PSAK HALACHAH: Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Says Americans Can Carry Guns To Shul [SEE THE VIDEO]


The attached video is fascinating and the Psak Halacha is timely:

A Rav from Monsey asked Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky if guards with weapons should be posted at shuls in America due to the recent spate of anti-Semitic incidents.

Rav Chaim first answered that everyone should do as they want. But then Rav Chaim was told that the mispallelim want to do what the Rav tells them and Harav Chaim said not to post guards.

The second question was should some mispallelim acquire weapons to bring to shul?

Harav Chaim answered that they should if it’s pikuach nefesh.

The question was explained further that it’s not a matter of “immediate” pikuach nefesh, but of potential pikuach nefesh due to the recent spike in anti-Semitic attacks.

Harav Chaim answered that mispallelim can bring weapons to shul.


(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. watch the video and tell me if the headline is accurate???
    the gabai tells reb chaim that the stabbing in monsey is ” maasim bechol yom”
    and he asks further if the shul may hire a gaurd for money ? and reb chaims answer after he screams es iz norah noraos ” aini yodea” so he translates “do what you want”/ so he doesnt like that answer and he says they are chassidim of the rav they want to do what the rav says then reb chaim says ” lech lishon ” go to sleep” so he asks again should they put a gaurd w a gun reb chaim says “NO” so he asks again should the mispalelim carry guns to shul reb chaim answers “if its pikuach nefesh

  2. Some one shout teach the guy in the picture some basic gun safety handling before he is even allowed to touch a gun. No finger on the trigger until ready to shoot, there is no such thing as “unloaded” gun.

  3. Complete bizayon of the halachic process.
    Life and death shailos should be handled with all the info, in a professional manner, not having to be yelled into an aging gadols ear, so that he can make out the basic shaila
    When ppl in our era lack emunas chachomim and challenge “daas torah” it’s bc of videos like this.

    Not to mention he said shvartzeh like 6 times….. Very good to be on an easily accessible English news site๐Ÿ™„

  4. There was a similar video posted about evacuation from Miami during a hurricane where Rav Chaim said that one should leave if it’s pikuach nefesh. What’s missing from both of these posts is that Rav Chaim never paskened on whether it is pikuach nefesh or not. He just said the obvious, that for pikuach nefesh almost everything is mutar. I don’t even see the point of the question. My fear is that people will misconstrue this post as Rav Chaim paskening that it’s a chiyuv to bring a gun to shul, as opposed to what he actually said that if it’s a pikuach nefesh, you’re allowed to bring a gun to shul.

  5. if its a sakana or even safek sakana to go to shul, why should anyone be allowed to go to shul?. there are more car accidents then yidden going to shul being hurt ื”ื™ืœ”ืช. and we are allowed to drive cars or cross streets. Given the number of shuls and shul gowers in America, would the recent attacks permit carrying weapons on shabbos? I assume Harav kanievski was talking about shabbos.

  6. Please please please!
    If you do decide to carry a weapon, make sure that you are properly trained.
    Shooting a person who is shooting at you is NOT as simple as hitting a paper target.
    Regular weapons training, regular shooting, and regular tactical training are an absolute minimum if you want to carry a gun.
    Untrained civilians running around with weapons is a recipe for accidents.

  7. R’ Chaim was asked if they must post a guard at the door even if it costs money, he answered that they can, but don’t have to. When pressed What does the Rav think they should do – He said no.

    The second question was if shul members should purchase guns & bring it to shul – R’ Chaim said yes. (He did not address Shabbos)

  8. the crux of the question is the balance of risk vs. hishtadlus, meaning has there been such a change in safety that spending shul money on a guard is a necessary required step . the challenge is that in each shul you have a few sincere mispallelim that feel ” unsafe & a need to do something” are their fears warranted or are decisions based on data & logic .
    a detailed give & take of the video i posted but YWN didnt post yet

  9. The underlying question is that if you get arrested for bringing in a firearm illegally into a Shul, you can confidently tell the judge that you have a P’sak that allows you to bring one in.

  10. i`m sorry YWN. you need to go back to first grade and learn alef eis over again. and video contradicts what your your saying abunch of times

  11. watch it again ! the gabbai asks the shoel who gave you the eitza that you should put security!! like where did you come up with this idea

  12. This post is irresponsible, sensationalistic, and misleading, and should be significantly edited, if not removed entirely.

    Some of the issues with it have been well brought out in the above comments.

    There is a reason why we have local ืจื‘ื ื™ื, local decisors of ื”ืœื›ื”, to rule on questions of Jewish law. Part of it is because they are aware of local conditions, which are then taken into account in their deliberations. People in a distant land, who do not know the local contemporary situation in the place under discussion, are disadvantaged in terms of not fully grasping the prevailing facts and trends, and should not be asked such questions. The questions should rather be directed to ื’ื“ื•ืœื™ื in the local area under discussion,

  13. WoW. there are so many detractors here its incredible. So, if anyone cares.
    There seem to be 3 attitudes when it comes to these events.
    1) do teshuva, dont touch guns
    2) get guns and RAAAAAAh
    3) We must do teshuva, and ascertain that we do proper hishtadlus.
    I’ll just write off the first two because both are foolish, i dont think i would change any minds by going into why.
    Regarding the 3rd, It is a clear halach in SH”A that jews should weaponize to defend themselves, as the SH”A paskens in hilchos shabbos that we can hold sticks even on shabbos if there is a mob approaching the town.
    The only question, albeit a difficult one, is what is the proper hishtadlus. That is any sane persons thought pattern. And that is the very reasonable question posed to R” Chaim Shlit”a.
    And for those who have difficulty following events in the video,here thay are for you:
    The gabbai tells r’ chaim that there is sinas yisroel daily in america, and that a Goy, A Shvartza Goy, walked into a shul and stabbed people. (he said shvartza once as far as i can remember, contrary to that guy who commented that it was 6 times).
    He then says That this person is asking in the name of his rav if they should hire security or ‘hashlech al Hashem”.
    R chaim asks what do THEY want.
    The gabbai says they want what the rov says.
    R’ Chaim Replies “to go to sleep”.
    The gabbai smiles and intimates that they need a real response, should thay get a gaurd?
    R chaim says “NO”.
    The man asks then should the congregants obtain their own firearms.
    The gabbai says to r’ chaim in america everyone may obtain a gun should they bring such to shul.
    R’ Chaim responds “if its pikuach nefesh”
    The man, through the gabbai then says there is no danger that is presently before them, but it can happen.
    R chaim responds “they may”

  14. Why are they asking Reb Chaim, he doesn’t know the metzius in America. This should be asked to the Poskim in America who are familiar with the issues.
    The whole thing was a Bizayon of Reb Chaim, such a pathetic video.

  15. The Gadol Hador said they should go to sleep. That was the psak halacha.
    Listen closely and watch – He clearly was not nearly as hell bent on the concept like some (including the gabbai) want to believe.

  16. He answered “Yecholim”, i.e. they may, not that people have a chiyuv. Unfortunately, states like New York don’t even allow you to train with a handgun at a range before you go through the $$ and immense hassle of getting a permit, plus there are limited safety classes, etc. etc. I highly recommend anyone interested in becoming a gun owner take the NRA’s introduction to pistol/rifle online course. I don’t care what you think about their politics, this particular course can be a real eye-opener for anyone interested in using a firearm for self defense.

    For most people “out-of-town” in States without such restrictions, you should be able to call up your local range and ask if they give classes.