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Sep 20, 2010

A Rav Chaim Kanievsky Miracle!

Bnei Braq doesn't use the regular water source most of Israel uses, the National Water Carrier, Mekorot. The reason is because of a takana established by Rav Kanievsky in which he said one cannot use Mekorot as a water source becuse they are mechalel shabbos in their activities to keep the water running. Instead, Bnei Braq gets their water from an alternate company named "Mei Baraq" who uses a special generator for shabbos connected to the water pumps.

The recent "3-day yom tov" of Rosh Hashana and Shabbos presented them with a problem - their system is designed to manage with 1 day's worth of water for the city on a normal basis, and they estimated that the generator would not survive the three day holiday and continue pumping out the water throughout.

They sent a representative to ask Rav Chaim Kanievsky what to do, in this exceptional case, and if as a one time incident if they could use Mekorot water.

Rav Kanievsky responded, according to the Kikar Shabbos report, that in now way can they use Mekorot, and Hashem will help, and sent them on their way with a bracha.

Shortly before Rosh Hashana, the people at Mei Baraq came up with an idea, so the story goes. There is a well on the edge of Bnei Braq, just at the edge of the Kiryat Herzog neighborhood. The well had been condemned by the Health Ministry because of the poor quality of the water, but Mei Baraq figured they would try - nothing ventured, nothing gained - and sent a request for a one-time allowance to use the water.

For an unknown reason, the Health Ministry allowed it.

For 3 days of the holiday (RH and Shabbos), Bnei Braq residents drank from what used to be contaminated water, and Rav Kanievsky's bracha seemingly cleaned it for those 3 days.

After the holiday, the Health Ministry tested the water and found it contaminated.

And in Bnei Braq they have declared the allowance issued by the Health Ministry to drink contaminated water for three days without first testing it as a miracle. Perhaps another aspect, though not mentioned in the article, of the miracle is that nobody got sick from drinking the contaminated water.


  1. I can't really believe this. In order to avoid Chillul Shabbat, the people drank contaminated water. What about Pikuach Nefesh? Who knows what bacteria or chemicals were in that water, that their effects will only show in years to come. Mekorot don't work because they want to, it's an essential service like the police, or army. I could imagine the army closing down for Yomtov too. Sorry, Arabs, we can't fight you today, it's Yomtov.

  2. Why is it a "one-time" event? A few years ago there was a 3-day RH and there are several more in the near future. If this was a known issue, why wasn't it planned for if the issur of using Mekor is so great? I'm laughing as I type this. Plan ahead?

  3. Kehilla Keren Kupa Shel TzedakaSeptember 20, 2010 12:49 PM

    Obviously they donated to Kupat Ha'ir!

  4. I'm surprised it didn't come out of the taps as wine!

  5. As tesyaa said, we've had three day RH into Shabbat before! This is a bubbe maiseh (or BM). As Meir said, drinking the contaminated water was probably a bigger prohibition. Do any of those heliger holies know what contaminated water can do, for instance, to neonates? This whole story is, well, stupid. There, I said it. And, as Rav Y D Soloveitchik is famously quoted: "stupid is also assur."

    I just really hope the whole incident is fabricated; as I believe it is.

  6. I got a kick out of the fact that they wer willing to drink contaminated water for 3 days because Rav K said everything would be ok.

    The story would have been more believable had he said everything would be ok and instead of using contaminated water they used their generator as usual and it survived the 3 days despite pessimistic predictions.

    but they chose to go the route of the contaminated water which makes for a funnier story.

  7. well, I'll go out on a limb and say what most are really thinking, but afraid to admit it openely: BS! This story is BS!I don't believe, it was said, I don't believe they drank contaminated water instead, and I don't believe that if they did, NOONE got sick from it. This goes back to other posts of yours that relay the message that what Gedolim do actually say, is usually misrepresented and misquoted.

  8. This article is absurd and I am sure r' Chaim would not approve of the way it was written.
    Someone should have tested te water before. Not drink it, hope forth best and test afterwards to find it is still contaminated. It was most likely contaminated when everyone drank from it for three days.

  9. did you notice our latest bill from "mei shemesh"? What does that mean?


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