The 5 Pronged Attack on Rabbi Bender and the 5 Towns Rabbis


By Rabbi Yair Hoffman

There is a video circulating that is, essentially, attacking Rabbi Yaakov Bender of Yeshiva Darchei Torah.  The person doing the attacking, Rabbi E., is an eloquent and well-spoken talmid chochom.  The truth is that the video attacks pretty much all of the Five Towns Rabbis, but Rabbi Bender has been singled out.  The problem is that the Rabbi doing the attacking has made some very serious errors which can mislead the masses and Heaven forbid cause deaths, rachmana litzlan.  Indeed, all five prongs of the attack are wrong.



Rabbi E. points out is that Rabbi Bender made a mistake regarding the percentage of doctors who have been vaccinated.  The true AMA study showed that 96% of doctors have been vaccinated.  Rabbi Bender said that it was 99%.

I believe that Rabbi Bender did err slightly here in confusing two very different studies. One study was of doctors who were vaccinated (96%) and the second study was of current serious COVID victims who were unvaccinated (99%). Rabbi E. is correct in that Rabbi Bender confused the study that showed 99% of the current COVID victims were those who had not received the vaccine with the doctor study.  That’s right.  It is a fact that of all of the victims of COVID only 1 percent of them received the vaccine.  99% were unvaccinated.

Rabbi E. makes no mention of this statistic when he attacks Rabbi Bender.  This is disingenuous. It is clear that Rabbi Bender was thinking about this specific statistic when he used the number 99%.

It would actually be rather humorous if the underlying issues were not so serious and significant.  Rabbi E. is essentially saying, “Rabbi Bender, you misrepresented!  It’s only 96% not 99%!  So you are lying!”  But the statistic it came from is even more devastating to Rabbi E’s point.

Look at the victims. 99% of them did not vaccinate.  This actually makes the argument to vaccinate even stronger. To make the point even clearer let’s go to an analogy.


Imagine there is a software that analyzes your tax return with the goal of making sure that you do not get a tax audit.  The software is marketed all over the country and half of the country uses the software.    The results are compared with those who were actually audited by the IRS.

Of those who were audited, 99% of them did not use the software.  1% did use the software.  Would anyone in his right mind not use the software?

If we would certainly do this in regard to avoiding a tax audit why wouldn’t we do it to avoid severe illness or death?


Rabbi E’s next point is to say that the AMA study just surveyed its own members.  AMA members, he says, have already been indoctrinated.  He is claiming that the doctors were cherry-picked. This might have been a valid point if it was true.

Rabbi E., however, misrepresented this point.  The AMA just designed the survey.  They didn’t administer it.  It was given to WEBMD doctors – who do represent a broader cross-section of doctors.

WebMD is an American corporation which is an online publisher of news and information pertaining to human health and well-being. It also includes information pertaining to drugs. It is one of the top healthcare websites by unique visitors. It has nothing to do with the AMA. It was founded in 1998 by internet entrepreneur Jeff Arnold.

His second point, then, is an absolute misrepresentation.  Sadly, Rabbi E. is using his powerful eloquence to highlight a fabrication.  True, it could be that he missed the part about WEBMD when he read the study, but still, before you attack someone, do them the courtesy of double-checking your information.


Rabbi E also claims that there are one million doctors in the United States and that the study only surveyed 304 doctors, and 11 eleven were not vaccinated.  he claims that 304 is nothing compared to the amount of doctors in this country.

The truth is that there are 620,520 US MD’s in this country and that the number 304 from a statistical vantage point will produce a 95% confidence rate with a margin of error of 6%.  95% confidence rate is the standard usage.

You can check this out with a statistics expert.  Just ask any actuary.


Rabbi E. claims that Rabbi Bender’s use of the majority of doctors (96%) statistic is against the Mishnah Brurah and is actually a halachic error on his part.  Rabbi E. quotes the Mishna Brurah 618:11 that when you have 2 doctors saying that you should feed a specif sick person on Yom Kippur against 100 doctors who say not to feed that sick person on Yom Kippur, both groups are considered as equal and you do feed the sick person on Yom Kippur.  This is because of the principle of trei k’meah and that we do not follow a majority when it comes to Pikuach Nefesh.

Rabbi E’s point is against the Gemorah in Kesuvos which tells us that we are stringent when it comes to saving life and we do not follow percentages that tell us not to save life.

Thus, there is a vast, vast difference between the two cases.  In the Mishna Brurah’s case, there is no harm to the person if you end up feeding him food.  Here, however, the 96% are saying that it is dangerous not to vaccinate.

It is not just me that makes this point.  One of the leading Gedolim of the generation has made this point as well.  Rav Moshe Shternbuch shlita has written, “Even though there are some individual doctors who claim that the vaccine can damage the child, since the overwhelming majority of doctors hold that vaccines do not damage at all, we are not to follow the tiny fraction of a minority of doctors who claim that vaccines damage (even though in general in safek pikuach nefesh cases we do not follow the majority in cases of medical opinions as is explained in Shulchan Aruch OC 618:4).  Because here it is different in that if we follow the minority view, we are endangering others according to the majority view of the doctors. On the other hand, if we follow the view of the majority of doctors, we will be endangering people according to the view of the minority of doctors. In such a situation where on each side there is Pikuach Nefesh, we must certainly follow the majority. For the entire reason not to follow the majority is just in order to save life – and there is no “greater saving” here if we follow the minority view. Thus the halacha goes back to following the majority like in all other Torah cases where we follow the majority.”


In his third point, Rabbi E. lays the claim that all the studies regarding the vaccine for pregnant women are based upon only one study from the CDC.  He attacked the Rabbis for giving false medical advice and said that he hopes that they are prepared to face the consequences for this.

Yet, this point is also not true.  Way back in August, Dr. Ashley Roman from NYU published an article in the American Journal of Obstretrics & Gynecology – Maternal Fetal Medicine from his own institution.

According to the NYU website:  “Studies continue to reinforce the importance of vaccines during pregnancy and their power to protect two lives at once by preventing severe illness in both mothers and babies,” says Ashley S. Roman, MD, director of the Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine and the Silverman Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Health, and one of the study’s principal investigators. “If babies could be born with antibodies, it could protect them in the first several months of their lives, when they are most vulnerable.”

The CDC consistently asserted that vaccines should not be withheld from people who are pregnant and want the vaccine. Dr. Roman and colleagues confirm the strong evidence that the mRNA vaccines are safe during pregnancy in a study published August 16 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology—Maternal–Fetal Medicine, titled “COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy: Early Experience from a Single Institution.” The study found no increased risks during pregnancy, birth complications, or identifiable risks to the fetus among those who received the vaccine.”


We can also ask, what about the babies?  In Brazil, 1300 babies died of COVID.  True, in America, it is much rarer in that only ¼ of one percent of babies get COVID, but why not give them the opportunity for antibodies too?  The NYU study showed that 100% of pregnant women that are vaccinated give their antibodies to their fetus.  Why not give it to them?


Let’s point out one more thought.  We all know someone or a few people who passed away from COVID. Rachmana litzlan.  I know of twelve.  But does anyone out there know of anyone who died from the vaccine?  I don’t.  Nor do I know anyone who knows someone who died from the vaccine.


The attack on Rabbi Bender and the other Rabbis is, plainly and simply, wrong.  All three of Rabbi E’s points are misrepresentations.  Rabbi E is a known antivaxxer who also testified against the measles vaccination at the State of Connecticut’s Public Health Committee.    Although this is conjecture, it is highly likely that had Rabbi E. been of age, he might also have tried to convince the world not to take the Polio vaccine.


The author can be reached at [email protected]



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