What Did Harav Kanievsky Tell Meron Survivors Suffering From Guilt?

HaRav Hagaon Chaim Kanievsky with his grandson HaRav Aryeh Kanievsky. (Photo: Dovid Zar)

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In the days that have passed since the Meron disaster, many questions have been asked regarding the terrible tragedy to HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky.

Personal accounts and shailos asked by Meron survivors to HaRav Chaim were published in the pamphlet Yedidei Yosher, published by the Orchos Yosher organization headed by HaRav Chaim’s grandson, HaRav Aryeh Kanivesky.

Some shailos came from those who feared that they caused the death of others while they were on the “walkway of death” and while of course, it would have been b’shogeig, they are tormented by feelings of guilt. HaRav Chaim encouraged each and every person that asked such a shaila that the tragedy was not their fault and gave them a bracha to overcome those feelings.

Another shaila came from the father of two sons who were at Meron on Lag B’omer and one of them was on the “walkway of death” at the time of the tragedy, lying between the dead and wounded, but he fortunately survived. Of course, the bochur benched HaGomel but his father also wanted to make a big Kiddush in shul on Shabbos to thank Hashem for his son’s survival.

The shaila was that the bochur’s mother was worried about Ayin Hara and preferred not to make a big Kiddush in public. HaRav Chaim answered that there’s no fear of Ayin Hara regarding this issue and they can hold a big Kiddush if they want but are not obligated to do so.

A startling anecdote told in Yedidei Osher was regarding a name submitted to HaRav Chaim on the Sunday after Lag B’Omer for someone who needed a refuah sheleimah.

It turned out that the choleh was a talmid chacham who serves as a Rav in a city in the north. For some unknown reason, he didn’t hear about the Meron tragedy on Friday or throughout Shabbos.

It wasn’t until Sunday morning that he saw a newspaper with the red title in large letters and the pictures of the 45 kedoshim that he became aware of the tragedy. He was so shocked that he fainted on the spot and hit his head badly enough that he had to be evacuated to the hospital.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. There are articles from Friday 30 April quoting Reb Chaim re Meron, so either the end of this article or the other ones are nonsense…
    And I highly doubt that Reb Chaim reads the headlines of newspapers or that there are any lying around his house in the first place.

  2. Knaker: read it again, all your questions will be answered.
    (BTW it would help if you did that for every shwerer rambam and ketzos as well)

  3. GotAGoodPoint: Read above: “For some unknown reason, he didn’t hear about the Meron tragedy on Friday or throughout Shabbos…” Articles online from Friday morning “Hagaon Rav Chaim Kanievsky on the Meron Tragedy: We do not know the cheshbonos of Shomayim”
    They can’t both be true can they!?