HaGaon HaRav Edelstein: “It Was A Decree On The Generation”

Rav Sorotzkin speaks to HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein.

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Rav Eliezer Sorotzkin, the head of Chinuch Atzmai in Israel, spoke to the Rosh Yeshivah, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, on Monday on various chinuch issues ahead of a conference for principals of girls’ schools, including how to understand the Meron disaster.

HaRav Sorotzkin: A terrible tragedy occurred to all of Klal Yisrael as well as specifically to Chinuch Atzmai. We have one teacher who lost her husband and a teacher who lost her son and some lost their brothers. Everyone is asking: what do we say to the teachers, what do we say to the students? And what we can we be mechazeik in? What kabbalah can we accept?

Rosh Yeshivah: There’s a Gemara in Kesuvos – חשיב את לאתפוסי אדרא [you’re worthy to be taken for the generation]. The generation needs chizzuk. In order that the dor will be mechazeik, they take the tzaddik. The tzaddik is taken for the sins of the generation. The tzaddik wants to be mezakeh the dor through teshuvah. When [the tzaddik] is niftar, the dor is misorer [wakes up].

HaRav Sorotzkin: So it was something to benefit the dor?

Rosh Yeshivah: Yes. They [the niftarim] were mezakeh the rabbim [the public]. It’s the zechus of the tzaddik, the tzaddik benefits from it, that he’s mezakeh the rabbim.

Rav Sorotzkin: And this concept is a way to reassure the students and teachers?

Rosh Yeshivah: Yes. These niftarim awaken us to do teshuvah, they atone for the generation. There was a story that happened with the Chofetz Chaim, he had a son-in-law, a young man, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Levinson, and he died young. His daughter asked her father, why did he die, wasn’t he a tzaddik? The Chofetz Chaim told her: ‘There was a gezeirah on the dor and he atoned for the dor through his death! This is his zechus, he was mezakeh the dor through his death.'”

HaRav Sorotzkin: בקרובי אקדש…

Rosh Yeshivah: בקרובי אקדש, כן, נכון.

HaRav Sorotzkin: But they are asking- what you’re saying is reassuring – but they’re asking – they all want to take something on, to accept a kabbalah.

Rosh Yeshivah: Yes, we need to wake up, that’s correct – in shemiras halashon and in kapida – not to be makpid with others, so there won’t be a kapida. That I shouldn’t be makpid with others and other shouldn’t be makpid with me. To appease others so they shouldn’t have any kapida – ahavas habriyos.

HaRav Sorotzkin: Maybe it wasn’t just stam that it happened by Rebbe Shimon [the kever of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai] – where talmidim who didn’t act respectfully toward each other died. Maybe this teaches us…

Rosh Yeshivah: Yes, correct. They didn’t act respectfully.

At this point, the conversation about the tragedy ended and Rav Sorotzkin switched the topic to various chinuch issues.

[MERON VICTIMS: 24 Bochurim And Boys, 4 Mir Talmidim, At Least 6 US Citizens, 2 Canadians]

[HEARTBREAKING: List Of Niftarim R”L Killed In Meron Crush Released]

[OUTRAGE GROWING: Israel – Where Is Your Compassion To Parents Of Students Traumatized By Meron Disaster?]

[How Exactly Did The Terrible Disaster At Meron Occur?]

[Father’s Heartrending Hesped For His Son: “You’re Now In Rebbe Shimon’s Yeshiva”]

[WATCH: 10-Yr.-Old Meron Survivor: “I Cried Out Shema Yisrael”]

[“People Were Crushed To Death Before My Eyes” – Survivors Of The Harrowing Scenes Talk]

[Chareidi Reporter Warned Of This Very Tragedy In 2018!]

[State Comptroller Says He’s Launching Probe Of Meron Disaster]

[The Chilling Letter A Meron Victim Left Before His Death]

[Last Meron Victim Is Buried After His Parents Arrive From Argentina]

[HEARTBREAKING IMAGE: Child Of Meron Victim Makes Toy Representing His Father Z”L]

[11-Year-Old Seriously Injured At Meron Is Released From The Hospital]

[CHILLING: Look What Was Found Inside Siddur Of Victim Of Meron Tragedy]

[Journalist Published Eye-Witness Reports Which May Explain How The Trampling in Meron Began]

[Meron Victims: Elhadad Brothers, 12 & 18, Buried Next To Rashbi]

[One Of The Meron Victims Was MK Eichler’s Brother-In-Law]

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Rav Edelstein himself told people to stay away from Meron. His tzidkus prevented him from saying “I told you so”. Next year stay home.

  2. Why does everyone ignore the obvious?
    It was all frum yidden. And if they weren’t pushing and shoving the tragedy never would have happened. Yes, people would have been stuck having to be patient, pushing is never right. What was missing here was basic menchlichkeit. Instead of focusing on loshon hora, learning, tznius, etc. or whatever your favorite mitzva of the day is, focus on what actually was done that was so wrong.