Feb 24, 2011

Rabbonim Discuss Current Events

Why did the citizens of the Muslim countries suddenly start rioting and revolting against their governments? What can we learn from it?

Ynet reports from the WAP site "Haredim" (late addition: I have also seen this now reported in the edition of Mishpacha newspaper that I got delivered today) that a number of rabbonim have discussed these issues.

Supposedly, Rav Ahron Shteinman, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, and Rav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz have all recently commented on these issues.

Rav Shteinman: Rav Shteinman suspects the lack of stability in the region is because of the attempts to shock and disturb the "olam haTorah" by harassing the kollels and avreichim - when people try to disturb the torah world, Hashem disturbs the whole world.
Another thing Rav Shteinman suggested is that strange and major events have been happening around the world in order to distract them, so they will not pay attention any more to the "torah world". If they don't learn their lessons, the events will continue getting closer and closer to us.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky: We see many things are happening in unnatural ways. We dont understand them. People come and say that these events are Gog and Magog - we are nto able to know if that is so or not, but definitely Hashem is showing us that Mashiach is getting closer, and we must do what we can to strengthen ourselves and prepare for that day. Whoever ignores these signs is a fool/

Rav Lefkowitz: Hashem shakes up the world to put people back in their places. Hashem is knocking down the "Kochi V'Otzem Yadi" that exists. First there was a small fire here, and the country that thought it is so great and strong, suddenly it has to go requesting assistance from countries around the whole world - not even for a war, not for anything special, just a small fire.
Then, they still think they are great, and Hashem goes and messes up the countries, and suddenly everyone is scared because they were not able to predict these monumental events would happen, and they dont know what to do about them. Hashem is laughing at them, watching to see when they will figure it out that He controls the world, not them.
Through everything that happens in the world, one can see and sense the faith. You can see how there is a leader, and it is His wish to confuse the nations and do what He wants. Those who close their eyes and ignore it - he is not evil, rather he is a fool.

This reminds me of a story I read about Rav Mendel Kaplan zt"l who used to read the daily newspapers to his students in yeshiva. He would say that it is important to learn how to read the news from a torah perspective, to find the messages from Hashem.


  1. It could also be a case of: ה' ילחם לכם ואתם תחרישון....

  2. Rafi, the statements you've been quoting from Rav Shteinman, assuming that the rest of the world has this inherent responsibility to foot the kollel bills without asking any questions, just don't hit home for me....

  3. I really think this "game" is ridiculous. There is no prophecy today. And statements like these about geopolitics, unfortunately, only make those making the statements seem very naive about the workings of the outside world.

    However, even within their mindset I guess you won't hear of too many "gedolim" positing the idea that maybe these "troubles" are the result of the ethical and moral lapses among growing numbers of "B'nei Torah" and their leadership.

  4. Menachem,


    If the non Torah world on their "low" madgrega could be responsible for all of the world's ills we can only imagine how the Torah world is being judged for their shinanigans "kchut hasara".

  5. I thought learning in kollel IS considered supporting the rest of the world.

  6. Rav Shteinman suspects the lack of stability in the region is because of the attempts to shock and disturb the "olam haTorah"

    What disturbs the olam haTorah?
    כל תורה שאין עמה מלאכה סופה בטלה

  7. Did he really say "Hashem is laughing at them"?

    So anthropomorphism is ok in the Yeshiva world today?

  8. Here is my take.
    The meshugana in Libya said last week that the Palestinians should start fighting and taking back EY and less then a week a complete V'nahafchu.
    Also, one of our biggest enemies was Mubarak, and how the Obama ran after him for stability, again V'nahafchu.
    All this in Adar where our enemies were destroyed.
    We should take from this how Hashem is constantly watching over us and as we say in the Hagada, every generation they try to destroy us but Hashem saves us.

  9. I would agree with Rav Mendel Kaplan.

    Key words though are "every day," which means that one can not presume to comment unless one remains fully informed as to the complete story and context.


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