Photo Credit: Jewish Press

While the measles outbreak in New Jersey is over, the importance of vaccinating our children is still relevant.



Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I am a physician’s assistant for a group of doctors in New Jersey who cater to a large Jewish clientele. Though I am not Jewish, I do know a great deal about the Orthodox community. I also know about you and your column from the other PAs with whom I work and with whom I read and discuss the latest letter appearing in your column. I must say I agree with your observation almost always. I am writing to you today about an issue on which I need some clarity.

I have great respect for the people of your faith, who are devoted parents and look after the needs of their children to an admirable level, especially as their families are often quite large. In fact, there is one lady with fourteen children who sets a sterling example of what a mother should be. Her children are always immaculate, well-behaved and respectful, and she is always put-together, calm and observantly attentive to everything her children need.

Which leaves me to wonder why she, along with countless other mothers here, would have neglected to give her children their childhood inoculation against the measles?

As you well know, there has been an outbreak of the measles in our area and we in the clinic have seen a number of young Jewish patients who contracted the virus. Each time I checked a sick child’s chart, it was noted that he or she was not vaccinated.

Mrs. Bluth, I have to wonder why this is? Is it a religious issue where the rabbis forbid it? For a long while now I have harbored this anger at such negligence. I didn’t know who to talk to because people are tight-lipped about it.

I decided to write to you and ask if, perhaps, you could reach out to your readership and explain what danger they are exposing their own children to, children whom I am sure they love, as well as the children of others, when they neglect to vaccinate.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Nurse Betty



Dear Friend,

I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you wrote in. It is an opportunity to remind my readers of the obligation to vaccinate our children in a timely manor.

I recall my cousin who was afflicted with Polio when there was no vaccine to prevent it. I also remember suffering from the measles when I was very young and every mother in the neighborhood keeping their children away from me out of fear that they would contract it. It’s not only the young that need to be concerned; there is the added danger to older children, young adults, women who are pregnant and the elderly.

So why are there people who are neglecting to inoculate their children against these illnesses and are reintroducing the threat of their horrible consequences into our society? I really don’t have an answer to this enigma, except to say that, perhaps, it is the dangerous faction of medical “experts” who claim that these vaccines are in some way responsible for mental and/or neurological conditions, without proof of trial or study to bear this out.

I take it upon myself to advocate that the threat of neglecting to vaccinate will surely cause greater harm and put everyone everywhere at risk of a far bigger evil. If you love your children, get them vaccinated.

I have seen ads by notable rabbonim endorsing the vaccination of our young so as to avert a modern day epidemic. Please heed that advice and make sure that all our children have all the protection that Hakodosh Baruch Hu has provided for us. To neglect to do so is to endanger all of us.