success,]”
Yissachar Dov Rokeach is the fifth, and present, Rebbe of the Hasidic dynasty of Belz. He is the son of Rabbi Mordechai of Bilgoray, the grandson of the third Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, and the nephew of the fourth Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Aharon Rokeach, who raised him. He has led Belz since 1966.
This letter came in reaction to the recent vaccine mandate imposed by NYC mayor Bill de Blasio, who wants all staff at yeshivas to also be vaccinated before the decided expiry date. Last October, Rokeach himself had refused to close his yeshivas and urged students to continue studying in spite of orders from the government to shut down to slow the spread of disease. In stark contrast to that incident, this time, the Rabbi has stood in support of the vaccines for the greater good.