El Al crisis: Moetzes Gedolim sign Kol Koreh


elal.jpgAt a special meeting held on Monday at Yeshivas Mesivta Rabbi Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of America signed on to a declaration by Gedolei Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel regarding a p’sak prohibiting flying on El Al.

Release of the declaration is pending the outcome of negotiations among El Al officials and a committee of Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel concerning whether or not the airline will honor its commitment not to fly on Shabbos.

Participating in the Brooklyn meeting were R’ Yackov Perlow Shlita (the Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh Agudas Yisroel), R’ Aharon Schechter Shlita (Rosh Yeshivas Chaim Berlin), R’ Avrohom Chaim Levin Shlita (Rosh Yeshivas Telshe Chicago), R’ Shmuel Kamenetsky Shlita (Rosh Yeshivas Philadelphia) R’ Aharon Feldman Shlita (Rosh Yeshivas Ner Yisroel) and R’ Simcha Bunim Ehrenfeld Shlita (the Mattesdorfer Rebbe).

At the meeting, during which a number of other pressing issues affecting the k’lal were also discussed, Agudath Israel of America executive vice president Rabbi Shmuel Bloom reported on the ongoing negotiations with El Al and conveyed the request of Gedolei Eretz Yisroel that American Jewry join Jews in Eretz Yiroel in taking a firm stand for Kedushas Shabbos.

After signing the declaration, Moetzes members asked that Agudath Israel contact Agudah rabbonim in cities throughout North America to apprise them of the declaration and to inform them of  the pronouncement of  Gedolei Eretz Yisroel that at this time, flying on El Al constitutes a chilul Hashem that even a large monetary loss does not mitigate.

In addition, the Jerusalem is reporting that Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and Rabbi Avraham Shapira, the two most senior halachic authorities for the religious Zionist community, gave their backing Tuesday to a potential boycott of El Al Airlines, and have signed the Kol Koreh as well.


  1. After signing the declaration, Moetzes members asked that Agudath Israel contact Agudah rabbonim in cities throughout North America to apprise them of the declaration and to inform them of the pronouncement of Gedolei Eretz Yisroel that at this time, flying on El Al constitutes a chilul Hashem that even a large monetary loss does not mitigate.

    I’m confused, if they’re officially putting an issur on flying ElAl, why don’t they release the Kol Koreh???

  2. I just happened to call the travel agency that is coordinating the Orthodox Union’s Pesach trip this year to inquire about the trip about 2 hours ago. The airline they are using is El Al.

  3. Seems that the wording of this article is “clearly” ambiguous.

    m’mo nofshoch
    if you shouldn’t fly el al now – based on today’s signing – then what changes when the kol koreh is released ?
    and if nothing is being “released” awaiting the outcome of negotiations, then there should be “nothing released” now and we should be waiting till the outcome.

    leaving this unclear is creating “hefsed me’rubeh” for many travellers. Also, many frum travel agents are losing huge sums of money as well . . . the issue of hefsed me’rubeh is not trivial in halacha – it is koyve’ah many halachos throughout yoreh deah. I think we all (including the editors of this very popular blog) need to think long and hard before we are m’farsem things that are not clear, which can have such an effect…

  4. Explain to me what this big deal was whether they fly on shobbos or not. Even before this incident, they always had Moztie Shobbos fights, which ment they did all the preprations on Shobbos ex: Fueling plane, cooking and food preperations, cleaning, ect. ,don’t these thing involve malacha on shobbos?

  5. To Norman and Eggy Wegs:

    I suggest you call the Gedolim who signed the Kol Koreh starting with Maran Rav Eliyashiv, Rav AL Shteinman, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav MY Lefkowitz, Rav Wosner, Chacham Ovadia, Gerrer Rebbe, Belzer Rebbe and the other 75 signatures from Eretz Yisroel.

    Then you can keep yourselves busy with calling all of the Gedolim living in America, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Mexico and everywhere else.

    This should keep yourselves occupied for a while.

    You can also call the Agudath Israel, and the Yated and Hamodia who will be carrying this story in their weekend papers which will be coming out tomorrow.

    When you have finished your phone calls, contact YW Editor and I’ll explain to you why we have chosen to follow the words of the Gedoley Yisroel.


  7. y.w editor, chas v,shalom i wasnt saying and i hope norman wasnt saying chalila not to listen to the gedolim!!! we were just saying that it either has to be released or its muttur if the dont release it than why is it assur??!!
    chas veshalom we have to listen to every word the gedolim tell us they r our way of life guiding us through galus!!
    may hashem send the geulah shelaima and end chillul shabbob

  8. I think what the oilum is asking is basically simple, if you have a Kol Koreh, release it, if you don’t explain to us little people what is going on.

  9. to say its an assur i don’t see it
    May be that is why I’m just regular Jew
    but if the Godolim say we should not fly with them i will respect that

  10. I can”t wait for the kol korei to come out, since tickets will be very cheap then on elal and I’m sure I won’t be the only frum yid on elal then

  11. First of all Rav Elyashiv said when the ban first took effect about a month ago that El Al has always been the target of terrorist and by them not flying on Shabbos protected them and now since they flew on Shabbos the protection is gone. Therefore even if El Al was giving out free tickets to everyone it’s not worth to put our lives at risk. Also if people fly Continential On the week beginning February 12, 2007 there are many round trips available for $781 plus tax round trip to Eretz Yisroel and I checked the same dates on El Al and they are charging $1,300. Infact since this is such a great deal I am flying Continential on Monday evening Feb 12 and returning on Tuesday Feb 26. Therefore I don’t want to hear any more excuses that El Al is cheaper than other airlines. I wish that this ban was not in effect because I think El Al has the fastest planes to Eretz Yisroel but it’s better to take a little more time in getting to Eretz Yisroel than putting our lives at risk by flying El Al.

  12. Also Israir is not mechallel Shabbos and even if they are they never had an agreement with the Rabbonim not to fly on Shabbos which El Al did and broke.

  13. Sorry, Eli51, That’s my limit for keeping silent here.

    Israir not only flies scheduled flights every shabbat to Eilat and all of Europe, but now the infamous sefer torah is flying every Friday/Shabbat to London or Paris. Check their schedule, the two 767s used during the week for the US run are employed on the European run on shabbat for a quick round trip.

    You can auction off aliyot Shabbat morning for k’riyat hatorah to all the conservative and reform machers catching a quickie weekend of shopping in London or Paris.

    So now we advertise the flying shul, except it flies openly on shabbat, and boycott El Al, which has jumped through every conceivable hoop of halachic heterim for decades leasing off its aircraft on shabbat to a separate company so that it is not technically mechalel shabbat.

    Only yiddin could find themselves in this absurd situation.
    Hashem yirachem otanu.

  14. YWeditor well said!!!!!!!! Thanks from all of us (for the comment and for the greatest site hotline etc).

    Enough of all the people that think they are smarter than all the Gedolim……..

  15. I always knew they were mechalel Shabbos even before they flew on Shabbos. Obviously for a Motzei Shabbos flight to take place they have to prepare the plane first – on Shabbos. I always flew with Continental. But, what happens to someone who already has a ticket because they couldn’t get one from another airline and they can’t afford to forfeit this ticket? Should they be required to take a loss of several hundred dollars?

  16. I don’t understade u pepole that can not work be’achdus & not fly elal .#1 it’sa kidush hashaim #2 if we get them to be real shomer shabos it willl be your zchus! so what there is no isser ? so what israair is worse ? what dos that have to do with the price of tea in china?

  17. Kol Hakoved to Y.W. Editor. Keep up the great work! As a frum Jew we all have to do as our Gedolay Yisroel tell us. We have to have Emunas Chachomim in our Gedolim.

  18. quoting Velvel: “REB DOVID WHO????” about the great posek Horav Dovid Cohen shlita.

    Please refer to Kiddushin 70A about what happened to the guy (hahu gavra) who made fun of Rav Yehuda Ben Yechezkel’s (the Amora Rav Yehuda) name.

  19. For those of you asking why this is a big deal. I’ll tell you. Its basically about the Moetzes flexing its political power and showing the Israeli public who’s boss. Everyone already knows that El-Al is not a shomer shabbos company. They have opeations on shabbos like fueling and getting flights ready. If we can’t fly El-Al does this mean we can’t go to any Jewish owned stores that have operations on shabbos? I guess I can’t shop at any of the Schottenstein’s Value City stores, go to the Limited (Les Wexner), or any number of major American businesses owned and operated by Jewish families.

  20. Al ayla ani bochiya…….on those who use the blog to share with us their unfortunate das yochid. You see all that really matters is WHAT the Gedolim say. It doesn’t matter their reason, their motive, their agenda etc. Chazal teach us to listen and only listen. Nobody is entitled to their opinion nor do we need anyone to help explain their opinion. Daas Torah says – we listen. End of story……..Al Yemin Smol Val Smol Yemin……no discussion no opinion – just listen.

    Chas V’sholom anythig should happen to an El Al flight and then we will see the wrath of the Borei Oilam on a world that questions his leaders. Let’s not let that happen. All we should be doing is thanking the YW editor for keeping us up to date and providing us the link to know what Daas Torah says.

  21. You know what boggles my mind . It is the bloggers that even have a question in their head whether or not to listen to the gedolim. Unfortunately we do not have the gedolim of yesteryear, but we do have some great ones today especially in eretz yisroel. If the gedolim put out a psak that ELAL is off limits to us FRUM ORTHODOX YESHIVA WORLD people then so be it and start getting your tickets to go to and from eretz yisroel from some other airline. The bottom line is – WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO DAAS TORAH.
    ELAL was the official airline that the yidden took and they were always considered the best for security as well and that all happened because they stuck to the rules of being careful and not openly MECHALEL SHABBOS.
    Yes they did probably have workers that did work to prepare the Motzei Shabbos flights, but that is not being mechalel shabbos befarhessyer. The reality is that the gedolim feel that as long as ELAL was never Mechalel Shabbos it was extremely safe for us to travel on their planes, but now that they Befarhessyer travel on Shabbos it is totally unsafe and Chas VeSholom something terrible can happen to endanger our lives while traveling on ELAL.
    We have to be Chasdei Hashem that we have gedolim to give us the advice as to what is the correct way to live and if they say ban ELAL then that must be done without question.

  22. HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita said that before it was safe to trave El-Al now it’s a sakanah (danger) to travel with them.

  23. BOND – you are 100% right. I know this whole El AL issue to me is great. I feel so secure knowing that Behaskomas Gedolei Olam I don’t need to even think about it. To me it is an attitude of who cares…B”H Daas Torah spoke and my job is to listen.

    Gushdan and Sheryl – 2 words is all you need to know. Daas Torah!!!!!!!

  24. To Y.W. Editor,

    I think you misunderstood norman & eggy weggs. They were simply questioning the phrasing/purpose of this article. Since the kol koreh has not been released yet, what is the purpose of announcing that the Moetzes Gedolim have signed on? Yes it is interesting, however it still does not tell us definitively what to do. As what is the difference between knowing about the kol koreh vs. it’s being actually announced, as at this point we are still not supposed to be flying?

    Looking forward to be clarified…

  25. 26 estates well put! & Gush Dan I hope that you’ve read his post because I’m so glad that you’re applauding a company against the daas of our gedolim
    (“So now we advertise the flying shul, except it flies openly on shabbat, and boycott El Al, which has jumped through every conceivable hoop of halachic heterim for decades leasing off its aircraft on shabbat to a separate company so that it is not technically mechalel shabbat.”)

    I’m sure that we can get you an appointment with Rav Elyashiv so that you can fight it out with him ( chas veshalom)!!

    Y.W. editor, I know that you try to post as many posts as you can, so as not to be biased, but I feel that by posting views that contradict the opinion of our gedolim you are posing the risk of having others admire these distorted points of view (“e.g. to.. GushDan Says:
    your 100 % right. keep it up.Your blog”s are usually from the more reasonable blog”s on this site “)


  26. This is a big deal mostly because of an erstwhile agreement that El Al broke. They said they would keep Shabbos, and when they thought noone would mind, they did not. Before even Shabbos comes in, there is the issue of people keeping their word. Many were flying on El Al specifically because they said they would keep Shabbos.

    Because it is Shabbos, and because it is an Israeli airline, it makes the issue even greater, and this sort of response is warranted.

    The “easy way out” would be to not use them, and have a non-Jewish airline be the carrier of choice, or the like. If it were up to me, i’d tell everyone to simply not consider El Al, but the Gedolim feel otherwise, and butla daiti haketanah k’neged da’atum hur’chuvu.

    Regardless, at this point, we are seen as defending the honor of Shabbos herself, and it is very important that we stand together.

  27. I second Mam.

    There is a whole blogging world for those who mock following our Torah leaders, and those who “can’t wait for the psak to be official so they can buy cheap tickets on El Al”.

    Why should YW become one more venting place for the bile of those who don’t look to our leaders for guidance. Not to mention the possibility of unwary teens reading opinions such as those mentioned and concluding that those too are appropriate conduct for G-d fearing Jews.

    There’s a large and murky world at your fingertips, countless places to find an applauding audience for assertions that you’re own da’as is infinitely greater than Torah greats. Like Mam, I hope YW will rise above the equal opportunity fray.

  28. By the way, regarding the post: “Agudah Statement to Rabbonim across the US”, if this is in fact what is mentioned in this posting, than that clarifies matters, as it’s still in the works, we want to show El Al that the boycott will have a devastating effect once it goes through, so here is a taste of things to come.

    Someone please correct me if I am misunderstanding things.

  29. i would just like to set the record striaght rav dovid cohen today said that you can fly el al. he said as a posek , he said it with the knowledge of the kol kora of the american moetzes .
    this is fact

    everything else here is assumtions.
    ust like you ask a rov all your shallos so to .
    and by the way shallos are not decided buy shmuel bloom but by rabbonim .
    i have alot more to say but ill leave ot at this

  30. Dear all people who wish not to follow the words of our gedolim,

    Wherever you are near and far please note that it is not wise to fly El Al against the direction of gedolei olam including but not limited to R Eliyahi , R Shapira, R Schechter, R Kamenetsky. Even the nazis yemachshemam knew that our Torah keeps us together. Now if El Al is studying whether or not frum jews will take this seriously , you are going to tell them , that no we dont take our gedolims words seriously. What a MASSIVE CHILLUL HASHEM THIS WILL CAUSE. Secondly, one would think that its unwise to befarhesya go against the words of Rav Elyashiv the gadol hador who famously has stated “now they want to mess with the shabbos”. Let us all pray that all frum people DONT fly el al until at least some of our gedolim allow us to , thereby preventing any problems lo aleinu. and as YW editor stated previously in another article Hamevin Yavin…

  31. The problem is that El Al’s “inquiry” as to which of the frumme is flying may not diffrentiate between the authentic “Chareidim” and the other types of kippa wearers, who may naiively not know what the true Gedolim have paskened.

Comments are closed.