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R’ Chaim Kanievsky on Gas Masks

KanievskyIt is being reported that HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita has been asked how the tzibur should act regarding gas masks. The Gadol Hador is not instructing the tzibur to line up for gas masks.

Kikar reports when asked if one should get on line for a gas mask in light of the imminent attack on Syria, Rav Chaim is quoted saying “gas masks, they are for Purim!”

The Gadol Hador is quoted instructed avreichim to continue their limud Torah and not to concern themselves with the ongoing events.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

23 Responses

  1. We all proved that the Gedolei Hador were right before Saddam ys”h fired rockets into Israel, so will it be proven that they are right now that only Torah protects and we must continue limud Torah. The more yeshivas, the more Torah, the more mitzvot, the more protection.

  2. This year is going to be Purim Koton and Purim Godol. So since it’s coming from the Godol Haador, it might be Purim Godol.
    We can even learn from Hommon, even while he was having his own political turmoil with Achashveiros, he dedicated himself to understand the Halochos of Kmutzah of Korbon Mincha.

  3. I dont think YWN should post such stories that arent even verified. It makes the gedolim sound like extremists. What happened to “venishmartem meod lenafshoteichem” (devarim 4,15). I doubt R chaim would against an open pasuk.

  4. Taking the words in the story at face value, could someone please explain them in the context of the well known and often quoted dictum “Ein Somchin Al Hanes?”

  5. This should not be reported. What happens if a charedi listens to this and doesn’t get a gas mask and something C”V happens?
    You censored my last post for some reason, but this one is tame enough. Not everything said needs to be published on YWN.

  6. #7, Coffee addict, that person would not be putting 100% bitachon in the Gedolim, but in the accuracy of YWN’s reporting about what the Gedolim said. This article is what a lawyer might call double heresay. In my opinion it is a little irresponsible or dangerous to publish it. It is not dangerous to follow the Gedolim. It is dangerous to suggest what the Gedolim might have said without verification.

  7. Our problem that every Tom Dick and Harry would like to raise his voice against our Gedolim , why don’t you look at yourself to what low level in emunas Hashem and emunas Chachomim you are that you go against our Gedolim

  8. Gas masks are useless against what is likely to be used in a war. Better to keep learning and carry on as usual. It’s an intelligent, moderate and from a this-world perspective, totally rational response.

  9. I will take a neutral position on this. If your bitachon is that great ,then, absolutely, do not wear masks. If your bitachon is not as great (like me), then go and get your gas masks! BTW-in the photo accompanying another post, I see plenty of chareidim waiting for masks.

  10. #10…. So you’ve paskened. “…Gas masks are useless against what is likely to be used in a war. Better to keep learning and carry on as usual…”
    Second Bet Hamikdash was destroyed for sinat chinam , not for lack of learning. There was plenty of learning .
    And no…. you don’t carry on as usual. You improve your midot and stop cursing your fellow Jew or call him vile names.

  11. Gas masks will not be effective in this type of Gas-Terror War yet it gives a personal menuchas hanefesh, shalva and less stress SO THEREFORE do it!!!!!

  12. #13 – No, but I’ve been in the military, and I had training in chemical warfare, and (as the zionist press has pointed out), the kits the Israelis are getting have no defense against nerve gas. In addition they have very limited defense against mustard gas (one of the leading gases in World War I) or any other agent that attacks through the skin without being inhaled. They only protect you for a short time against breathable gases since the filter needs replacing which is a problem in a civilian setting. They offer no protection against radiation or biological weapons. The reality is that gas warfare against civilians would be devasting (albeit very limited in terms of the geographic range affected – they dillute quickly in the air), and the only thing that prevents its use is fear of retaliation (which is why Germany and Italy used it only in situations where they didn’t fear retaliation).

    So it appears that Rav Kanievsky does know what he is talking about, and the vile criticism against him is totally unjustified. Once countries start using non-conventional weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical or biological) there isn’t much you can do about it. Thus the correct response in such matters is to “keep learning and carry on”. As is being illustrated in Israel, the panic is probably a bigger threat than the gas is likely to be.

  13. I was taught that in medical concerns ask a doctor I do not know what military or secret intelligence has been made available to him thus one may assume his GUESS is as good as anothers

  14. #13 sinas chinam wasn’t the only cause to the destruction of the beis hamikdash. there was some cardinal sins and bittul torah and other things going on as well. and #10 didn’t pasken he just was expressing his interpretation of the reasoning behind the psak ( not a good idea as rav chaim is way beyond our understanding).

  15. How could this be true since one must protect themselves does he also say do not wear set belts?

    AThought says:
    August 29, 2013 at 4:45 am

    We all proved that the Gedolei Hador were right before Saddam ys”h fired rockets into Israel, so will it be proven that they are right now that only Torah protects and we must continue limud Torah. The more yeshivas, the more Torah, the more mitzvot, the more protection.

    that worked well in the 1930’s and 1940’s why not quote the gedolem who said that then

  16. truthsharer,

    thats bordering on being a tzeduki, if someone’s rebbe paskens something that needs to be followed so the talmidim of r chaim kanievski would be following a psak

    im positing a question here, in the last war that gas masks were distributed how many people died because they were wearing a gas mask (albeit improperly) as opposed to not wearing one at all?

  17. This is wrong all around.

    1: YWN reporting (yet again) something a gaol may or may not have said from “sources”. What is this, the enquirer?

    2: Those making negative comments about Rav Chaim Shlita. Even a week before the Yom Hadin?

  18. talmudstudent….1) Check your facts… Bittul Torah was NOT a reason… There was more learning of Torah during the second BH than the first.

    2)Continuing to learn is good, but a threat like this needs prayer and fixing of bein adam lechaveiro, What does this mean CONTINUE to learn? You’ve leatrned before, now there’s a threat , so something else is required.
    3) “Beyond our understanding” is not for this world. Here, a rebbe, rav and educator needs to explain and teach as per Moshe Rabbeinu. Torah lav bashamayim, Our faith is based on explanation, questions and more explanation. We are not cultists nor do we have an infallible pope. The first question in a gemarrah on a mishnah is Minu Hanei Mili? . Please don’t talk down to us as something beyond our understanding. If it is, then explain it..

  19. As a practical matter I doubt a gas mask will matter much as the chances of any chemical weapons being used, that these masks will be useful against, is pretty small.

    I do think you have to realize that this sounds like R’ Kanievsky’s personal opinion on this matter (i.e. he considered the facts as he knows them and based on his understanding of the chances of anything happening and a person’s responsibility to act accordingly) and I don’t think is based on his opinion of supernatural intervention in the matter. If his opinion was based on supernatural intervention than that is akin to relying on a miracle, in lieu of taking practical action, which is contrary to Jewish tradition (unless a prophet comes along, but to be a prophet there are certain tests which no one alive that I am aware of has met). Frankly, I discount the validity of anyone here who would suggest that the opinion of R’ Kanievesky is based on something other than his own rational thought processes.

    That said the conclusion of this can be that a chemical attack does happen and people die or suffer because they did not have gas masks. That still does not make R’ Kanievsky’s analysis incorrect as his directive here may have been based on sound judgement. Reliance on a Gadol’s opinion is no guarantee that anyone’s life will be saved as unfortunately evidenced during WW2 when many Gedolim were against people leaving Europe. Again, there as well the Gedolim may have made a valid analysis based on how they understand life and the situation, but that does not equate to the end result working out the way you hope.

    So to conclude, I would say if it makes you feel better get a gas mask. Hopefully like R’ Kanivesky seems to have concluded it will not be necessary. On the other hand I don’t think anyone has a right to fault you for taking an extra precaution, even one that in the opinion of the Gadol Hador is unnecessary.

  20. Article clearly says he said he said. About the mitsvah to guard ones soul, who says getting a gas mask has anything to do with it? How about storing up food to make sure you have some in the case of war? How about everyone who hasnt a car has to get one so they can flee?
    People are afraid of their shadows.
    About not relying on miracles, why is not getting a gas mask relying on a miracle? Think about it.
    People injure themselves more, with their worries, than they endager themselves with their calm.

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