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Op Ed: A Response to the Article “Anti-Vaxxers Sue Oholei Torah”

I think every single individuals opinion matters. I think it matters that we we’re all created with the capability to use our minds and think for ourselves. I think it matters, that as Jews, we have freedom of choice. I think It matters whether people speak up or not. Most importantly though, I think that how we treat each other, matters most.

In the graduate school for my profession, One of the main things that we learned is how to respect each other in public and reconcile our differences in private. It is a message that every single individual in Crown Heights, that posted a comment on the community news platform, must learn.

The article that was posted elicited many comments that are not only a Chilul Hashem, because they present a separated front, but because they are hurtful. Regardless of whether you are pro vaccines or against vaccines, you do not have a right to hurt someone while voicing your opinion. Yes, we were all created with a brain. Yes, we were all created with opinions. yes, We should ALWAYS look out for the safety and health of our children. But we must also treat others with kindness, respect and dignity. And under no circumstance should that value be compromised.

I do not agree with those that do not vaccinate, and I am one of those that does not believe that vaccines cause autism. Yet I respect those that think for themselves, and create their own opinions.

Those that to not believe in vaccines are not bad people for believing so. They are not bad people because their opinions are different than yours. They are not bad people because they will fight to their death for something YOU don’t agree with. They are not bad people. They are people with an opinion. An opinion that matters. Just like yours. So if your opinion is different. If you want to fight to your death for your children’s health. You are not a bad person. You are a person that matters. It matters that you do not agree with the means that they went about to advocate for their and their children’s needs. It matters that you want to share that. It matters that YOU want to take all measures possible to protect your child. And you should. You deserve it. You are entitled to it. Because You matter. So does the way you express it. It matters. Find your voice and fill the silence. But while doing so, don’t step on others.

They are human. You are human. They matter. You matter. Their opinion matters. Your opinion matters. Their thoughts matter. Your thoughts matter. Their actions matter. Your actions matter. Their words matter. But so do yours.

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