Maran HaRav Shteinman Comments on the Nepal Earthquake, Chofetz Chaim Video And More

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shtMaran HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita was asked about the tragedy in Nepal, the massive earthquake that has claimed thousands of lives. The posek hador explained “HKBH is certainly trying to communicate with us”.

The rav is quoted saying “We must be mechazeik, but who is paying attention to this?”

The rav’s chavrusa Rabbi Moshe Schneider relayed the Gadol HaDor’s statements. When asked just what does HKBH want from us, the gadol hador is quoted saying “One who wishes to know understands exactly what HKBH wants from us but one who does not really want to know will not understand…”

The Rosh Yeshiva was then asked to comment on the recent video that went viral, showing the Chofetz Chaim ZT”L.

The Rosh Yeshiva was asked if one should make the bracha שחלק מחכמתו ליראיו when viewing the video. He stated after the petira one does not make the bracha and even when one is alive, one does not make the bracha for a video. One does not make the bracha even if watching the person on a live televised broadcast for the bracha is when one “Sees” the chacham and a video broadcast is not “seeing”.

The Rosh Yeshiva added Chazal teach us that the angels danced at the chasenah of Adom and Chavah. [Now smiling] If that was videoed, the wedding with the malachim dancing it would sell for thousands of dollars today.

Rav Schneider added the Rosh Yeshiva was asked about a shidduch for a girl studying in a chareidi college. The rav said the boy should look for another shidduch, adding

אוי א רחמנות אויף אאידישע טאכטער… רחמנות על בת ישראל

Nebach, a rachmanus on a Yiddisher daughter… Rachmanus on the Bas Yisrael.

The rav was asked if he is concerned the young lady will not find a shidduch, to which he explained he is not worried about her shidduch but if she will find the correct derech and her Yiras Shomayim.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)




15 COMMENTS

  1. Why was that last comment about the shiduch necessary for this story? People will now look at this article and say R’ Ahron Lieb is out of touch with reality. It detracts from the entire message of the earthquake. Sometimes I think there’s nobody home at the Editor’s desk.

  2. “The Rosh Yeshiva was asked if one should make the bracha שחלק מחכמתו ליראיו when viewing the video”

    Someone actually asked a Gadol hador that question? Any bar bei rav dechad yoma should laugh at such a question. R’Shteinman’s tzidkus & anava is evident from the fact he didn’t crack up & actually answered the questioner nicely. People know how to waste our gedolim’s time, to ask questions just to ask.

  3. Thank You for posting this!

    So sad that 50,000 people (NYT estimate) had to die and millions of penniless people had to become homeless, with their villages and livelihoods completely gone, simply in order to send us a message.

    Perhaps another of our Gedolim will provide more insight as to what that message is, so that we could better understand HASHEM’s warning!

    For instance, what’s the reason the Nepalese had to suffer, rather than Yisroel’s enemies, like Hamas and ISIS and Al Qaida?

  4. I don’t understand Rav Steinman’s reaction to a girl studying in a chareidi college. Most chareidi girls,(even chassidishe girls) have degrees today in order to be able to support a husband in learning.

    My friend who has a son in shiduchim says she’s looking for a girl with a good profession.

    Our Gedolim of post WW2 have encouraged the kollel lifestyle where husbands stay in learning and women bring parnassa, and now girls who learn a profession are being condemned???

  5. @Rif: “My friend who has a son in shiduchim says she’s looking for a girl with a good profession.” And what is her son looking for? What does her husband think? Has their Rav or his (the son’s or the husband’s) Rosh Yeshiva or Rebbe been consulted? Ask most bochrim today and they will tell you that girls are being categorically rejected by their mothers whose standards they don’t meet. Lo zu ha’derech.

  6. Shlomo 2:
    That’s not what he meant. Obviously, this did not happen ONLY “in order to send us a message”. Certainly, Hashem had other cheshbonos as well.

    Rif:
    He’s presumably talking about Chareidi Israeli culture, which has a number of substantive differences from the Torah world elsewhere.

  7. “Ask most bochrim today and they will tell you that girls are being categorically rejected by their mothers whose standards they don’t meet.”

    shuali: What type of girls are being rejected? (I didn’t understand this point you’re making.)

  8. I agree with brooklynhocker.

    YWN should stick to reporting the words from our Gedolim that make sense to us — like HASHEM’s having rained death and misery upon a million Nepalese people (now without food, water, or shelter) so that WE will get a message.

    YWN should NOT be reporting things that are harder to fit in to how we view the world, as it might shake our Emunas Chochomim c”v.

  9. HaKatan:

    That’s why I was asking what the cheshbonos might have been to do this to the people of Nepal rather than to our enemies.

    It’s so hard when we know that HASHEM is sending US a message, but can’t figure out for ourselves what the message is. We don’t even understand why there wouldn’t have been some other way of sending that message, without the need for all these Nepalese to suffer so horribly.

    That’s why we rely upon our Gedolim.

    So, I look forward from hearing from them.

  10. @chachom – You ask what type of girls are being rejected. I’ll answer you.
    1) If they are not the right height
    2) If they are not the right age.
    3) If they are not the “size”.
    4) If they did not go to the right schools/Seminary.
    5) If they do not wear the right clothes.
    6) If they did not attend the right camp.
    7) If they did too much chesed (they don’t care about family).
    8) If they did too little chesed (their family doesn’t care about others).
    9) She was involved in too many extra-curricular activities.
    10) She was involved in too few extra-curricular activities.

  11. @hakaton – “That’s not what he meant. Obviously, this did not happen ONLY “in order to send us a message”. Certainly, Hashem had other cheshbonos as well.”
    If you really wish, I will try to provide the sources for this, but suffice it to say that it is clear from the Torah that everything that happens is to send Yidden a message. (“Bereishis, ‘bishvil Yisroel, she’nikreh reishis.'”) The Torah and the entire beriah for which the Torah is the blueprint, is HaShem’s way of “talking” to us.

  12. Shuali:

    Since we haven’t heard from the Gedolim yet, perhaps you could take a crack at explaining the message — and why it was sent in this way.

    Why the people of Nepal, rather than Yisroel’s enemies?
    Why rain down so much misery, just for OUR sake?

    Couldn’t the message have been sent in a different way, not just because of the misery left behind, but because so far not even the Gedolim have told us what the message even was?

    How is it justified that inncocnt people should suffer such devastation, for OUR sake?

    There must be answers, otherwise HASHEM would not have done it.

    But what are they?

    Thanks!

  13. @Shlomo2 – “The rav’s chavrusa Rabbi Moshe Schneider relayed the Gadol HaDor’s statements. When asked just what does HKBH want from us, the gadol hador is quoted saying ‘One who wishes to know, understands exactly what HKBH wants from us, but one who does not really want to know will not understand. . .’”

    So this Gadol, at least, has spoken to us.

  14. Shuali:

    The discussion is not whether the kolel lifestyle is right or wrong, neither is it about mothers with unreasonable demands.

    I raised a question from Rav Steinman’s perspective. The Litvishe Gedolim have encouraged the kolel lifestyle, so I view it as an inconsistency to criticize girls who seek a profession, when their main goal is to support their kolelnik husbands.

    Personally, I believe that the man should be the breadwinner (as the kesuba mandates), and the burden of parnassa should not rest on the wife’s shoulders.

  15. Shuali:
    I wish to know, but I nevertheless don’t understand.

    Since you also wish to know and DO understand, why not share it with me?