Mar 24, 2010

Paskening against Rav ELyashiv

Is the hegemonious leadership in the haredi world finally cracking?

Generally, when Rav Elyashiv says something, or is at least quoted, no other haredi rav will generally speak up with a differing opinion. Rabbonim who pasken otherwise will still do so, sometimes, privately, but none will have the "gall" to argue on the gadol hador, posek of the generation, publicly.

Until now.

Rav Eliezer Brand of Emmanuel, he famous for encouraging the avreichim to set up a "hilltop settlement" outside of Kiryat Sefer a few months ago, has publicly spoken out with a psak arguing against the psak of Rav Elyashiv. (source: Kikar)

Rav Elyashiv has supposedly come out in favor of Yaakov Litzman's opinion that the Barzilai emergency room must be moved and constructed on the other side of the hospital rather than where it was planned to be built because of the graves beneath.

The Rabbanut has taken the position of the archaeologists that the graves are those of non-Jews, and can therefore be respectfully moved. For some reason, politics obviously, the State is ignoring the official halachic opinion of the halachic body authorized to decide halacha for it.

The rabbonim of Tzohar have come out with a psak saying that the graves can be moved even if they are Jewish. The graves are in harms way - they are a nuisance and danger to the public and can therefore, respectfully, be moved, even if they are Jewish graves.

Rav Brand has given a public shiur in which he said that the graves should be moved even if they are Jewish graves, just like Tzohar paskened, because they cause damage to the public. The hospital is inside a city and therefore there is even more room to be lenient on this in favor of the public.

The psak is interesting, though irrelevant as far as Litzman is concerned as he is only interested in the most stringent psak, not the more lenient psak. The more interesting aspect is the fact that he publicly paskened against Rav Elyashiv's opinion.

Nobody of any significance is going to listen to this differing opinion, as Rav Brand has already been painted as a bit of a nutcase and more zionistic than the haredi community (because of his hilltop settlement), and because he is paskening against Rav Elyashiv. Yet it is still significant that a public psak on the national level is being publicly disputed by somebody within the community.


  1. "Nutcases" - your term - go against RYSE all the time. No one cares bc they are "nutcases" Also, not to be mevazeh this Rabbi Brand, I dont think he is quite as well known as RYSE, and maybe that has to do with why no one will care what he says on this issue

    Poskim pasken against RYSE all the time. Look thru any of the kitzur sefarim on Nidda, shabbos, pesach etc and you will see plently of psakim from Rav Vosner, Rav Nissim, Rav Chaim, Rav Shtrenbuch, Rav Shmuel, Rav Chaim Pinchas etc against RYSE.

  2. "as far as Litzman is concerned as he is only interested in the most stringent psak..."

    a chumrah in one area is always a kulah in another

  3. Moving Graves...

    Is this a joke? Like, do you think halacha doesnt discuss moving graves?

    Where was RYSE when they were moving the graves in Gush Katif?

    ...more bullsh*t from the chareidim.


  4. No-one disagrees that in halacha there are circumstances in which graves are/should be moved.

    However you should speak to a guy called Shalom [I'll try and get his details for you] who lives on Nachal Dolev. He is a retiree that travels throughout Europe trying to stop the desecration of Jewish cemetaries - he works with all of the main Jewish organizations involved in this.

    To Shalom it is quite simple - if the Israelis are willing to simply move graves for commercial reasons [and this issue is now about money -ie the cost of relocating the emergency room] then he will simply have no arguments to make the next time a town in Lithuania wants to build a shopping mall over a Jewish cemetary. If the Jews do not care about Jewish graves, why expect more from the goyim?

    Your astute friend

  5. Astute - Rav Mazuz says specifically that this case is easily discernible from cases in chu"l because of the pikuach nefesh and the rocket attacks. He says in this case there will be no such claim.

    Obviously any excuse will be jumped at so even if there is a logical difference it might be ignored, but in theory his svara makes sense.

  6. The Minchat Yitzchak says that experts can beleived when they say graves are from non-Jewish origin.

    Ari Enkin

  7. Rafi,

    Whether or not Rav Mazus' sevra makes sense or not is irrelevant. Talk to the people who deal with the goyim - if we can deal with our own graves on the basis of financial considerations, the goyim will do the same.

    Ari - I have a feeling that the Minchas Yitzchok probably was not referring to the Israeli antiquities authority (or any Israeli governmental authority for that matter) when he paskened that you can rely on experts.


  8. How is it Pikuach Nefesh if the can make the emergency room somewhere else, only it costs more? Sounds like Pikuach nefesh can be taken care of in other ways, so I dont see a heter of pikuach nefesh. And if I cant see it - even if its there - what makes you think the random anti semtic government from Eastern Europe will hold of this chiluk either?

  9. Antiochus - I feel very sorry for you that youre so bitter.

    Refuah Shleima


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