Mar 9, 2011

Interesting Psak: Second Day Yom Tov

The following psak by Rav Chaim Kanievsky was publicized on the cellular website "Haredim", though I think they misunderstood what he said.

The incident that led to the psak, as reported by "Haredim", that a yeshiva student went to Rav Chaim Kanievsky to ask regarding keeping one or two days of yom tov this Pesach. Rav Kanievsky asked a bunch of questions to try to understand is situation better, including questions such as where he is from, where he is now, where the parents are, where he would be for Pesach.

Rav Kanievsky then asked what plans are for after Pesach and further down the future - if he plans to go back to the USA. The boys answer was that his parents want him to go back to the USA, but despite that he plans on staying here in Israel.

When Rav Chaim heard this answer, his response, as reported by Haredim, was to sharply criticize the yeshiva bochur. He told him off saying that somebody who does not listen to his parents, needn't bother keeping 2 days of yom tov!

Personally, I think they misunderstood Rav Kanievsky. I dont think he was criticizing the boy for planning to not listen to his parents, and saying that if he doesnt listen to his parents there is no need to do anything.

I think he was saying just the opposite - he was being straightforward - if you will not be listening to your parents, and you will be staying in Israel despite their opposition, then you really dont need to keep 2nd day of yom tov.

The halacha, as I remember it, says in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Dei'ah, that the mitzva of honoring one's parent does NOT supersede the mitzva of learning torah. If the parent wants the son to learn in one place and the son wants to learn somewhere else, the son can learn where he wants to and thinks he will learn better, and not where the parent wants. With that background, it seems obvious to me that Rav Chaim Kanievsky was basing his answer on that halacha, and saying that he has the right to not listen to his parents, and therefore keep only 1 day of yom tov. But that is just my guess of how the conversation really went down.

Interestingly, I see now Bechadrei has this story as well, though the dialog is slightly different.


  1. there is something missing here it does not make sense.

  2. Actually according to Halacha one should not listen to his parents if they are trying to deter you from performing a mitzvah. Thereforew the bochur was correct in not listening to them and insisting on mitzvat yeshivat Eretz Yisrael.

  3. In the "Ish Mazliach" edition of Mishneh Brurah there is much material on this subject, all of which I believe reflects the veiws of Rav Ovadiah. It says there that a person of shiduch age who comes to E.Y. to study and will make his own decision about returning to chutz-l'aretz shoudl observe one day--hopefully he will find a mate and decide to stay in E.Y.


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