Rav Eliyahu & R’ Peppenheim on Recent Events


Speaking with Kol Chai Radio on Monday evening, Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita continued his attack against Rabbi Dovid Smeidal of Atra Kadisha. He emphasized that he is certain Maran Rav Elyashiv Shlita did not give a p’sak halacha based on true facts, for if Maran did rule, “I would bow down in respect and adhere to it 1,000 times but R’ Smeidal simply tells lies to Maran and elicits a response in line with his agenda.

KC RADIO: But there are those who believe that they are making a kiddush Hashem, doing what is necessary to protect the Jewish character of the state, not to mention the kevarim.

Rabbi E: Yes, and without question they will receive their just reward in the next world, but their actions are mistaken nevertheless, since here, there is no question that the transfer of the bones was permitted and their actions, well-intentioned as they may be, are cause for a great chilul Hashem and more disharmony and controversy in Am Yisrael.

I am well aware of R’ Smeidal’s modus operandi, how he came to Tzfat, lied to some very prominent rabbonim, and in turn, they signed his proclamation against so-called chilul kevarim. When I approached the rabbonim and asked why they didn’t bother to check with me first, they were somewhat at a loss, and when the learned the true facts in the case, they retracted their support for Smeidal.

R’ Shmuel Chaim Peppenheim of the Eida responds: On a day like today, after the kevarim were disturbed, with all the pain associated with the current reality, it is sad to hear a talmid Chacham speak of another rav, a prominent talmid Chacham this way. Rav Smeidal is a shaliach of the GAVAAD Yerushalayim and rabbonim shlita, and the derogatory comments are not in line with R’ Eliyahu’s position. R’ Smeidal is among the Gedolei HaDor in his midos and knowledge, and we may not always agree but his opinion is always weighed by Gedolei Yisrael. I am very pained and sorry that this is the reality.

I know the entire story regarding the kevarim in Tzfat and I also know Rav Smeidal. I know and R’ Eliyahu also knows what really happened.

Regarding Barzilai, the chilul Hashem is not ours, but on the part of police and other who condemned the mesirus nefesh, and the actions of police, preventing protestors from reaching Ashkelon, stopping buses and cars on route to the city.

Rav Eliyahu: I agree that someone of notable status lies, as is the case with R’ Smeidal, citing an example with Rabbi Karelitz in which R’ Smeidal was caught in the act of lying.

Regarding the halachic aspect, there were many, not one rav, rabbonim from the area and other prominent rabbonim, who traveled to Ashkelon and saw the reality with their own eyes, not resting their opinion on second hand information. They too gave a p’sak permitting the transfer of the bones.

R’ Peppenheim: The way the transfer was carried out was also unacceptable. They should have first obtained a definitive rabbinical position, not taking action, taking the matter into their own hands without any rabbinical overseers. The actions since motzei shabbos were not acceptable.

KC RADIO to R’ Peppenheim: It is not true that no rav agreed. There were numerous rabbonim who expressed their halachic opinion, permitting the transfer of the bones.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. Poppenheim as usual isn’t answering the questions!,

    how can we trust these eideh guys always saying its not us, when in fact it is only them,how come there are no protests and arrests in other chariedie areas?,
    how come rabonim who really woRry and do chesed are not busy with protests all day?
    How come the eideh is only good to take our money and send shnorers over the world but when it comes to real chesed or to be mekarev jews to hashem they leave it to other rabonim?
    Are we good only for our money???

  2. TO # 2 Well said!!
    It is time to boycott the “eidah”, this R. Poppenheim is an instigator of high caliber (remember last year how he said the if the accused mother is not freed Yerushalayim will be on fire), but when confronted with hard facts and hard questions, like a good demagogue he never answer the questions straight foward.

  3. i dont know much about all this but rav eliahu does not comment on many issues and certainly not many ‘chareidi’ issues.also he is intimidated by no one. so when he speaks, especially with the certainty that he is speaking with here regarding r elyashiv shlita , i feel that the tzibur should listen and i see that people indeed to realize how much weight his words carry.the year is almost over and its turning out to be a shameful year of ‘dead end’ hafgonos .(karta, intel,’mea sherarim mom’ and now barzilai) that brought nothing but intense hatred and machlokes. it is my firm belief that VERY SOON the gedoilim will TRY and take the reins back from the dishonest ‘rabanim’ who are running the show. i hope they succeed.

  4. I have heard that R’ S Eliyahu’s views are that of Mizrachi. I have also seen him. He holds a rabbinical position and wears a knitted yarmulke. That means that he does not affiliate himself with the down the line Yeshivashe outlook. I don’t know him, but one must beware of these people and check them out well. On the other hand, there are many people who affiliate with the Eida that don’t listen to daas Torah with their extreme views. But all in all, generally we can trust the Gedolim that they heard the facts like they are. They have many Talmidim that are by them that are capable and do research things for them. I wouldn’t be worried that they are fooled.

  5. I wish someone could give me an answer to my question I repeated numerous times. Now I finally see R’ Papenheim concluding his words with this point.
    There are 2 parts to “piney atzomes”. It’s the removal and the reburial. Did the Israeli authorities question the removal “beforehand”? If so, how come the permissal is only coming out to the public now after the whole halabaloo? and if so, Did the Israeli Authorities contact any Chevra Kadisha or Rabbi to be present at the “removal” of the bones, so it be done kehalacha and in a respectful fashion? was there “shmurah” the last 24 hours by any Halachic authority to ensure no descecration is done to the bones, namely dna tests or other experiments? Was there “Shmurah” that the Israeli infamous Archeologists don’t hide any bones from being reburied, for they’re further interests?
    If the Posek Hador Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, The Goan Hador the Gava”d Shlit”a would “rule” would Rav Eliyahu also “bow down in respect and adhere to it 1,000 times”?
    It seems to me that all these psokim aren’t coming out for the sake of approving the removal of the bones, they are rather for the disapproval of the ones who don’t think their way.