By Rabbi Yitzie Ross


Rabbi Ross,

I’m very disappointed by the unscientific and shallow response after the tremendous introduction suggesting much research was done (Yid Parenting: Innoculate Against Lies, May 7, 2019). On the contrary, your “quick search online” suggesting that aluminum in vaccines must be totally fine because babies drink aluminum in formula and breast milk was a bit too quick.

This overly simplistic comparison is unscientific; injection is not ingestion. A Pubmed search of the scientific literature will reveal countless articles by world-renowned researchers, including Exely and Schoenfeld, that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are actually quite unhealthy and give rise not only to autoimmune disease, but also to primary ovarian failure, otherwise known as infertility. Therefore, vaccines are not guaranteed to be safe.

Dr. Gregory Poland, editor of peer-reviewed journal Vaccine, urges for an updated MMR. There are too many things to detail here; suffice it to say your quick online search was a bit too quick.

Considering that a primary mitzvah is having children, in vaccinating our children we are precluding them from fulfilling this mitzvah.

Very disappointing article. Parents would do well, however, to heed Rabbi Ross’s advice and follow his example in not taking medical advice from a rabbi (especially one who cannot provide basic current scientific knowledge). In that, he is quite correct.

Jordan, PhD


You’re making an assumption that I didn’t do enough research. That’s incorrect. I did all the research. I read what you are talking about. I just felt no need to go through every detail. I simplified it since there are parents who rely on this opinion, and I wanted to be fair. I personally began this article feeling very opposed to vaccines. And I changed my mind.

Did you know that Dr. Gregory Poland actually advocated for everyone getting this vaccine? He does say that it’s not the perfect vaccine, but he went on record as saying, “I don’t think my patients who reject vaccines are nuts. They have come to a conclusion — I believe their conclusion is in error — but they have come to a conclusion that the vaccine is not good.” He says many other amazing facts, as well as a story about a young girl who died from measles. He said, “It was such a bad case that this woman’s life was tragically altered by the death of her baby daughter, and for as long as this mother lives, she regrets every day that she did not immunize her child.” Are you sure you want to use Dr. Poland as a proof?

Did you know that many published articles regarding the topic of aluminum you brought up have been retracted? One article called “Subcutaneous Injections of Aluminum at Vaccine Adjuvant Levels Activate Innate Immune Genes in Mouse Brain That Are Homologous with Biomarkers of Autism,” which I was using as a proof to NOT vaccinate ended up being retracted. I had just finished reviewing it when I read, “This article has been retracted at the request of the editor-in-chief and authors, due to evidence of incorrect data. The data of gel images in several figures are incorrectly presented. Given that the authors can no longer access the original gels and it would be necessary to redo the experiments, it is concluded that the data and results presented in this paper are clearly not reliable. In light of these concerns, the editor-in-chief and authors have jointly decided to retract the article. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the preparation and submission process.”

Other articles have been painstakingly reviewed and proven completely false. In some cases, the writers have turned out to have ulterior motives. In other cases, the data they were using was completely incorrect. One case involving a girl who suffered from primary ovarian failure neglected to mention that the vaccine was given over seven years before the failure. One prominent doctor wanted to understand the correlation — how can you connect an issue that many years later?

Suffice it to say, I did a really in-depth review. I read all of the studies before I wrote my response, and I, unlike most people, was completely neutral. The fact that you are not being open-minded doesn’t mean I was flippant or quick about this; rather, you refuse to admit facts. Many of the doctors and scientists that are anti-vaccination have been using incorrect, at the very least, or even falsified data for their work. Do you look at both sides of every publication like I did? I’m guessing you only read the ones that follow your views. That’s a real shame.

You wrote: “Considering that a primary mitzvah is having children, in vaccinating our children we are precluding them from fulfilling this mitzvah.” There are hundreds of thousands of Jewish children born to parents who were vaccinated. However, what about the infants dying from measles? Doesn’t that factor into your decision? Do you know of anyone who was vaccinated who can’t have children? I doubt it. I know of at least three families who lost babies to this preventable disease.

Here’s a question for you, one that I ask all people with strong opinions. What would it take to convince you that you are making a mistake? I was willing to incur the wrath of the world by writing about the dangers of vaccinations if it were true. It’s not. I wish upon you clarity so you can make this important decision without being clouded by your emotions.

One last point. You wrote that people should follow my example in not taking medical advice from a rabbi. That’s not what I wrote. Since I was trying to be completely unbiased and scientific, I didn’t use rabbanim as a catalyst for any side. On a personal level, I do listen to my rav, and he and countless other rabbanim who know all pertinent information have urged everyone to vaccinate. My children are vaccinated.

Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a well-known rebbe and parenting adviser. To sign up for the weekly emails and read the comments, visit


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