On The Jewish Star’s cover for Rosh Hashana, 13 rabbis from the Five Towns and Far Rockaway each say a few words meant to encourage members of their shuls and the entire community to get vaccinated now. While each rabbi speaks individually, they are really speaking with one voice.
That’s the concept of a 2-3/4 minute video distributed through social media just before Rosh Hashana in which each rabbi continues a colleague’s thought.
The video — which can be viewed at TheJewishStar.com — opens with Rabbi Eytan Feiner of Congregation Knesseth Israel (The White Shul) in Far Rockaway: My dear and beloved chevrah. Ribono shel Olam has given us a gift, a very precious gift. It’s called the Covid-19 vaccines.
The video seamlessly continues with Rabbi Uri Orlian of Congregation Shaaray Tefila in Lawrence: Vaccines have allowed us to reopen.
Rabbi Elly Krimsky of the Lido Beach Synagogue: And to enjoy simchas safely again.
Rabbi Elie Weinstock of the Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach: With all of the data we clearly see just how safe and effective these vaccines are. For all populations.
Rabbi Shalom Axelrod of the Young Israel of Woodmere: Including the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant and nursing women.
Rabbi Ya’akov Trump of the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst: Due to so many people being vaccinated, the number of hospitalizations and deaths decreased greatly since the vaccines were released.
Rabbi Ephraim Polakoff of Bais Tefilah of Woodmere: But the numbers of Covid-19 cases are spiking again. And in New York almost all deaths due to Covid-19 are in unvaccinated individuals.
Rabbi Feiner: Unvaccinated people die.
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt of YI Woodmere and Congregation Anshei Chesed in Hewlett: Die.
Rabbi Trump: They die.
Rabbi Yaakov Bender of Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway: You haven’t lived through enough? … We in the community have to realize that if 99-percent of doctors say take the shot, we take the shots. What’s the shayla over here? Are we playing games?
Rabbi Zvi Ralbag of Congregation Bais Ephraim Yitzchok in Woodmere: The Torah says … when it pertains to matters of heath, you have to follow the doctors.
Rabbi Feiner: So let’s all feel comfortable yet again, davening in shul, going back to yeshivas…
Rabbi Dr. Glatt: Please take achrayus for your neighbor’s health as well as your own. …
Rabbi Yaakov Feitman of Kehillas Bais Yehuda Tzvi in Cedarhurst: When we take the vaccine we’re helping everybody. And that’s a double mitzvah.
Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Frankel of Agudath Israel of the Five Towns: There is unfortunately a lot of misinformation circulating.
Rabbi Dr. Glatt: But it’s important to know the truth.
Rabbi Orlian: After over a year of research, clinical trials, and the actual vaccines in use.
Rabbi Axelrod: We see no evidence of any kind in negative outcomes for fertility and no evidence of increased risk to women of child-bearing age.
Rabbi Krimsky: We are a cohesive community.
Rabbi Feiner: And the very best way to insure our health and safety is with one united harmonious voice.
Rabbi Axelrod: One voice.
Rabbi Elie Weinstock: One voice.
Rabbi Orlian: One voice.
Rabbi Shaul Chill, Young Israel of Far Rockaway: Gedol Yisroel have urged us all to take the vaccine and we need to follow in their footsteps.
Rabbi Polakoff: Cases are spiking in every state.
Rabbi Aexlrod: Let’s not add the Five Towns and New York City, chalila, to that list.
Rabbi Dr. Glatt: “We want to celebrate the yom tovim responsibly.
Rabbi Orlian: Get vaccinated now.
Rabbi Ephraim Polakoff: Get vaccinated now.
Rabbi Axelrod: Get vaccinated now.
Rabbi Feiner: Right now.
Rabbi Dr. Glatt: Why are you still waiting? Please. Get vaccinated. Today.
Rabbi Yaakov Feitman of Kahillas Bais Yehuda Tzvi in Cedarhurst: Let’s do it as soon as we can.
Rabbi Frankel: Get vaccinated now.
Rabbi Feiner: Please. Get vaccinated.
Rabbi Yaakov Bender: Get vaccinated. Get it done. That’s what the doctors and the rabanim want us to do. Let’s go.
Rabbi Trump: Be smart, be responsible. Get vaccinated.
The video was sponsored by Achiezer, Hatzalah of the Rockaways and Nassau County, JCCRP, the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association, the Orthodox Union, and Bikur Cholim FR & FT. Its executive producers were Michael Fragin and Rabbi Simon Taylor.