Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Tells Yeshivas To Open; Netanyahu Warns Against Move


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Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky instructed all Talmudei Torah in the Chareidi sector to open tomorrow in direct opposition with the government’s instruction to keep schools closed. HaRav Kanievsky instructed that all students from grades 1 through 8 should be learning in school tomorrow, and follow the guidelines inside the schools. The guidelines that the Gadol HaDor stated were students keeping their distances, a smaller number of students per class, and more staff to compensate for the smaller class sizes. Hagaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponavezh opposed this ruling and stated that the children in this age group should learn via phone.

According to reports in the Israel media, various Chassidic groups are also planning to open schools tomorrow. The Gerrer Chassidus, the largest Chassidic group in Israel has not yet made a decision as to whether they will open schools or not. According to the decision of the government, only daycares and kindergarten’s may open tomorrow, even in “red cities”.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to HaRav Kanievsky’s announcement and said: “We have a limited number of police officers and inspectors, but we will use them. I call upon the Chareidi leadership not to open schools tomorrow. I also call upon the Chareidi public to keep the regulations. We will maintain the closure around “red cities” and I want to see them all turn “green”. I don’t want to see the infection rate in these cities spread to the rest of the population. While we cannot send a police officer to every street corner, we will do what we must.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also called on the Chareidi public to follow the virus rules, but didn’t directly mention HaRav Kanievsky. “There can’t be two states here. No group or person in Israel is above the law — no one,” he tweeted.

Gantz called on Chareidi leaders to instruct their followers to adhere to the guidelines, citing “pikuach nefesh”.



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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. I am not understanding this. Bnei Brak was the last to shut down in the beginning of covid which caused tragic problems why do this again?

  2. “Hagaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponavezh opposed this ruling and stated that the children in this age group should learn via phone.”

  3. Gantz surely knows well that there were chareidim in E”Y long before the Zionists invaded and founded their Idolatrous State of Israel.

    It is the Zionists who need to yield to the chareidim, not the other way around.

  4. A wk ago when reb chaim suggested this rav gershon asked to hold off a wk and try to work it out w gov. But on friday when no satisfactory plan was developed. Rav edelstien signed w reb chaim after reviewing the latest covid numbers, reb chaim felt it doesn’t currently reach the level of shechichi hezeka

  5. Netanyahu and Gantz are not poskim in halacha. The question of whether this is pikuach nefesh for the guf or for the neshama is a halachic question and it must be answered only by poskim. And if the poskim say open then the government’s opinion is irrelevant. The Torah is above the law, in Israel just as in the USSR.

  6. according to first hand info that I have heard from yeshiva bochrim, many yeshivas have had outbreaks of the virus and it lasted only a short time with NO one seriously ill. Three different neighbors (bochrim) got it with their yeshiva and suffered no taste or smell for two days. They reported a FEW bochrim we in bed for a few days and then it passed.

    I think OPEN yeshivas, let them catch it and the whole yeshiva is a closed zone for two or three weeks. Then these boys won’t catch it again or pass it on.