PSAK HALACHA: HaRav Chaim Kanievsky: “Assur To Daven In A Minyan, Din Rodeif To Anyone Who Violates Health Ministry Directives”

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In light of the rapidly increasing cases of the coronavirus in Bnei Brak and other Chareidi areas, Harav Chaim Kanievsky instructed the rabbanim of Bnei Brak on Sunday that each person should daven in yechidus and not in a minyan since it’s a matter of pikuach nefesh.

It should be noted that when Rosh Yeshivah Hagaon Harav Gershon Edelstein, who also signed the letter forbidding anyone from davening even in an improvised minyan, saw that the letter included the term “the residents of our city,” he instructed that it be publicized in his name that “despite the wording, the ruling applies to every place” and not just Bnei Brak.

Harav Chaim also condemned anyone who violates Israel’s Health Ministry directives, saying that such a person has a din of a rodeif and paskened that it’s permissible to report shuls or institutions that violate Health Ministry directives to the police even if the gabbaim will be required to pay heavy fines or even face imprisonment.

Bnei Brak rabbanim will soon publicize a special letter calling to the community not to hold improvised minyanim at the directive of Harav Chaim.

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Full letter:

1. A person that is obligated according to the doctors’ instructions to self-quarantine in order not to infect others in case he’s positive for the virus, but he feels good and doesn’t feel ill at all, can he leave his home or he must listen to the doctors although he feels well?

Harav Chaim: “He must listen to the doctors.”

2. A person who claims that he trusts in Hashem that he won’t become ill and therefore he makes light of the health ministry’s instructions (keeping a distance from others, not leaving the home unless it’s urgent, etc.) can he be defined as a “rodeif” because he’s liable to endanger others?

Harav Chaim: “K’rodeif.”

3. And if someone chas v’shalom makes light of the instructions and causes someone to die, is he considered a meizid (someone who purposely kills someone) or shogeig (someone who kill someone accidently)?

Harav Chaim: “Close to a meizid.”

4. If you know about someone who’s obligated to be in quarantine who nevertheless goes out and endangers others, it is muttar to berate him loudly and forcefully, although it may embarrass him?

Harav Chaim: “It’s muttar.”

5. Is it muttar to give over the name of a person who makes light of the doctor’s instructions and endangers others to the authorities [police]? And is it muttar to give over information about shuls and mosdos who are not adhering to the health ministry’s regulations, even if it may result in a high fine or even imprisonment?

Harav Chaim: “Muttar.”

6. On Shabbos, should one leave a phone on in case the doctors need to reach him and can one answer [the phone] due to the possibility of pikuach nefesh?

Harav Chaim: “Muttar.”

7. What can the community accept upon themselves in order to end the horrible mageifah in which many people have already died?

Harav Chaim: To Daven.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




21 COMMENTS

  1. It should be clarified that Reb Chaim shlita only forbade davening with a minyan in Bnei Brak where the situation is especially dire and not in other cities, at the moment.

  2. It is important to note that this psak is specifically for the city of bnei brak.
    R’Chaim shlita was very specific that only in bnei brak does this apply. Everywhere else in EY people should daven with a minyan within the guidelines of the ministry of health.

  3. For those of you have difficulty with English, here is what it says: “he instructed that it be publicized in his name that “despite the wording, the ruling applies to every place” and not just Bnei Brak”.

  4. Why do some of these questions need to be asked at this point when every few hours we read about another gadol or chashuvah rav being niftar from the virus? Any why only BB….does the virus respect the boundaries between BB and Ramat Gan or Givat Shmuel? Davening with minyanim or ANY other gathering should be prohibited immediately anywhere in EY until the rate of spread has slowed considerably.

  5. It does not only apply to Bnei Brak, but to everywhere, as the article stated:

    “It should be noted that when Rosh Yeshivah Hagaon Harav Gershon Edelstein, who also signed the letter forbidding anyone from davening even in an improvised minyan, saw that the letter included the term “the residents of our city,” he instructed that it be publicized in his name that “despite the wording, the ruling applies to every place” and not just Bnei Brak.”

  6. Has a copy of the actual letter signed by Rav Gershon shlit”a and other rabbanim in Bnei Brak been made public yet?
    Also, to those in the US, please don’t be to be quick to criticize. The pace of the outbreak in EY and the Ministry of Health’s regulations in EY which are very strict yet explicitly allow outdoor minyanim in groups of ten with two meter distancing make the situation different than in the NY area.

  7. Why are so many people stark raving mad, we
    Cannot daven in a minyan anywhere – lest we infect and cause people to die. It’s very disappointing that rabbi Kanievsky didn’t make a declaration like this 2/3 weeks ago which would have prevented death.

    Is this because there’s an accute lack of education or just a bunch of misguided people who have lost love for humanity

    Every single one of you who doesn’t listen to government is and should be regarded and treated like a murderer ie someone who through their actions or in action wishes to kill people.

  8. @hello99 IF YOU DOVEN WITH A MINYAN YOU ARE RODEIF OR ARE CLOSE TO MEIZID ACCORDING TO THE PRINCE OF TORAH, THE GEDOLAH, HARAV CHAIM KANIEVSKY, SHLITAH. IF YOU TWIST HIS WORDS BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ON SUCH A HIGHER MADREGAH AS THE HOLY RAV, THEN YOU CAN ADD SHEKER AND BA’AL GAIVAH TO YOUR SENTENCE. BE SMART…

  9. @hello99 IF YOU DOVEN WITH A MINYAN YOU ARE RODEIF OR ARE CLOSE TO MEIZID ACCORDING TO THE PRINCE OF TORAH, THE GEDOLAH, HARAV CHAIM KANIEVSKY, SHLITAH. IF YOU TWIST HIS WORDS BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ON SUCH A HIGHER MADREGAH AS THE HOLY RAV, THEN YOU CAN ADD SHEKER AND BA’AL GAIVAH TO YOUR SENTENCE. BE SMART.

  10. For all those who didn’t read the actual questions and answers, the question was whether someone who was PUT IN QUARANTINE can leave to go to a minyan or learn. He did not say it’s assur for anyone else.
    The headline is not accurate and misleading.

  11. Even after this much-delayed P’sak, there are still idiotic people on this blog who say the Gzerah is only in Bnie Brak!! These outrageously idiotic and blatant Am Haretzis comments by “rodfim” who think they are so smart; actually will have blood on their hands if they continue this stupid and infamous behavior and attitude. Perhaps after you go to Minyan, you should run home and hug your wife and kids, if your so confident everything is good. You will have to answer to HKB”H when your time comes! BTW do you need a Psak to use common sense and to act on what’s happening?
    As it is, this P’sak was late, dangerously late, resulting in how many infections and how many deaths and future deaths. Shameful. Chilul Hasham 101. We only hope this will prevent more stupidity. 17 frum Chassidisha people died this weekend. Were they were waiting for a P’sak? Are we smarter than the Doctors?. What more is there to say? Hashem Y’rachem

  12. k55, Dryidd, gadolhadorah and for others who are making derogatory comments about huge talmidei chachamim and gedolim:
    Please get your facts right. Here in Eretz Yisrael the misrad haberiut (ministry of health) still allows minyanim to be held outdoors with ten people as long as the people are spaced out. Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita is actually being MORE MACHMIR than the ministry of health and asuring all minyanim. He trusted the professionalism of the doctors and medical personell in the ministry of health to give him the proper information and he told everyone to follow their guidelines regarding minyanim even before today! So for you to say that they are misinformed or lost love for humanity when he is asuring something even ahead of the ministry of health is ignorant and disrespectful to the gadol hador. Perhaps you should question the ministry of health… Also can you please tell me why what you are saying is not rechilus and lashon hara… There is absolutely no toeles to it since Rav Chaim Kanievsky himself just asured all minyanim… Do you really think that instigating sinas chinam, speaking lashon hara and rechilus is the way to cause this machalah to go away? Rav Eliyashiv zatzal used to say that cancer is prevalent today because the Gemara says one who is mevazeh a talmid chacham will have no cure. I would be very careful making other posts such as the ones you made in the future…

  13. If you ever needed a reason as to why everyone should have real time access to information via the internet (even with filters) the events of the past few weeks will hopefully stop the insanity of keeping yidden deaf and blind to constantly changing information about the crisis . Earlier, in trying to explain why segments of the Chareidi tzibur continue to behave in a reckless manner which jeopardizes their own health and that of the public-at-large, the mayor of a major Chareidi community said that these people are totally oblivious to what is happening around the world and even in EY.

  14. The response to Coronavirus is dynamic depending on the place and time. R’ Chaim is being more strict than the Health Ministry requirements because of the bad situation in Bnei Brak which was caused by a lot of dumb people not following social distancing guidelines. Itzkowitz was open for way too long, people were crowded in supermarkets and in mikvaos, which is where the vast, vast majority of spreading occurred.

    R’ Chaim’s earlier approach in keeping the Yeshivos and schools open was the response at that time, because the guidelines being imposed on them were not being kept in the IDF! The point was for parity in that regard – and once the ministry insisted on total closure, it was done more or less immediately. The dire situation in Bnei Brak has nothing to do with it – there are other places in Eretz Yisrael that also kept their Chadarim open as long as they did in Bnei Brak and there is nowhere near that sort of outbreak.

  15. To all those who are making derogatory comments about huge talmidei chachamim and gedolim:
    Please for your own good, get your facts right before putting down such a big talmid chacham. Here in Eretz Yisrael the misrad haberiut (ministry of health) still allows minyanim to be held outdoors with ten people as long as the people are spaced out. Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita is actually being MORE MACHMIR than the ministry of health and asuring all minyanim. He trusted the professionalism of the doctors and medical personell in the ministry of health to give him the proper information and he told everyone to follow their guidelines regarding minyanim even before today! So for some of you to even suggest that he is misinformed or chas vshalom lost love for humanity when he is prohibiting something even ahead of the ministry of health is ignorant and disrespectful to the gadol hador. Perhaps you should question the ministry of health… Also can you please tell me why what you are saying is not rechilus and lashon hara… There is absolutely no toeles to it since Rav Chaim Kanievsky himself just asured all minyanim… Do you really think that instigating sinas chinam, speaking lashon hara and rechilus is the way to cause this machalah to go away? Rav Eliyashiv zatzal used to say that cancer is prevalent today because the Gemara says one who is mevazeh a talmid chacham will have no cure. I would be very careful making other posts such as the ones you made in the future…

  16. The letter on this page isn’t the one banning Minyanim. A special letter is mentioned at the bottom. It would be helpful if the editors could publish a copy of that letter.