HaGaon HaRav Edelstein: Due to the Situation, Stop Reading Newspapers


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edelHaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein Shlita, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh, calls on the tzibur to be mechazeik during this most difficult time and this includes refraining from reading newspapers.

The rosh yeshiva was addressing the security crisis in an address to talmidim. He spoke of the terror attack and the yisurim that people are undergoing and the need to be mechazeik in limud, tefilos and one’s actions. The rav mentioned the many widows and orphans R”L, the result of the murderous attacks, quoting ‘ואש תבער בו ותלעטהו ואין איש שם על לב’ and the need for a hisorarus as the ‘Midas HaDin’ strikes out, not only here but in the entire world.

Rav Edelstein stressed Klal Yisrael’s responsibility, the fact that שאין פורענות באה אלא בשביל ישראל and the need for introspection and improving one’s midos. As such, the rav calls for a greater commitment to limud and ma’asim tovim and to refrain from reading newspapers and other ‘devarim beteilim’.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. With all respect to the Rav, WHY would you ask your talmidim to avoid knowledge and awareness of the security situation around them so they can respond in c’v the event of an attack on themselves or others. Being aware of the tactics the terrorists are using, the threats being made, suggestions from the security forces as to how to respond to suspicious activity etc. ALL of this knowledge from reading the newspapers could help save a life. Knowledge is power.

  2. In response to Gadolhadorah:

    This is the problem with sites this. You cant take a shmuz given in a yeshiva and take a soundbyte from it for a news headline. The rosh yeshiva is giving it with the intention of his audience in the room. We don’t know what he is referring to in the context of his shmuz. Pehaps he is speaking about excessive reading of papers instead of more learning. Perhaps he is referring to reading about analysis of Kerry Netanyahu meeting instead of learning. Why is it automatically assumed that he said not to read security warnings?

    I think we need to stop looking at rosh hayeshivas like CNN looks at Trump and Hillary.

  3. You can be aware of the security situation without wasting hours reading every gory detail.
    Wouldn’t we all be better off using some of that time doing more productive things (like davening – which is really the only thing that can help us all).

  4. Makes sense to me. If Lot was told not to look at the destruction of sedoim because he was unworthy while avrohom was told to look because he was the gadol hador then by looking at the destruction through the newspapers we are claiming to be avrohom when in fact we are much much closer to Lot.

  5. I have said the same thing for years. the Charadi newspapers, Yeted, Peles, HaModia, and the rest have little Torah knowledge and instead they take the news from the Yidiot and Maariv newspapers and rewrite it.

    The students who read it are doing ‘bittle Torah’ and gain nothing worth knowing. Learning Gemorah is a full time job.