18 Eclectic Q&As With HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Yishayahu Kanievsky Shlita


By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Yishayahu Kanievsky shlita is Maran Rav Chaim zatzal’s son and was meshamesh him for many years.  What follows is a question and answer session that the author had with him last week.

Thank you, once again for the opportunity to present some relevant Shaalos to the Rav.

  1. A Rav is asked a question, but he knows that the person asking the question will not listen to him.  Should he avoid answering the question and “lessen” the severity of his not listening or should he, nonetheless, answer the question?

One is obligated to answer the question and may not evade it.

  1. Does it make a difference whether the person asked in person or on the phone?

There is no difference.

  1. What if it is asked through the mail?

If it is by mail the Rav may ignore it and is not obligated to answer.

  1. There are many communities in the United States where there is very little parking in residential areas.  Some people have made illegal driveways without a permit from the city.  May one park in front of such an illegally made driveway?

Yes, one may park – because it was built illegally.  One must ascertain, of course, whether it is truly illegal.

  1. What about the bitul Torah involved in getting into an argument later?

This is not so realistic that there would be bitul Torah.

  1. Let’s say someone parks in an illegal spot, or in a parking spot only for a different store..  Is this forbidden?  Is he pasul l’aidus?

It is certainly forbidden and a violation of trespassing which is forbidden because of gezel. It is stealing from the public.   However, he is not pasul l’aidus because he sees it as no big deal so he is not pasul l’aidus.  He has to fully know that what he is doing is forbidden because of gezel in order to be pasul l’aidus.

  1. If someone is on an airplane and the time for davening has arrived and there isa minyan that is gathering by the kitchen in the back or by the bathroom – may one block the public and daven there?

It may not be done if it bothers others, Rav Vosner has a Teshuvah dealing with it.  But if it does not bother others it should be done.

  1. It is hard to conceive of a situation where it would not bother others, since everyone needs the restrooms.

If so, then people should daven in their seats.

  1. What should a person try to look for in a seminary for a daughter?

A person should look for a seminary that would both instill Yiras shamayim and midos tovos. It goes without saying that she must be comfortable there.

  1. What is preferable in terms of tznius – a woman driving or a woman taking a cab – possibly with inshei delo maali?

Here the minhag is not to drive.. but in chutz la’aretz it is different.. if the gedolim there permit it certainly it would not be a problem.

  1. In Eretz Yisroel, many poskim hold Hatzalah for women should be by women.  In America, many in Hatzalah do not agree and they hold men should be the EMTs for women also.

Here there are no women EMTs in general.  Of course , one should always try to keep the highest level of tznius, unless the women will be endangered by doing so.  It is best to follow the Rabbonim wherever they are.

  1. If a young lady became engaged and notices that her bashert has bad midos, should she break it off?  Obviously there are different levels of course, but what bad midos in a zivug is a deal-breaker?

It all depends on the middah and the extent of the problem..

  1. What if it is Kaas – anger?

It depends on the degree.  If it is not terrible, one should not break off an engagement because of it.

  1. What about Gaavah – haughtiness?

This is something that one does not break off a shidduch for.

  1. What if he lies?

Still.  We live in an olam hasheker.  If it is pathological then that is a different story.

  1. What if there are halachic areas that he doesn’t follow.  What if he doesn’t daven mincha?

There one should stop the shidduch if he doesn’t daven mincha.

  1. What about  maariv?

It is the same.

  1. A girl is older. She is looking for someone who is still learning, but it is getting harder and harder.  At what age, if ever, should she compromise in this area and begin dating someone who is working?

After she has reached the state of  yiush – giving up.  But a personshould not tell her to abandon her hope unless it is completely not shayach.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

One can read more of Rav Chaim’s Torah at orchotyosher.org