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Dec 3, 2008

Rav Chaim Kanievsky: Amalek!

The story reported in the paper is amazing, if the details are true (which I have no way of verifying).

The story, briefly, is that a businessman involved in real estate had an offer to be involved in a deal in the Japanese market. Not knowing what to do, he send a letter via a messenger to Rav Chaim Kanievsky asking his advice.

Rav Kanievsky responded that he should not get involved in the Japanese market, and if he is interested because the business in the US is bad, he should come to Israel.

He showed Rav Kanievsky's response to his rabbi, who told him if that is what Rav Kanievsky said, you better drop the idea of Japan. And the rabbi then told him the following story to explain:

A frum Jew in New Jersey was involved in a car accident in which he killed an elderly non-Jewish fellow. The driver was exonerated and the court said it was not his fault.

Still, he was troubled by the fact that he had killed a person. He could not sleep at night because of it. He wanted to know what he could do. So he sent a letter to Rav Chaim Kanievsky describing the situation and asking what he could do.

Rav Kanievsky sent back a one word response: "Amalek".

He had no idea what that meant, and he continued to be troubled by what had happened.

Eventually he decided to move. When looking for a new house, the seller of one told him that they wanted to get rid of it, because they were inheritors. their father had been killed in a car accident.
He then discovered that the father who had been killed was the one who had been involved in the accident with him. He then went through the house and discovered in the basement a box of pictures.

In the box were old pictures of this man as a young man in a Nazi SS uniform standing next to Adolph Hitler. He also found a list of names of people this person had killed when he was a Nazi officer.

He now understood what Rav Kanievsky had said. He had told him he could be calm, because he had killed a card-carrying member of Amalek!

When this fellow heard that story, he immediately cancelled the offer for the Japanese deal. he decided to come to Israel for a visit, and when in Israel he went to see Rav Chaim Kanievsky and get a bracha.
While still in Israel, he received an offer from an Israeli company to be their representative in the US for their real estate deals.


  1. Oooold story, long ago debunked to not be close to true.

  2. Yes. I too have heard this one before. Even if it were true, could it be that Rav Kanievsky said it was Amalek because he meant, "If Hashem wanted it to happen there must be a reason and I think that the reason that this person happend to die was because he was Amalek." The claim could never be disproved as we don't know who is really Amalek nowadays. And telling the fellow to move to Israel has nothing to do with a true vision, he just wanted to bring more yidden to E"Y where it is better to give business to Jews than non-Jews.

  3. seriously, if he was exonerated of the crime, that means that the family of the deceased would have at least heard his name. Are you telling me that the seller of the home did not recognize the potential buyer? please

  4. More likely the buyer met with a real-estate agent who said that the owners were inheritors, etc.

    In any event, what was the guy doing going through boxes in the basement?

  5. oy! I think you post these on purpose every once in a while just to get these responses. even you don't abide by these stories.

  6. And how many did he respond "Amalek" and it meant nothing? We'll never know 'cause non-events don't get reported.

  7. Did R' Chaim then seek out the guy's descendents to kill them as per the mitzvas asei?

    If not, why not?

    (unles the story is total bunkum, of course)

  8. The story reported in the paper is amazing, if the details are true (which I have no way of verifying).

    The story, briefly, is that the image of the Virgin Mary appeared in the sky before dozens of people!

  9. Rafi G: Don't you know better? Never trust anything said or written in R' Kanievski's name?

    I can use this in my Frum Urban Legends book (Urban Agaditas)

  10. of course, Jameel. But they make for great stories, and for great posts!


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