Nov 23, 2008

Interesting Psak: Not to participate in a census

Rav Yaakov Yosef, son of Rav Ovadia Yosef, has issued a psak regarding the upcoming census scheduled to begin next month.

Rav Yosef has declared that one should not cooperate with the clerks of the Census Bureau and should not agree to be counted. Rav Yosef said, "If God forbid somebody counts people, it can effect ayin ha'ra taking control over them. There are those who are lenient nowadays saying it is a computer counting the people, and not a person. We do not protest against those who are lenient. Better that one should not be counted"

As we know, we generally refrain from counting people. We generally use psukim to count when we need to, such as for a minyan, and other times, at least as kids, we always found innovative ways around it by counting items, such as shirts, or kipas (would not work for the general public obviously).

Avoiding the census is definitely an interesting twist on that. Especially in light of the fact that in the chumash it takes a census a number of times (it was not a person counting them though). Rav Yosef compared it to when King David told Yoav to count the people and he did rather than refuse, and it caused a plague to break out.


  1. do you have a link for this?

  2. It was in a few places, originally in one of the alonei shabbat..

    here is one of the links where I saw it...,7340,L-3626948,00.html

  3. When we give mahatzit hashekel isn't like a census. Can't they be said to be counting the forms that are filled out and not the people?
    This seems just a little bit 'dafka' to me.

  4. The Machatzis Hashekel - was exactly that: It was a yearly cencus 'count' of the people and with the money, this money was used by the Cohanim for the Korbonos in the bais Ha Mikdosh

    Very strange

  5. Maybe I should apply that psak to myself - personally. I should stop telling people how many children I have- maybe that is why we are having all the tzurres that we are - we got an Ayin Hara for counting our kids!

  6. Happy - welcome back! It has been a long time since you commented here...


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...