ISRAEL - Ultra-Orthodox: Hotspot for Covid-19

Arno Froese

Some 52% of COVID-19 patients over the age of 65 in Israel are ultra-Orthodox, new figures released by the Health Ministry show, and a large number were infected during prayer services over the High Holy Days.

Ultra-Orthodox citizens over the age of 65 are just 3% of the population, however, meaning that the rate of coronavirus infection among the elderly in the ultra-Orthodox sector is far higher than their proportion of the population.

The percentage of positive tests in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak is also extremely high, standing at 25%, compared to 7.7% nationally.

In Bnei Brak, which has an older population than other ultra-Orthodox cities, such as Modi’in Illit and Beitar Illit, the mortality rate among those aged 70-74 is 4.9 deaths per 1,000 population, six times the national average, and 12.9 deaths per 1,000 population for over 75 in the city, nearly four times the national average.

“Do not forsake me in old age,” the Health Ministry ad implores with a picture of an elderly man holding a cane.

“They are the ones who sacrificed for us all their lives, they were there for us day and night, taught, educated and took care of us. They are our mothers and fathers,” it continues and urges people to obey the COVID health regulations., 13 October 2020

Arno's commentary

Interestingly, those who occupy themselves with the Bible seem to be the least attentive to civil authorities. Similar findings were reported in other countries as well. About contagious disease, Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 24:8: “Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do.” That was the time when healthcare was the responsibility of the religious authority. Today, it’s a government institution (in combination with private entities). But, a “plague” or contagious disease is still the same; those who follow the rules strictly, build themselves a higher level to escape the dreaded virus than those who simply ignore it.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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