Maran Rav Elyashiv Shlita Dispels Widely Accepted Custom


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elyash1.jpgGadol Hador Maran Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv has dispelled the widely spread custom of davening at the Kosel 40 consecutive days, an act that is believed to carry a special koach and assist those seeking a y’shua.

According to Rabbi Moshe Fried in his ‘Dvar Hashem Zu Halacha’ publication, based on personally asking the Rav questions during frequent visits, Rav Elyashiv is quoted as stating there is “no inyan” in such an act, adding one’s tefillos are accepted each time one davens at the Kosel.

There are a few major Tzedakas which advertise that they will “daven for 40 days consecutively at the Kosel” if you donate monies to their organizations. They also advertise doing this custom at other Mekomos Hakdoshim. Rav Elyashiv did not say anything about those – just the Kosel.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. I’d love to hear his opinion on going to Uman for R”H and other such things that the general populace of Amoratzim (not including Emeseh Ehrliche Breslover Chasidim) do only because the commercialized world we live in convinces these small minded people that its the right thing to do.

    Please Rabbi Fried ask Rav Eliashiv this question.

  2. Commercialism is the drive for these “segulahs”. Give your money for worthy causes, not because you’ll get something in return. R’ Elyashiv knows kol hatorah kulah, and if he says “no inyan” then there’s none.
    P.S. Many other “segulahs” are myths as well. Such as the crowd by a chassunah davening by the chuppah- no such inyan brought anywhere (maybe it’s to keep people quiet).
    P.P.S. R’ Elyashiv “endorsing” a tzedakah means they shoved some papers in his face, took some pictures, and he said, “helping yesomim, yeah, sounds wonderful.”

  3. While I would not take issue with Rav Elyashiv, shlita on this or anything else. It is a widely known story that the Zvhiller Rebbe, ZT”L “Reb Shlomika” told someone to do this for a yeshuah. when the woman responded that she was unable due to family obligations (young children) the Zvhiller Rebbe, Zt”L went for her and that his tefillos were answered.

  4. Although I’m of course mekabel what the Gadol Haposkim of our generation, who is a grandson of the famous Mekubal the “Lashem”, says (if he indeed did so. This would not be the first time he has been quoted out of context or inaccurately!), I would like to put on record that when I once discussed a certain problem with the Tzaddik Rav Yaakov Galinski shlitoh, he advised me to pay someone to go and davven at the Kosel for 40 days specifically for me (i.e. not someone who would go anyway or who is making a “wholesale business” of davening there for others at the same time). He clearly believed in the seguloh.
    As an interesting follow up. I told him that I couldn’t afford to pay someone to do so and asked him for a Brochoh. He gave us a Brochoh and, believe it or not, just 3 hours later the Yeshuoh came from a totally unexpected direction.
    Next time the Tzaddik comes in your area queue up!

  5. I wonder whether in previous generations yidden also went to their gedolim to question well established minhagim and segulos, or is it only in our generation of cynics that such is done? And the pleasure of then announcing that a gadol says it’s “all wrong” gives the cynics even greater pleasure!

  6. The Rav was probably just trying to stress that everyones’s teffilos are excepted, if they are zoche, and NOT ONLY if you do this. If Hashem want’s something to happen it will, no matter what.

  7. there may be “no inyan” in such an act, but i davened for an older bochor to find a shidduch for 40 days at the kotel, after he had spent many years unsuccessfully looking for his zivug. 2 days after i had finished the 40 days he called to tell me he was engaged, and not long after that he was happily married.

    so there may be “no inyan” to daven for 40 days, but the Kotel is certainly a special place to daven. I’m sure Hashem will be happy to see you davening there whenever you can.

  8. We live in a time where many do not have a mesorah from previous generations whether because they are baalei teshuva or come from families where many died in the Holocaust or they attended yeshivas that have distanced themselves from discussing/learning about such things. Therefore, when they hear or read about a particular minhag or segula they have no recourse but to ask a Rav. Then, depending on the Rav’s own background or preferences (yeshivish vs. chasidish for example) and how the Rav understands the questioner’s personality and background, the segula will either be supported or not. Of course some segulas and minhagim are brought down in seforim going back many years. It’s always interesting and illuminating to look up in the Taamei Minhagim about many practices that one may have questions about.

  9. I know first hand from someone who heard from Hatzadik Hakadosh R’ Shlomke M’zvhil z”tvkllha that this is an accepted mesorah. there is no question that Rashkbhag R Alyashiv Shlit”a was misquoted.

  10. Surely we can all believe that our tefillos at the kosel are accepted, even if we don’t make it 40 days to the kosel,and therefore by making known what HoRav Elyashiv said should encourage those who are davening even once at the kosel to realize their tefillos go straight up to shomayim. One doesn’t need to rely on segulos to connect with Hashem, and have tefillos answered. Davening with wholehearted kavona, learning Torah, doing mitzvos, and being an emesdik yid-that’s where we should put our efforts.

  11. Whether this story is true or not, “dispelled” is definitely the wrong word to have used. The story and headline as written make no sense. Whatever RYSE may or may not have done, he has certainly not “dispelled” the custom.

  12. Dayan Fisher ztz”l was an adom gadol too.
    He recommended this “custom” and hundreds have heard it from him.
    Actually I asked a “mkurav” to Reb Elyashiv to ask him whether I should go to the Kosel for 40 days. He responded to me “I know that R’ Elyashiv will say that learning Torah is the best segula”. He came back to me quite surprised. He told me that Reb Elyashiv told him yes! I should daven for 40 days at the Kosel!
    Not surprising that there are contradictions. You have to know exactly how the question was presented to him and how exactly he answered it.

  13. to number 7 krunch: there is an inyan to davening by a chupa. It is an “eis ratzon”, certainly for the chossen and kalla and I think also for everyone else present. It is not necessarily a “segula”, just a good idea to do. Not everything has to be a “Segula” – do this at this time and you will be answered. If you daven to Hashem from your heart he will answer you no matter what the time or place but there is a concept of “eis ratzon” and a chuppa is one of those.

    And it is certainly a better use of your time during the chuppa to daven then to shmooze, there is no reason to belittle people who are doing something good such as davening especially when the alternative is doing nothing or chas veshalom speaking lashon hara or disturbing the ceremony

  14. When it comes to the concept of segulas, one shouldn’t think of it a magic potion but rather as a way of making yourself a better person and thereby being zocheh to whatever it is you need. Someone who goes to a holy place such as the kossel for 40 days and davens bikavana for himself will certainly become a better person because of it and possibly be zocheh to be have his request fulfilled. It certainly couldn’t hurt unless he is being mevatel Torah to do it.

    It’s a little harder to see how this applies to having someone else do it for you. I assume the zechus of tzedaka and/or the zechus of the other person’s tefillos can help you. I personally would advise having someone who knows you well and feels your pain daven for you rather than some random person even if it is a great gadol. Give tzedaka to a worthy cause (which might be the person himself who is doing the davening for you) and don’t just sit back and let the magic work. You yourself should try to daven with extra kavana during the 40 days as well even if you are not at the kossel yourself.

  15. As an aside, why does these pamphlets make it sound like Gedolim won’t daven for you because you need the Yeshua, or because of Chesed – but because they are for sale and you paid for them? So a poor person is not allowed to get a Brocha from a tzaddik, and a rich person can buy all the Brochos he wants?

  16. It’s easy to double check if indeed he said it or not! Ask Him Again! He’s Boruch HaShem able to answer and readily does so! It does need hezber! Nisht Eck Velt!

  17. “#10

    Finally, some words of sanity regarding these ridiculous practices. Let’s add to the list of “no inyan” 40 times perek shira, 40 times tehillim, and for that matter, forty times anything. Such magic potion thinking is the soup de jour of the modern gullible bais yaakov product, and I’m glad that Rav Elyashiv has put this one to rest.

    Comment by onlyemes — November 11, 2009 @ 4:57 am”

    Oh yes. I AGREE. If there is anything that annoys me, it’s how today’s women think everything can be solved through “40 times this, 40 times that”.