Following the terrorist kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, 19, of Elad, Gilad Shaar, 16, of Talmon, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, of Nof Ayalon, Maran HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita is quoted calling on the tzibur to avoid hitchhiking because it is too dangerous.
On erev Shabbos Shelach 5774, Rav Shteinman was informed of the rumors of the abduction or worse regarding the missing yeshiva students. Kikar Shabbos reports the gadol hador questioned why people hitchhike when it is so dangerous. He is quoted saying “It is forbidden to take rides. One cannot know what one falls into. It is sakonos nefoshos”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
Please do not misconstrue this. This was not a public statement, and Rav Shteinman is known for feeling the pain of each and every Jew.
Lets hope people take heed and listen to the Gadol Hador.
With tremendous awe, trepidation and admiration for the gadol hador, and as a resident of the “West Bank” not far from Moddin Illit/Kiryat Sefer, I answer the rav’s question.
The amount of public transportation in some areas of the country requires a two hour journey to take a whole day. Unlike between charedi neighborhoods where there are buses every 15 minutes.
To blame them for hitch hiking is to blame a bombing victim for getting on a bus.
If getting on a bus would be dangerous like hitchhiking then one does not take a bus either. Hitchhiking is dangerous. Therefore, in the case of absolute neccesity, one takes a taxi with a Jewish company and driver. If is not an absolute neccesity, then one plans with others and order a tramp from a Jewish company and driver. Just because one lives in a dangerous area does not mean one should allow his Mesiras Nefesh to go to his head and be less careful.
#3: There are many places in the US where public transit is non existent, but people still don’t hitchhike. If you can’t get a car, then you just don’t move there. Blaming the hitchhiker isn’t like blaming the bhs bombing victim…it’s like blaming the smoker for his lung cancer. And in any case, he wasn’t blaming the bochurim, he was trying to save future lives!
Why haven’t the Chareidi gadolim of EY request that tefillos be said for the boys? They should make a public statement for the sake of achdus.
Moderators Response: Just a FYI, the first place the parents of these boys went to was to the CHAREIDI GEDOLIM (the mothers were at the home of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav SHmuel Auerbach, the Belzer Rebbe and others). They all issued calls for Tehillim, and every Charedi Shul on the globe said Tehillim. What would you like to see? Rav Chaim Kanievsky to call a press conference at his home?
“Moderators Response: Just a FYI,….”
אשריכם moderators for being on the ball!
In the US, students should not go to schools, due to the prevalence of shootings in schools. Does anyone here know how many tremp-kidnappings there have have been in recent years? Does anyone know many people tremp daily? I imagine that the kidnapping/tremp rate is much lower than many other activities that we perform every day. This is a very sad and disturbing event. Having tremped from those tremping places myself many times, it is particularly scary and distressing. Shomer nafshose chasidav, myad rsha’im yatzileim.
#4 and #5 – #3 is right. As a father whose son often hitchhikes to get home from Yeshiva, I can say that I’d much prefer that my son never hitch – but I recognize that it’s sometimes just not possible to get around in Israel without doing so. I try to arrange rides, etc., but bottom line, youth in Israel use hitching to get around for lack of any other practical option.
and to #3 – a big yasher ko’ach for the respectful way you prefaced your statement. Questioning a statement by a Gadol should only be done with the utmost Derech Eretz, which you showed.
an Israeli Yid
In Ramot – Charedi – they said tehillim in shul even on Shabbos.