Mar 18, 2012

Interesting Psak: Iron Dome Like A Snake Rather Than A Scorpion

Rav Yosef Sheinin, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Ashdod, was asked if one is in the middle of davening, Shomneh Esrei specifically, and hears a siren go off announcing an incoming Kassam rocket from Gaza, should one interrupt his prayers and run for the bomb shelter.

Rav Sheinen paskened that it depends. If one is davening but is not in Shmoneh Esrei, then one should definitely run for the nearest bomb shelter. If, however, one is in the middle of Shmoneh Esrei, then one should not run for the bomb shelter.

Why not run for the bomb shelter? is it because the prayer is more important, or the importance of faith in prayer and not disturbing or interrupting the Shmoneh Esrei, similar to the story in the gemara of the fellow who did not interrupt his prayer despite having a snake wrapping itself around his ankle?

Rav Sheinin explains that it is because the Iron Dome missile defense system has proven itself to be successful, it is reliable enough that while in prayer one can rely on iron Dome and not interrupt to run for the bomb shelter. Rav Sheinen compares it to the gemara with the snake, and explains that if one has a snake around his ankle he should not interrupt, but a scorpion at his heel is cause to interrupt. The difference being that the snake will not attack unless he is threatened. So as long as the person makes no threatening moves, he can continue his prayer and all will be well. The scorpion, however, will sting regardless of the person acting threatening, and therefore such a person should interrupt his prayer and take action.

Rav Sheinin says that the success of the Iron Dome missile defense system has taken the threat level down from the level of a scorpion to the level of a snake, and therefore one should not interrupt his prayers.  (source: Ynet, with audio from radio interview)

Obviously this only applies in areas protected by the Iron Dome systems. If missile warnings should, God forbid, be sounded in places with no Iron Dome (or alternate) protection system, one should run for cover!


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8 comments:

  1. People like this are dangers to society and should be locked up.

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  2. Correction Rafi- This only applies if you have taken upon yourself Rav Yosef Sheinin as your posek. And good grief, who would? Someone contending for the 2012 Darwin Award?

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  3. If one looks at the way the Dome's counter missile travels to get to its target, the trail does resemble how a snake slithers.

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  4. PS I say that based on the article's title only, w/o reading it.

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  5. http://thepartialview.blogspot.com/2012/03/rabbonim-change-strategy-refocuse.html

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  6. It is well known to the regular readers of this blog that whenever Rafi mentions a psak from someone, it does not mean we must all heed that psak. It's a given that it's only if you've accepted that rav as your posek - whether it's the this rav, R' Ovadia Yoseph or R' Elyashiv, or anyone.

    I don't think it's so lunatic to say that Iron Dome lowers the threat level - not to nothing, but enough that one should not interrupt his Shomeh Esrai. I'm not sure I'd have to guts to follow this, but calling this rav a threat to society is a bit harsh, I think.

    I do want to say though, that I think Iron Dome actually increases the threat overall. For 100K a pop, it gives this do-nothing government a false sense of security and reduces the feeling of urgency to deal with the real problem, which is not the rockets themselves, but those that launch them.

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  7. I agree with Wanna Saab. All that Hamas needs to do is launch a few rockets in short sequence. The "iron dome" can only intercept a limited number. Furthermore, it is very expensive to knock them down.

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  8. Actually they tried that they fired a Salvo of 7, the Iron dome managed to get them all I think. I don't think Hamas et al have the ability to do a really big salvo (IE 50)

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