To encourage Jewish worshippers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, some Rabbis in Israel have issued a rabbinical ruling that unvaccinated individuals may not enter synagogues, participate in a minyan, or be called to the Torah.
Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan Yaakov Ariel, considered one of the leading Religious Zionist halachic authorities, explained that members of the community who decline to be vaccinated must face consequences for their actions, as they are endangering others.
“A person who does not get vaccinated goes against Jewish law, which demands that people remain healthy. We need to demand that everyone is vaccinated,” Ariel said.
“We must demand that unvaccinated people stay away from others. They should show respect by staying home and not infecting others. If someone like this arrives at a place where others are gathered, he [or she] must be asked to leave. Of course not through violence, but he must not be allowed to remain [inside],” Ariel added.
Ariel said unvaccinated worshippers have the option to just pray at the home or pray outside the synagogue.
Aside from Ariel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yehuda Yaroslavsky, a senior rabbi in the Chabad movement and head of the rabbinical court has also supported moves not to allow unvaccinated worshippers to enter a synagogue.