Rumor has it that during the “Black Plague” in the Middle Ages there were those who blamed the Jews for its spread, because of the lower mortality among them, which was associated with the religious customs of washing hands.
Much water has flown since then, even in Jordan River.
And nowadays? Miraculously, various elements related to the plague in general and to COVID-19 in particular – have been gathered, and were all concentrated among the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel and around the world.
Density. The ultra-Orthodox raise this argument themselves. “What do you want?” They say, “We live in a more crowded fashion and therefore the plague is more contagious.” And they are right, except that “crowded” is not Heaven’s decree. It is the result of having many children and a voluntary closure – both of which are carried our quite voluntarily by a large majority of the ultra-Orthodox people themselves.
Mass events. These are known to exist everywhere and in every sector, but there is nothing like religion and the worship of a rabbi to grant them the nature of a “mitzvah” (commandment). It’s a mitzvah to rejoice on the holiday of Purim, as it is written in the Book of Esther “They should make them days of feasting and joy” (Esther 9:22). It’s a mitzvah not to stop Torah studies. Funerals? Weddings? Altogether a great mitzvah.
Disbelief in the official regime. Much has been said about this subject. Many of the ultra-Orthodox Jews do not really “believe” in the “Zionist Kingdom” (while a “kingdom” is the religious term for a non-Jewish-religious government, whether in Israel or elsewhere). Obedience to the rabbi prevails over obedience to the laws of the state – this is how many of them explain things themselves.
Lack of scientific knowledge. If the planet was created about six thousand years ago, woman was formed from the man’s rib, a flood covered Everest and the Bull of Heaven is waiting for – what’s the matter with this tiny virus that we don’t even see? Any secular conspiracy on the subject of COVID (and there is no shortage of such) is therefore multiplied tenfold in a world where miracles and rewards are daily things.
All of the above contents are taught – or at least not prevented from being taught – by the state itself.
Just like religious slaughter, which was once a symbol of compassion for animals, and is now the abusive exception that in the name of religion is refused to be changed, so have other religious practices — made COVID-19 a much bigger problem among ultra-Orthodox audiences.