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 There is no doubt that in certain matters and issues the state of Israel is really on the cutting edge of progress and achievement. Our health system here in Israel is burdened by a great deal of bureaucracy, but when the health system and the government agree that it should work quickly and efficiently on behalf of those who are in need, it does so.

When the government announced that the anti-Corona vaccine was available for immunization for my age group, I immediately attempted to make an appointment with my health provider to receive the injection. Now, naturally, at the beginning of the process the telephone answering service of the health provider was overwhelmed. One had to wait for well over an hour before being able to speak to a human being and endeavor to obtain an appointment. I had good friends of mine who acted as my agents online and with the telephone answering service, freeing me up for other tasks and helping to lower my blood pressure and stress level. They were able to secure an appointment for me for 8:40 in the morning this past Thursday. I arranged for a taxi to take me there and to wait to return home.
Now none of this should be a big deal but many times what looks to be a simple thing to accomplish or achieve turns complicated because of unforeseen factors and circumstances. So, it was with some degree of nervousness and trepidation that I waited for that Thursday morning appointment at the health provider.
I need not have had any concerns for everything transpired quickly, efficiently and with pleasant words of cheer. The health provider organized the matter so that there really was no long wait before being admitted to the booth area where the shot would be administered. I had a very pleasant religious woman as my nurse and she administered the shot quickly and expertly, all the while reciting with me a short prayer that the vaccination be successful in achieving the immunization desired and that it should be a healing procedure countenanced by the great Healer who resides in Heaven.
I noticed that almost all the nurses were religious women, all products of Israeli nursing school programs. This is part of the slow but steady change in portions of religious Israeli society, allowing for work and professional opportunities that previously were completely frowned upon.
I was most impressed by the professionalism of the staff administering the anti-Corona immunizations. Despite the potential overload of people clamoring for the vaccine, the staff was calm and orderly, and no unwarranted delays or unpleasant conversations took place. One would have thought this was taking place in Switzerland and not in our beloved but sometimes rambunctious and raucous homeland.
The nurse told me I should expect my arm to feel tender for a few days but that otherwise I would suffer no ill effects from the injection. Her prediction was completely accurate but even the tenderness in my arm was not so severe, which was especially comforting. So, from the beginning, the process of becoming vaccinated against the coronavirus was a most pleasant and necessary one. I never understood nor do I understand today the position of those who oppose such vaccinations.
The Torah bids us follow medical advice regarding matters of disease and health, with the goal of prolonging human life. There is near unanimity in the medical profession worldwide as to the efficacy and safety of vaccinations generally and of the anti-Corona vaccine particularly. I do not understand the basis for a position against this vaccination in certain groups of individuals in the Jewish religious world.
Though everyone has a right to their own opinion, since this disease of Corona is so contagious and widespread, and can, God forbid, lead to serious and even terminal illness, I think that one has to consider the general good involved in taking the vaccine and not only one ‘s own predilections on the matter. I hope that everyone will avail themselves as soon as possible of taking this shot and, God willing, this terrible pandemic that has caused so much suffering to the entire human race, will end.
Shabbat shalom
Berel Wein

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