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Jul 1, 2008

Interesting Psak from Rav Elyashiv: renting apartments to secular Jews - only bdieved

This psak I saw printed in the newspaper "Yisrael Ha'Yom". They do not have the same connections in Rav Elyashiv's house as do the religious papers, so I am sure there are inaccuracies in the article. Truth is there are probably inaccuracies in all the articles in all the newspapers I have quoted psaks from various Rabbonim. Newspapers just never get all the details right.

But anyways, they printed it, in they quoted newspaper, a Haredi one that might have better connections in Rav Elyashiv's house, so I bring it to you as today's interesting psak from Rav Elyashiv (not that I bring one every day, but...).

A Haredi fellow who owns an apartment in a secular neighborhood asked Rav Elyashiv if he is allowed to rent out his apartment to secular Jews or if it is prohibited because he is, in a sense, assisting that person to commit sins while in the apartment.

Rav Elyashiv's grandson brought the question to his grandfather who responded:
It is better when possible to not rent out apartments to people who do not keep Torah and Mitzvos, because it might be considered assisting him in doing things against the Torah while in the apartment. However, in this situation, where there is no chance a Haredi person would want to rent the apartment (because of it being located in a secular neighborhood), he has what to rely on and is allowed, bdieved, to rent it out to someone who does not keep Torah and mitzvos


  1. It seems that the logical extension of the p'sak is that if someone is renting out his apartment to a chareidi family in a chareidi neighborhood, and it is discovered that, R"L, the tenant commited a sin, he must be evicted, since another chareidi would rent there.

    On that note, does the p'sak deal with the issue of renting to a chareidi who hasn't proven that he never commits sins? Do "secular" Jews have a monopoly on imperfection? Maybe some beit din can come out with a new kind of hechsher, wherein a mashgiach drops by your house unexpectedly to make sure that you say brachot on all your food, don't lie or cheat, etc.

  2. and then every door will be required to have the hechsher stamp on it. woe be the person living in an apartment with no hechsher stamp on the door. His kids will not be accepted into the schools and his daughters will not be set up with good shidduchim.

  3. What good is a shidduch for your children if they won't be able to rent an apartment anywhere?

  4. you've heard of the kosher-phone - here comes the kosher-home!

  5. In other words, be machmir unless it affects your pocketbook.

  6. Why is it okay to be over on lifnei iver (which apparently this is) in a bdieved situation?

  7. What is preferable, to rent to a secular Jew or to an Arab?

    Can someone ask R' Eliyashiv?

  8. In other words, be machmir unless it affects your pocketbook.

    There are actually halachot that are relaxed if it adversely affects your finances. A common example, is being permitted to shave during sefira if your job requires you to be clean shaven.

  9. I am not a Poseik , but I find it hard to believe that such indirect involvement has a din of Lifnei Iveir. Perhaps once the house is rented out there are potential problems that could come up, but that is different than just saying that a person should not rent a house to someone who will do Aveiros in it.

  10. All I can say is its a good thing your commenters aren't poskim. This psak is actually fairly straight forward. If someone will vadai use your dira for an issur, here turning on lights on shabbos, you may not give it to him. It is mesaye yedei ovrei aveira. This is not a chiddush. It is based on mishnayos in sheviis. This chidush is that here he was mattir. I don't understand the reason for it.


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