Gedolei Yisrael on Bein Hazmanim

A Call to Bnei Hayeshivos from Rav Y. S. Elyashiv, Rav A. L. Steinman and Rav M. Y. Lefkowitz

We currently find ourselves in a time of communal suffering, when Klal Yisrael is threatened by its enemies, and many residents of our Holy Land are in constant danger. It is surely a time to cry out and raise our voices in order to know that we bear responsibility for this great evil. And each of us must strengthen himself and to improve his actions so that our Father in Heaven removes this decree from upon us. “The heart knows its own bitterness” (Mishlei 14:1).

Our sages have declared that the Torah has the power to protect and shield from all evil. Therefore we must strengthen ourselves in Torah study. And what Torah study has this protective power? That which is learned with the conditions described by our Sages – i.e., learning with yirah, kedushah and taharah, without being drawn by the pleasures and vanities of this world. There are many challenges in this area and it needs much strengthening. There are many levels towards this goal, but each act of strengthening oneself in these areas finds favor before Hashem, and its merit serves to protect from evil.

The days of bein hazmanim approach. At a time like this, it would truly be appropriate to continue the learning schedules as usual, without any break at all, and even to increase in our learning in order to bring merit to Klal Yisrael. Accordingly, we greatly value the decision of those yeshivos that have already decided to continue their regular learning schedule, ashreihem v’tov lahem.

Everyone should use this period for the purpose for which it was intended — in order to prepare himself for learning with renewed strength. Be careful not to spend time in the streets and marketplaces and places that are inappropriate for Bnei Torah. One who guards his soul should always stay away from such places, and how much more so during these times when we need extra chizuk because of the evil.

Each and every one of us must share the burden of those who are in danger and feel their pain. Chas Veshalom should anyone go on outings and recreational trips. The roshei yeshivah should stringently warn their students about this, and it is the obligation of parents to ensure that their children should not break this geder and remove themselves from the Klal, and cause a chilul Hashem.

At this time, we are calling upon the bnei hayeshivos to join in the learning in yeshivos bein hazemanim and to keep a regular seder. The yeshivos bein hazmanim across the country should be strengthened, and should be established, at minimum, as they are in Nissan and Tishrei. It is our request that all donors recognize the necessity of strengthening these yeshivos in these days of emergency and tzarah.

Tefillah should be strengthened at this time. Eveyone should keep his regular place of tefillah, and be careful with the halachos of zman kriyas sh’ma and zman tefillah, and to pray and beg for mercy that Hashem remove this tzarah from upon the house of Israel.

Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv Aharon Leib Steinman Michael Yehudah Lefkowitz

A Call from HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rosh Yeshivas Mir

We are now in a period in which “our enemies have reared their heads” (Tehillim 83:2) and “on the outside the sword will brings bereavement, while indoors there is dread” (Devarim 32:25). As Chazal comment on the verse, “Why is it that I have come and there is no man? [Why is it] that I have called and there is no answer?” (Yeshaya 50:2): Only in the merit of Torah scholars who are sitting in the halls of study and shuls and learning Torah is the world saved from destruction.

I once again call out from the depth of my heart to each member of our holy yeshiva, may he live and be well, to strengthen his Torah learning in the upcoming days and to make every effort to set up learning sessions in the holy yeshiva, with no weakening whatsoever.

Everyone must know the great responsibility that is upon him to be mekadesh shem Shamayim and to bear the burden together with all of our fellow Jews, and to increase Torah and tefillah in order that Our Father in Heaven take mercy upon and take us out to a broad space and protect us from all suffering.

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10 Responses

  1. HILLEL says:

    When brave young men are putting their lives on the line in the battlefields, it is elementery Menschlichkeit that all of Klal Yisroel should share the burden.

  2. Menachem Petrushka says:

    Dear Rabbi Rosenblum

    I am glad to see that Ashkenazi Gedoley Yisroel cancelled vacations this time in contrast to what happened in Nissan and Av of 5762. What changed their minds? More people were killed and injured in Nissan of 5762 tban in this war so far.

  3. Yaakov Menken says:


    What’s the question?

    In 5762 vacation had already started when the infamous Pesach massacre led to significant hostilities — and until that time, the conflict was nowhere near as large or as dangerous as the present one. You didn’t have hundreds of explosives daily, or hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes for fear of their lives.

  4. ak says:

    see article in Jerusalem post
    may we merit heavenly protection for our brethren in Israel.

  5. Menachem Petrushka says:

    Dear Rabbi Menken

    You wrote that in 5762 the situation was far less serious and that vacation had already started. Why, then, did Rav Ovadia Yosef cancel ben hazmanim(vacation) that Nissan 2002 for the Sephardi yeshivas? Rabbi Rosenblum, himself, in a column in the summer of 5762(2002) in suggested that insisting on going on vacations that Nissan was not the wisest course of action.

    Secondly, reports that Rav Yosef was the first Rosh Yeshiva this time to cancel ben hazmanim vacations yet there is no mention of his Kol Koreh(announcement to that effect) in Rabbi Rosenblum’s posting?

  6. Yaakov Menken says:

    Did I say that the situation in 5762 wasn\’t serious? I don\’t imagine that Rav Yosef would disagree that the current situation is more serious.

    Rabbi Aryeh L. Steinman, according to the Jerusalem Post, didn\’t want to cancel ben hazmanim this time, either: \”[Rav] Steinman cited the Yom Kippur War as proof. He said that the vacation after Yom Kippur was cancelled due to the war. But yeshiva students ended up not learning as much as they normally do and the cancelled vacation also hurt learning afterwards.\”

    You asked what changed their minds — I said that without question, this situation cannot be compared even to the height of the second Intifada. That remains true. Rav Steinman presented why this isn\’t a decision to be made lightly — so I think you have the answer to your question.

  7. Menachem Petrushka says:

    Dear Rabbi Menken

    I do not dare question a gadol’s thinking vs a vs Torah study or any other halachic matter. I will admit I am closer to the secular person’s way of thought than that of a Ben Torah. Therefore I feel free to voice whatI think is the thoughts of the aveage non-Charedi Israeli.

    The charedim claim they serve in Israel’s defense by learning Torah which is the true sheild of Israel. To most non-charedi Israelis, the charedim put a lie to the above when they take or even talk of taking a vacation from Torah Study during a crisis when people are being blown up and soldiers are being killed. Either the Charedim do no beleive in what the preach or are concerned only about themselves. They are not fighting, they do not by and large live in the north and the core of ashkenazi charedim were miracuously spared suciide bombings until Av of 2002.

  8. Yaakov Menken says:

    Until Av of 2002? I am unaware of any numbers that suggest a difference between charedim and the rest of the population concerning when things happened. Axe-grinding aside, you have presented no reason why — when the result of a well-earned vacation is better Pesach preparation and better preparation for the next session of learning — the yeshivos should not have taken a break. At this time, however, there is substantial feeling that they can take a break when the danger has passed — they are needed now.

  9. Dan says:

    All along we see those referred to as gadolim sitting in government, supporting the far leftist government who hate Torah, who openly give our heritage away to our enemies by throwing Jews off The Land. Its one thing to pray to Hashem, its quite another for these gadolim to be men, to stand up for Hashems Torah, Hashems Land – our heritage. When can we expect to finally, finally see these gadolim act as men, as men defeding our heritage, working against these far lefties who work to destroy so much, when ???? There is a time for all things, a time to be born, a time to die, even a time to act as men and go to war, nu already, nu !!!! The enemy is also inside The Land, not only attacking from without, look to the far left, see for yourselves.

  10. Steve Brizel says:

    Just curious-anyone see an article in Haaretz and the views of R Elyashiv re the US and presumably the EU? Doesn’t anyone realize that the US has given Olmert a green light ?

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