BREAKING VIDEO: Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Tells Miami Residents To Leave Their Homes! ‘Sakanah!’


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Hurricane Irma’s size and strength put the entire state of Florida on notice Tuesday, and residents and visitors prepared to leave in anticipation of catastrophic winds and floods that could reach the state by this weekend.

Throughout South Florida, officials readied evacuation orders and people raided store shelves, buying up water and other hurricane supplies. Long lines formed at gas stations and people pulled shutters out of storage and put up plywood to protect their homes and businesses.

Meanwhile, on Rechov Rashbam in Bnei Brak a question was posed as what residents of Miami should do. Should the residents stay or they should leave? Rav Chaim was explained about the recent storm in Texas, and the high number of deaths.

“There may be evacuation orders in Miami over Shabbos. Should they therefore leave before (Shabbos), or should they stay?” – he was asked.

Rav Chaim responded with one word – “Sakanah!”

The Gabboim then confirmed, “So in the time of Sakanah they should leave.”

The Gadol Hador nodded his head in response.

Watch the video below to see for yourself.


(Chaim Shapiro – YWN)


  1. Kindly, change the headline. It is very misleading. Rav Chaim is not telling residents of Miami to evacuate because he sees prophetically that they are in danger. The questionnaire presents a devastating scenario and asks what should be done if members of “our” community who are in Miami are told to evacuate on shabbos. To that he answers (really echos back) “Sakana” as in you just described a situation of sakanos nefoshos so of course it is docheh shabbos. We didn’t need R’ Chaim to tell us this either. This is a very misleading sensationalist headline worthy of the national enquirer.

  2. This is a blatant example of how Rabbonim are exploited, just to kvetch out a sound bite. Was he “paskening” from common sense based on the information fed to him in Yiddish and Hebrew or Ruach Hakodesh? It’s sort a bizayon of Talmidei Chachamim.

  3. during hurricane sandy the five town and far rockaway rabbonim sent out emails how to ferzich during evacuation orders on Shabbos including arrangements made prior and if radios should be left on etc

  4. bogus psak as mentioned in the comments above. he doesnt know anything about the storm hes just answering to info being fed to him. this is why you can’t trust all the psakim anymore. this goes on everywhere all the time.

  5. At the very end of the video, the questioner himself, NOT RAV CHAIM, said “so they should evacuate”. Rav Chaim did NOT respond to that!
    I agree. Don’t put words in Rav Chaims mouth.

  6. Putting aside the issue of a “bogus psak”, why did the guy in the white shirt (the Rav’s Gabbai??) feel the need to repeat almost in entirety the original question posed by the guy in the black suit? It appeared the question was very straightforward and clear…. I’m sure the Rav knows what a category 5 hurricane is, even if he doesn’t follow the hourly updates from the Weather Channel

  7. actually this is why you don’t rely on what your friend tells you his rav said…even a video is being distorted imagine if we just read this without the video…bottomline you can not rely on the words of other people in the name of a rav…either you see letter or something from the posek or you ask your own daas torah….and realize two people can ask the same question and get two different answers that are both right.

  8. One person said that we didn’t need Reb Chaim to tell us this. That is not true. Many people sit home and try to ride out the storm. Reb Chaim is hoping that they will listen to him and evacuate.
    Another person said that Rabbonim are being exploited. It’s pretty obvious that someone from Florida called up someone from Bnei break and requested that he ask the Rav this question. How is the Rav being exploited?
    To the comment about bogus Psak: I am certain that it is in your best interest to ask your Rav to show you in Neviim the story about Yeshayahu HaNavi, what happened to him on the last few days of his life. Also please ask your Rav, what did the Prophet do wrong that caused this unusual end.

  9. Agree with rest of comments. Rav Chaim shlit’a is just nodding and saying nu yes if there’s a chashash sakana so must travel on Shabbos…which of course they didn’t need to ask him since so poshut…the question is rather absurd and wasting his precious time if you ask me…he didn’t say that everybody should run out now…once again people adding on to what the Gedolim shlit’a say…well at least it’s not as bad as sticking digital image of their signature to public letters when they weren’t told full story about issue, or not told about at all…
    M- Yes I didn’t get that either. Maybe the gabbai had a clearer/louder voice? Dunno.

  10. Better question: Why are you asking a Rabbi about a storm? If you’re 20 years old and you don’t know that you should be already evacuating when a Level 5 Hurricane is coming your way, maybe we should be asking what’s wrong with the Yeshiva system. This isn’t a beef with the Rabbi. The beef is with the people around him who think he is something that he isn’t. Maybe, the schools need better science education. There’s such a reluctance to water it down or not even teach those subjects that you wonder why a small handful of people rely on these kind of conversations and subsequent approbations. It is maddening. We should be going to Rabbis for more important advice on matters of halacha. This is not one of them. This only showcases how people abuse the system and use Rabbis inappropriately. Chutzpah. This video was chutzpah! How dare you!

  11. Don’t Cjhazel want us to use our minds that HaShem gave us? Why do we need to ask on the obvious questions and not on the tough one?

  12. Sorry i dont need reb chaim to tell me to evacuate if officials say evacuate any sane person would, why are people wasting his time asking dumb questions

  13. this makes me a bit suspicious about those caring for this elderly rabbi. clearly, his dignity should not be compromised by silly questions. perhaps next time they will inquire if a jew dies on a plane mid-air, must kohanim on board jump off? i assume they will get the same answer – sakanah.

  14. It bothers me a lot when people write disparaging words based on their lack on knowledge and information.

    Permit me to shed some light on this video:
    HaRav Chaim, shlita has 5 gabbaim. Both men in this video with him are gabbaim. The elder one is in charge of the flow of traffic of visitors. He decides when someone is allowed to go into Rav Chaim’s room and who receives VIP. The younger one is his grandson. His job is to clarify questions asked to Rav Chaim. There is a unique bond between the two of them and his grandson knows exactly how to formulate sheilot bringing out only those points that are nogea for Rav Chaim to give his psak or advice. Furthermore, Rav Chaim is very m’katzeir with his words. Often people don’t understand what his response was. His grandson (who has a deep understanding of his grandfather) often will explains what Rav Chaim’s response was. Another point to know is that he also is very aware of Rav Chaim’s body language and nuances.

    In this video when Rav Chaim looked his direction. That means he wants his grandson to clarify what is being asked.
    To my understanding the question at hand was “if authorities come on Shabbos requesting people to leave can they be relied upon to be michalel Shabbos or does the danger need to be absolutely clear?” To that Rav Chaim expressed that it is a sekana (I assume he means that even for a sufek sekana nefashos they should be michalel).

    I did not hear any statement that they should leave before Shabbos, but this point it is moot. The question was asked before the knowledge that this hurricane will absolutely hit Florida.

  15. I read the comments. Some of the comments were not nice. Imagine it happened once that you actually made a mistake, how would you like another person to explain to you the mistake? What kind of terminology should he use? Please correct another person the EXACT same way that you would like to be corrected. Thank you
    כתיבה וחתימה טובה