This is a weird story, in part because it all stems from one source which doesn’t post audio or video of the statement in question. So take it with a grain of salt.
The news outlet Israel Hayom said this week that “popular” Rabbi Daniel Asor urged his followers to avoid the COVID vaccine because it might make them gay. (They may be referring to statements made in this video, but I’m not sure because it’s in Hebrew and there’s no English translation available.)
Asor, who has tens of thousands of followers on social media, is no stranger to controversy. In his latest online sermons, he argued that “any vaccine made using an embryonic substrate, and we have evidence of this, causes opposite tendencies. Vaccines are taken from an embryonic substrate, and they did that here, too, so … it can cause opposite tendencies.”
I guess that’s his euphemism for homosexuality…? Who knows. He goes on to say that vaccines were created by a “global malicious government” that is secretly run by the likes of the “Illuminati, the Freemasons and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.”
For what it’s worth, his advice contradicts what actual prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbis have said. They’ve urged everyone to take the vaccine.
The good news is that no one appears to be taking him seriously.
Responding to Asor’s assertion that the vaccine could change one’s sexual orientation, Havruta, an organization that acts to promote tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ people in Haredi society, said it was “currently gearing up to welcome our impending new members.”
Sarcasm duly noted.
This story is going viral in part because it’s just the latest example of a religious leader saying something ludicrous about COVID. But Asor really isn’t that popular. His words appear to carry little weight even among his own community.
(Thanks to everyone for the link)