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May 19, 2021

does Torah protect or should the yeshivas be moved?

Just over a week ago when the tiktokifada began, Rav Chaim Kanievsky reportedly instructed the communities under his guidance in southern Israel to continue their [Torah] studies as normal, despite the increase in violence, both from the tiktokifada (though he probably did not call it that) and from the renewed barrage of rockets from Gaza.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky explained that where Torah is being learned, there is no concern for safety. Safety rules must be adhered to, and when air raid sirens are blared, everyone must take the necessary precautions for protection, but the schools and yeshivas should not close or relocate.

That report is from Ynet, so maybe they got it wrong, but Rav Kanievsky has a history of this opinion and it is consistent with what he has said in the past in other dangerous situations.

According to Behadrei, several days later Rav Kanievsky instructed his son in law, Rav Zelig Braverman, to relocate his yeshiva, Derech Emuna, from Lod to somewhere safer until the tiktokifada (again, Rav Kanievsky probably did not use this name) subsides, until the rage passes.

Upon Rav Kanievsky's advice, the yeshiva temporarily relocated to Hadera, waiting for the situation in Lod to calm down.

It seems like a contradiction in Rav Kanievsky's beliefs. I have a few possible solutions:

1. Less likely is that in the yeshiva Derech Emuna they are not learning so diligently, so they have less protection and thus need to relocate while other yeshivas do not. It just does not seem likely this came up or was discussed or is even the situation.

2. Perhaps the situation in Lod was so bad that the Torah could no longer be enough protection - either God was showing a moment of rage during which even Torah does not really protect, or maybe where danger is imminent and fairly definite and not just theoretical or possible the Torah does not protect. the danger of rockets down south earlier in the week was pretty definite, so it is difficult to make this distinction, but maybe that is what he felt.

3. Perhaps the boys were so scared that even though the Torah protects, they were possibly not learning well due to being afraid, or maybe the protection of the Torah versus the fear of the boys, it was determined to be worth moving the yeshiva just to calm the boys (and even the staff)

4. family connections. everyone else should stay put but son in law can move if necessary. This seems less likely. Rav Kanievsky does not come off as a "protexia" type person. He seems to say what he thinks, be it as it may.

Any other suggestions?

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  1. You ask for any other suggestions.


    Pikuach Nefesh Docheh Hakol!

    That's what Judaism says.

    Any other answer isn't Judaism!

    1. that is true but it does not explain why the earlier time he said that where torah is learned there is no danger and they should not move

  2. Remember the Iron Dome of Beit Shemesh?

  3. R' Slifkin has lots of articles about this topic. Make of it what you will

  4. Hard to explain here so I'll just toss this out and ha'mayvin yavin: there is a big difference between missiles (which for all intents and purposes can be considered close to random as to where they land) and a direct human attack as in Lod. For a random attack it's much easier to rely on the merits of Torah, but for a direct attack by a being with free will, merits have less effect.


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