Rav Chaim Kanievski Rules To Daven In Private Without A Minyan


BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — Hagaon Rav Chaim Kanievski has ruled that at present one is obligated to daven in private without a minyan. Rav Chaim says that we are in a situation of Pikuach Nefesh (saving lives) and added that those who violate health ministry regulations are considered to be a rodef (one who is endangering people’s lives).

In the next few hours, a letter will be published by the rabbis of Bnei Brak calling on people not to organize ad hoc minyanim and to daven privately until after the coronavirus has gone. Moreover the rabbis will call on people not to learn in a Beis Midrash but rather in their homes.

Rav Chaim also ruled that one can report to the police any institution of shul which is violating health ministry regulations, even if it means officials will be fined or jailed for their actions.

Last week, chief rabbis David Lau and Yitzchak Yosef ruled to close all shuls and not hold any ceremonies inside them.


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    • I have tremendous respect for all gedolim and I think that what the people in charge of giving information to r chain are making the rav look like fool so please have kavod hatorah and tell him the situation when its happening not two weeks later

  1. What’ve no respect for this psak unless you show a video of the question being posed. Anything short of that is worthless. Period. And everyone knows this. So your fooling no one.

  2. The Rav’s psak should have come out 10-14 days ago. There is an unconfirmed report on YNET that the Rav
    was only told today that there is a “mageifa.” The Rav learns Torah day and night, and depends on “gabaiim”
    for news of the outside world. If the Rav was not told about the coronavirus epidemic until today, the “gabaiim”
    will be be unable to declare “ידינו לא שפכו את הדם הזה”!!!

  3. At the risk of chutzpa, Reb Chaim said to keep the yeshiva open, and two days later said to close when asked in a different way, don’t take much stock in what he says because it matters who asked the question and how

  4. Just let the police do their job, and go back to saving people!
    Sadly, the chillul Hashem is already out there regarding the frum oilam not practicing safe health practices.

  5. 2,000 deaths later. Yosher Koach. I won’t call him an idiot out of respect to my elders. He could have said this weeks ago, perhaps some people wouldn’t have died.

      • If he’s a gadol then he should have known about Covid-19 and the dangers of it weeks ago and not rely on handlers. If he’s relying on handlers, then he’s not a gadol since he’s relying on handlers and he needs people around him to tell him what is what.
        So which one is it?

      • The Rav said until yesterday to doven with a minyan and keep the Yeshivos open. Today he says that anyone who says to doven with a minyan and to keep the Yeshivis is a rodef and murderer.
        How many people have died and will die because they dovened with a minyan and learnt at a Yeshivah because the Gadol Rav told them to???????

  6. How about the multitudes of people all over the world that already have had the Virus, why are they forbidden on making the Minyanim ?

    It seems that at least 50% of Jews in Brooklyn have already had the Virus (if not more), so why not allow them to make a Minyan together (with no one else that is not 100% sure if they had the Virus to participate) ?

    • Interesting question. Why Not? Like in Succos. The Torah says to stay in a Sucah 7 days. The Rabbis say if its raining dont stay in the sukkah. PERIOD. If you do you are a Sajteh (Idiot) It doesnt matter that you LOVE eating (or dancing)in the RAIN. The (Living) Rabbis clearly said no to MINYAN. It ironic that this is a first in history when Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Agudah, Chassidic, Chabad all agree. (I am not sure of the opinion of the Mesiachisten or others who follow the advice of Rebbes not alive.) As a Litvishe rabbi said its only the Yezer Hore is telling you to daven with a minjan.

  7. Since when do chassidim and others listen to Rav Chaim. When reb Chaim 17 years ago sent messages to big rebbes to bring out a hundred thousand protesters against the first gay parade in Jerusalem, they ignored him. If they did not listen then why would they listen now. Here in Brooklyn I see tons of people going to Daven. Get into your car and drive up down 14 ave and you will see all day people walking with Tallis and tfillin to Daven. They are not walking around with their tali’s bags as an excercise.

  8. Rav Kanievski waits until March 29 to finally announce that those “who violate health ministry regulations are considered to be a rodef.” But those regulations were issued weeks ago. Is it only starting now that a violator of those regulations is a rodef? Last week the violator was not a rodef? The idea that a health ministry regulation need not be adhered to until Rav Kanievski says so is absurd. All this announcement by Rav Kanievski shows unfortunately is that Daas Torah lags behind “daas” medical and may have resulted in people unnecessarily becoming ill or c”v dying. Time for Daas Torah to announce that you don’t need Daas Torah and shouldn’t wait for Daas Torah to tell you to listen to the medical experts about coronavirus or any other medical issue.

      • Except that even gedolim are human. Moshe Rabbeinu- called “Eved Hashem” upon his death, the highest honor a person can achieve, he spoke to HKBH “face to face” and was worthy enough to take B”Y out of mitzrayim, to be a conduit for Hashem’s miracles- erred before Hashem. His motives were pure of heart and still considered grave enough an error that he wasn’t allowed to enter E”Y. And you really think today’s contemporary gedolim are more perfect people than Moshe Rabbeinu??? We aren’t Christian nor Catholic. We don’t believe our gedolim are demigods.

    • Daas Torah (real daas torah) was to listen to the medical experts (experts in this matter) and not anyone else. Unfortunately people confused various statements said by various people that were contrary to this as being daas torah, when in-fact it was clearly not.

      • For those that are genuinely asking and not just to speak against religious Jews, The above explanation is not that Daas Torah is subservient to medical authorities. There are times that one must die to sanctify Hashem’s life and (even) go against the government. Although this case is different since Halacha mandates that we be safe, however when the danger can be avoided through social distancing, then Halacha mandates that one ignores the edicts of the government to close down Minyonim. Only after the Rabbonim see that it’s not working (and the danger cannot be avoided), are the Rabbonim in the position to instruct people to follow the governments orders and close up shop. So there’s no contradiction that until now he said to continue and now he said to heed the government’s orders.
        I know there will be those who will mock this but that’s because they were never bothered by the Rav’s delay but by Daas Torah in general, which is Hepech Daas Baal Habayis (layman’s “common sense”).

  9. People, there is never a good time, but certainly not now, to disparage a universally recognized gadol hador who is a posek for other poskim. You don’t know what information he was initially given and how it was explained.

    • Exactly the point, when you selectively feed him info you get the answer you want and that is why people don’t believe anything he says, its because he answers the question the way the gabbi wants it answered when he asks the question

    • So basically your point is that no one should every rely on a psak signed by R’ Chaim as you can’t trust he got the correct facts. Isn’t that effectively saying he is not a posek at all?

      • Honest. Awfully silly statement…..
        of course nobody can believe what they hear coming from the name of the great rabbi you can only rely on it if you were there yourself or from somebody that heard it that you trust .

  10. There are minyanim opening up for those who have already contracted the virus and are now better. Is that an okay situation? Medically, they can’t get it again or pass on any germs.

    • The data on this is not yet complete. There are reports that one can be infected again. Be cautious.
      Can the medical establishment comment on this please?

      • Studies out are not clear and they currently advise against risk of further exposure until about 3 months out when the titers are expected to be at a sufficient level to combat a future infection.

        So no, you can’t have minyanim if you have this. It is irresponsible and you should be considered a rodef. Further, at this time it would be irresponsible to go out if you have this as likely you are still spreading it. Without 2 tests showing you are negative for this, the medical establishment considers you still having it.

  11. This is too little, too late. All of Bnei Brak is infected and all those who mocked physicians and science are now crowding the hospitals. They are not looking To crowd the Yeshivot. They mocked science and now they beg for it. Pathetic. Use Your own brains – don’t wait until a 92 year old who knows zero medicine tells you something.

  12. Didn’t the Rav pasken a couple of weeks ago that shuls and yeshivos must stay open?! That was Da’as Torah, which is INFALLIBLE!!!! It has syata dishmaya, and is correct. People rely on daas Torah for medical and financial decisions and even matters of life and death. Does daas Torah change with the updated information in the media?! That means the “daas Torah” was merely “daas adam”, using logic and known information. A well informed goy l’havdil, can give such “daas torah” too.

  13. Th problem is not with the psak. The problem is that people dont listen to their own – if they even have one, an ever bigger problem. That we live in a generation of waiting for a psak from the other side of the world, asked by a gabbai who may or not have all the facts, or who may or may not present all the facts, instead of people having a Rav in their own neighborhood, who they can call whenever needed, is as serious a problem as the virus itself.

  14. All Rav Chaim wants to do is learn and left undisturbed. Folks, he is unaware of anything going on in the outside world! The soundbites that the ventriloquists kvetch out of him with their agenda-laden information are to be taken for what they are. Now the agenda is back-peddling because that is what serves their best interests. Declaration of those recent fasts as a way to stop the mageifa instead of having made the necessary decisions early on to comply and shutdown everything is proof positive the lack of any rhyme or reason among his handlers beyond self-interest. All frum people should shift whom they listen to way from this—and to local Rabbanim who know the facts on their ground are in their own communities and are respectful of local doctors, public health officials, and government orders. The askanim and those Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshiva who have been embracing every Sif-Kattan from the messaging that comes out through those askanim are culpable.

    • If you don’t know what’s happening in the world how can you give advice once you have already been told that it could kill people. The Lubavitcher Rebbe always said to consult doctors when it came to medical issues.

  15. While I am not someone who defends Daas Torah in every instance, I don’t think disparaging this great man in any way is a good idea, especially when the malach hmoves has been let off the leash.

  16. Less than two weeks ago this was the situation:
    ” Despite Police Visit to Harav Chaim Kanievsky, the Rav Says That Yeshivas & Chadarim Cannot Be Closed…
    Following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement on Motzei Shabbos of the partial shutdown being imposed on Israeli citizens in wake of the spreading coronavirus, the Health Ministry issued a new order on Sunday morning, directing all yeshivos and kollelim to close down.
    However, the yeshivos and kollelim were already opened for the day on Sunday and many chadarim opened as well as word spread that Hagadol Harav Chaim Kanievsky said that bittul Torah is more dangerous than the coronavirus.”

    • Dan….. are you so silly and naive to believe one word that comes out of that address ? you can rely on him one hundred percent only if you heard it straight from his mouth and you articulated the question

  17. Horrible situation…well meaning naive people are being led to the slaughter…

    There is a special hell for those who have led people to this situation.

  18. I am commenting here to stand up for the honor of R’ Kanievsky, shlita, and to call out those who dared disparage him. It is also wrong for VIN to publish their remarks. You have moderators – let them do what is right and stand up for Torah.

  19. Since numerous people are suggesting various reasons why Klal Yisroel (and the rest of the world) are being punished with this mageifah let me throw another reason into the mix: Perhaps it’s because too many people, including many frum yidden, have been publicly and enthusiastically supporting a President of the United States, whose midos (or lack thereof) and personal behavior are completely at odds with what the Torah and hashkafa expect from Jews or anyone else for that matter, because he’s been good to Israel. Maybe Hashem is telling us that that is not an excuse. Of course neither I nor anyone else knows why Hashem does what he does. But it’s something to think about along with all our other failings.

  20. So you jay orchard want us frum Jews to support democrats who support euthanasia,abortions on demand,same gender marriage,teaching evolution in yeshivas and smoking pot. The reasons this virus is here is to get rid of the democratic atheists mostly in dates like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and california.

  21. The psak of Moran Shlita is for Bnei Brak. There the mageifa is so wide spread and motzuy that it is not a chashash sakana but korov l’va’aday. In other cities less infected, the psak would not apply. Each place requires it’s own individualized psak. Major distinction of sakana is motzuy, sh’chiyach sakana, sofek sakana, chashash sakana…Psak for Bnei Brak does not apply to other places where illness is less prevalent. Not “one size fits all”!!!

  22. When there is a fire in the house you just don’t take risks – Period You don’t wait for a pesak
    before you run.

    No disrespect to da’as torah – if you see the fire you don’t clare what a godol may say.

  23. The fire is the gay parade in yerushalayim. That’s the marGAY feh. This virus is just an outcome. So said Rabbi Mazuz. But you guys don’t listen to Gedolei Yisroel be it Rabbi Mazuz or reb Chaim.


    • That is BS, the Lubavitche Rebbe knew exactly what was going on in the world. If he had seen the idiot bochrim who made a minyan outside 770 this shabbos he would have done something about it immediately.

  25. I saw the video where R Chaim Kanievsky allowed a Purim function to occur. He relied upon the word of his gabbaim, not to decide, but because (and it’s quite obvious from the video), he had never heard of the virus. Not hearing about the virus, does not make him any less pious, not less of a Talmid Chacham. It does make him less of a leader.

    When the R’B’S’O picked leaders for our people, he picked shepherds. Moshe, David, the Avot, Elisha, etc. He did not go to the Beth Medrash and seek out the best student (not that my list does not include great religious leaders) Moshe consulted with Yithro, among others. David relied upon Ahitophel, and others. Elisha studied under Eliahu. Nonetheless, our leaders did not rely solely upon scholarship. When Lot was captured, the Torah says of Avraham, Vayarek et Chanichav, and he went to do battle. Ya’akov, prepared for Eisav, with t’fila, doron and milchama. Shaul met Neachash of Amon with decisive action. Our leadership MUST inform themselves of the goings on in this world. A gabbai can serve as a sounding board. Someone who hasn’t a clue about a global pandemic cannot be a leader. He may be a Tzaddik, a Gaon, but not a leader.

  26. He is a leader. People come to him on life and death issues every day. He never said not to follow medical advice just that no Torah learning is worse than caronavirus. He wanted people to learn spaced apart. When things get worse he may change just as all the politicians and doctors adjust their opinions when things get worse. The problem is us. Expensive weddings. Second generations clueless on conducting a Pesach. Talking in shul. Kicking out poor kids from yeshivas who can’t afford tuition. Remaining silent to same gender marriage and kissing up to evil democratic politicians. Etc

  27. What a בזיון to see the comments. Facts change, information is updated. Many of you had a different viewpoint two weeks ago. Most of America didn’t think twice about it either. Now that it’s here everyone is taking it seriously.

    R’ Chaim is the Gadol Hador. Sad to see the total disrespect.

  28. If I have a question about the Torah, I’ll ask a Rav and follow his words. If I have a question about my health, I’ll ask a doctor and follow his or her words.

    I don’t ask a doctor about the Torah, and I don’t ask a Rav about my health!

  29. Heshy;
    You named off a litany of items that a true leader would have addressed, but your “leaders” are not. I could add more: the Aguna crisis, Intermarriage, high cost of Yeshiva tuition. Numerous teenagers are going OTD, the divorce rates are rising. Where are the true leaders? There are Tzaddikim, there are Torah scholars. We have no leaders!!

  30. Too little, too late.

    Charedim now make up nearly 25% of the sick in Israel, which is more than twice it’s population ratio.

    Keeping minyanim and yeshivos going until now will be fatal to many.

    We should recognize that gedolim only get to see what their handlers and Gabbaim let them see. And therefore, public pronouncements are filtered through mere mortals, not daas Torah.

  31. If a fire breaks out in a large hall with 10,000 people and there’s only one exit, do you tell them to stay and doven and say Tehillim so the fire goes out, or do you tell everyone to exit in an orderly fashion? Similar to WTC building number one.

    • Many people here would do exactly that: Wait for the Gedolim to tell them they could leave a burning building and without that ok, they won’t leave. The building could be collapsing, but no one told you to stop davening. And we all know the Fire Marshals are antisemites and the ones in EY, well they are worse than the Greeks and are Na—-. they wear uniforms. Stay in the building. Keep davening. That’s what happened in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. A portion of Jews have lost all thinking ability with their religion of Gedolianity.

  32. The part that bothers me most, and I haven’t seen anyone consider this angle, is the role of OUR social media in all of this. We are all her on Vosizneias, Yeshiva World, whatever, and accepting the information that we are presented and not holding the websites or their advertisers accountable for anything. I don’t have any idea what R’ Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a did or did not say. I have no access to find out from any legitimate and verified source what was the rav told, more importantly what he may not have been told, and being presented with a full picture of the context. I come here trying to find out the latest news and to feel less isolated during the scariest experience in my lifetime. The ads that pop up constantly while I’m trying to gather real information saying things like, whoever gives to this tzedaka, “HE WILL NOT GET SICK,” have made me sick. There are people out there who have grossly exploited this situation for whatever agenda. The guy in Boro Park who hoarded N95 masks and other medical equipement in order to extort outrageous amounts of money to a desparate medical community was vilified, and rightly so. Why is it not the same thing to exploit one of the gedolim to make a profit by playing on our emotional and spiritual weaknesses?


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