Sep 20, 2010
A Rav Chaim Kanievsky Miracle!
Bnei Braq doesn't use the regular water source most of Israel uses, the National Water Carrier, Mekorot. The reason is because of a takana established by Rav Kanievsky in which he said one cannot use Mekorot as a water source becuse they are mechalel shabbos in their activities to keep the water running. Instead, Bnei Braq gets their water from an alternate company named "Mei Baraq" who uses a special generator for shabbos connected to the water pumps.
The recent "3-day yom tov" of Rosh Hashana and Shabbos presented them with a problem - their system is designed to manage with 1 day's worth of water for the city on a normal basis, and they estimated that the generator would not survive the three day holiday and continue pumping out the water throughout.
They sent a representative to ask Rav Chaim Kanievsky what to do, in this exceptional case, and if as a one time incident if they could use Mekorot water.
Rav Kanievsky responded, according to the Kikar Shabbos report, that in now way can they use Mekorot, and Hashem will help, and sent them on their way with a bracha.
Shortly before Rosh Hashana, the people at Mei Baraq came up with an idea, so the story goes. There is a well on the edge of Bnei Braq, just at the edge of the Kiryat Herzog neighborhood. The well had been condemned by the Health Ministry because of the poor quality of the water, but Mei Baraq figured they would try - nothing ventured, nothing gained - and sent a request for a one-time allowance to use the water.
For an unknown reason, the Health Ministry allowed it.
For 3 days of the holiday (RH and Shabbos), Bnei Braq residents drank from what used to be contaminated water, and Rav Kanievsky's bracha seemingly cleaned it for those 3 days.
After the holiday, the Health Ministry tested the water and found it contaminated.
And in Bnei Braq they have declared the allowance issued by the Health Ministry to drink contaminated water for three days without first testing it as a miracle. Perhaps another aspect, though not mentioned in the article, of the miracle is that nobody got sick from drinking the contaminated water.