Roundup of Statements by Great Rabbis in Response to the Wave of Terror
The Tzanzer Rebbe said that it was hard to dance Hakafot Sheniyot due to the situation and that we should strengthen ourselves in Torah learning.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a
Rav Kanievsky at first reportedly told people not to come to the Old City, but later clarified that people should come with security and via Sha'ar Yafo. UPDATE: After the Rosh Hodesh terror attacks, he issued the following ruling:
1) Yeshiva boys can travel to their Yeshiva
2) They should try not to wander around outside the Yeshiva
3) Women who help their husbands learn can travel to their workplace and Hashem will protect.
4) It is OK to also travel to a Simha of a Mitzva.
UPDATE #2: He later relayed a message to girls in seminaries to pray and strengthen themselves in Tzeniut. UPDATE #3: He later said that the Old City of Yerushalayim is permitted to learn within as it is the safest place in the world. UPDATE #4: He suggested not to name a child after someone who was killed in a terrorist attack if he was killed before the age of 50 - unless you add another name. UPDATE #5: He said that learning Torah is the only way to subdue and be saved from the nations, quoting the Zohar.
Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlit"a
Rav Shteinman was pained by the terror attacks, saying פחד פחד נורא ואיום, but said that the schools must proceed as normal. He added that we need to strengthen ourselves - everyone knows what they need strengthening in - but suggested specific strengthening in Torah and Hessed. UPDATE: After the Rosh Hodesh terror attacks, he stated that Yeshiva boys who are outside Eretz Yisrael should return to Eretz Yisrael and will be protected in the merit of the Torah study. UPDATE #2: He said that an extra 5 seconds of Torah study added to the previous day for 10 days straight will act as protection from the wave of terror.
Rav Gershon Edelshtein Shlit"a
Rav Edelshtein said that we must strengthen ourselves in Torah learning and fulfilling Mitzvot due to Lo Ta'amod Al Dam Re'echa. UPDATE: He said that we need to conduct self-introspection and suggested the following:
1) Be immersed solely in Torah
2) We should consider the good deeds that we do each day important
3) Don't read the newspapers as they are words of vanity
UPDATE #2: He said that we need to be careful in Lashon Hara, Bittul Torah, and Bein Adam LaHaveiro issues.
Gerrer Rebbe Shlit"a
The Gerrer Rebbe instructed people not to visit the Kotel until further notice.
Vizhnitzer Rebbe Shlit"a
The Vizhnitzer Rebbe instructed people not to visit the Kotel until the situation calmed down. UPDATE: he told his followers to strengthen themselves in trust in Hashem.
Satmar Rebbe Shlit"a
The Satmar Rebbe instructed people to say 5 chapters of Tehillim after Shaharit every day. UPDATE: He said that those who go onto Har Habayit are responsible for the bloodshed.
Rav Moshe Shternbuch Shlit"a
Rav Shternbuch blamed the terror wave on those who visit Har Habayit. UPDATE: When asked whether one is allowed to carry weapons in the street or merely trust in Hashem, he replied to the questioner that he has nothing to fear, but if he is still afraid, he can carry weapons as he pleases.
Rav Moshe Tzuriel Shlit"a
Rav Tzuriel said that the terror wave has nothing to do with anyone going up on Har Habayit - the antisemitism started even before Herzl.
Rav Shimon Ba'adani Shlit"a
Rav Ba'adani instructed people to go by car or in groups to the Kotel, but not walking alone. He added that he doesn't know of any way to go onto Har Habayit without faltering in a possible Karet prohibition. UPDATE: He said that weakening in Torah study among Yeshiva boys causes the stabbings. He added that in regards to the refrain in Hatikva "להיות עם חפשי בארצינו", the only ones roaming free in the land are the Arabs - not the Jews.
Rav Shalom Cohen Shlit"a
Rav Cohen said that there is no problem for his students going to the Old City since Torah protects. He added that HKB"H wants us to get closer to Him in holy matters and Ahavat Hinam. UPDATE: After the Rosh Hodesh attacks, Rav Cohen asked his students to start the winter Zman by making a Ta'anit Dibur for a full day or at least an hour and to increase prayers for those injured and for protection. UPDATE #2: He said that HKB"H is dealing with us harshly, and specifically the Haredim. He added that we need to pray to HKB"H and hope that the merit of Torah will help us.
Rav Shelomo Moshe Amar Shlit"a
Rav Amar visited some of the wounded in the hospital and told people to continue coming to the Kotel. He further said that it is forbidden to be afraid - rather, we must trust in HKB"H. He reiterated his halachic ban on visiting Har Habayit. He has now declared this coming Monday - Erev Rosh Hodesh - a fast day and a day of prayer and he recommends the following prayer be recited:
met with and called upon religious leaders of other faiths to strongly condemn the recent terror attacks. UPDATE #2: He said that the most powerful prayer is complete subjugation to Hashem and saying that there is no One else but Him.
Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a
Rav Yosef told people to continue visiting the Kotel and declared this Shabbat as a "Shabbat of Ahdut" which he said works the best to awaken Heavenly mercy. He told people to recite Psalms 121 and 130 when the Aron is opened in the synagogue. UPDATE: He reiterated the prohibition of ascending Har Habayit and also attacked Abu Mazen for his incitement. UPDATE #2: After visiting the recently torched Kever Yosef, he said it was the work of ISIS and added that Israel guards other religions' holy places while the opposite is not true. UPDATE #3: He added that if a Kohen kills a terrorist in self-defense, he can still perform Nesi'at Kappayim. UPDATE #4: He wrote a letter requesting that people not take pictures or look at pictures of the dead or badly wounded.
Rav Shmuel Rabinovitch Shlit"a
The Kotel Rav told people to continue coming to the Kotel. UPDATE: He repeated this directive, adding that security is everywhere and we shouldn't be giving a prize to terror.
Rav Yaakov Ariel Shlit"a
Rav Ariel instructed those with liscences to carry weapons even on Shabbat. He added that the point of contention with the Arabs is not Har Habayit, but rather the Torah.
Rav Shlomo Aviner Shlit"a
Rav Aviner said that this is not a crisis, but a test. This is not a time of trouble, but a time of war. He added that there is exile, there is the Complete Redemption, and there is an in-between time called the incomplete Redemption, which we are currently in. He adds more here, including the idea that we must kill terrorists instead of arresting them.
Rav Shemuel Eliyahu Shlit"a
Rav Eliyahu marched along with Rav Dov Lior Shlit"a at the spot of the murders in the Old City. He said that our enemies will not break our spirit and prayed that Hashem should give PM Netanyahu the courage to do what is needed against our enemies. He added that it is forbidden to forgive the murderers or their friends, the Old City shopkeepers. He added that we should say a chapter of Tehillim or take upon ourselves a positive act in order to increase merits for Am Yisrael. He also said that we are required to cry out to HKB"H to give power to the PM and Am Yisrael to stop the murders and degradation. UPDATE: In addition, he said that any soldier who lets a terrorist live should be investigated. UPDATE #2: In response to MDA's statement that they triage terrorists the same as victims, he said that MDA should kill wounded terrorists. UPDATE #3: When asked by a MDA volunteer what to do in the previous situation, he replied to care for the Jew even if the terrorist dies.
Rav Amnon Yitzhak Shlit"a
Rav Yitzhak said that the stabbings have occurred due to eating from Shehita that was done with knives that were not totally smooth.
Rav Eliezer Berland Shlit"a
Rav Berland said that if they kill the stabbers, the wave of terror will stop, but it will continue if they merely arrest them. UPDATE: He said that the nations are coaxing the Arabs to kill us and only Keriat Shema will save us.
Karlin-Stolin Rebbe Shlit"a
The Karlin-Stolin Rebbe instructed people not to hire Arabs due to the security situation.
Badatz of Edah HaHaredit
The Badatz decried the nationalistic spirit in the Haredi community to ascend to Har Habayit and called upon people to cry out in prayer on Erev Rosh Hodesh.
Mo'etzet Gedolei Hatorah of Agudat Yisrael
The Mo'etzet called upon people to increase Torah learning and prayers.
Rav Bentzion Mutzafi Shlit"a
Rav Mutzafi was asked: if a terrorist is disarmed and under control, is it permissible to kick him, punch him, or shoot him in order to kill him? Without batting an eyelash, he replied that it's a Mitzvah to take his head and beat it against the ground until there is no more moisture of life within him. He added that this is in contradistinction to what Rav David Stav said.
Erlau Rebbe Shlit"a
The Erlau Rebbe called on people to say Tehillim chapters 83, 142, 143, 57, 58, 59, and 75. He added that the Jewish children will save from the hands of the Goyim and will merit health and all blessing and the True Redemption speedily.
Rav Meir Ashkenazi Shlit"a
Rav Ashkenazi, the chief rabbi of Kfar Chabad, has called upon people to recite Tehillim chapters 20, 22, 69, and 130. In addition, he said that one should avoid Arab construction workers if possible, but if not, at least have an armed guard overseeing them.
Mo'etzet Gedolei Hatorah of Agudat Yisrael of America
The Mo'etzet issued a Kol Korei calling upon people to pray, examine their deeds, and for those in Kollelim to intensify their Torah studies.
Machnovka Rebbe Shlit"a
The Machnovka Rebbe called on people to show Ahdut one to another, adding a quote from his great-grandfather, the Belzer Rebbe ZT"L that when people stab each other with words, the non-Jews stab Jews with knives. He added that Galut Yishmael will be the final exile and will last until Jews cry out to Hashem with all their might.
Rav Mordechai Ganot Shlit"a
Rav Ganot said that the reason Motza'ei Shevi'it has always contained serious security events is as it says in Pirkei Avot, one of the times that plagues increase is Motza'ei Shevi'it. And the reason given is because of Shevi'it fruits, meaning the reasons for security concerns on Motza'ei Shevi'it is because we need to be more careful with Shevi'it produce.
Rav Mordechai Malka Shlit"a
Rav Malka, the chief rabbi of Elad, said that our "Spiritual Iron Dome" is Hessed - doing good deeds for others. He added that the reason the Arabs are targeting Haredim is because Haredim have a problem with Sin'at Hinam.
Rav Meir Mazuz Shlit"a
Rav Mazuz said that we must kill terrorists before they kill us, suggesting a death penalty be enacted for them. UPDATE: He notes that every intifada occurs on Motza'ei Shevi'it, so perhaps it has to do with Yevul Nochri. He says there is no Karet associated with ascending Har Habayit in the permissible places with Tevila, but is still worried that if it becomes too popular, those who do not do Tevila will do so. UPDATE #2: Somewhat contradicting the previous statement, he warned people from ascending Har Habayit by force and to antagonize the nations. He added that the Henkins were murdered due to the Toeva parade.
Rav Yehuda Deri Shlit"a
Rav Deri, the Chief Rabbi of Be'er Sheva, said that the terrorist attack in Be'er Sheva, even though a soldier was killed and many wounded, resulted in a huge miracle in that the terrorist didn't start shooting in all directions. He added that the prohibition to ascend Har Habayit is still in force and the sign at the entrance should not be changed. Even those to allow it should only go to certain areas and perhaps, it should only be for Talmidei Hachamim since the Hamon Am don't understand these things. He added that once a terrorist is under control, one should not murder him.
Rav David Lau Shlit"a
Rav Lau met with imams in an effort to convince them that there was no status quo change on Har Habayit.
Rav Dov Kook Shlit"a
Rav Kook started a Keriat Shema campaign and it seems he got a bunch of secular professionals to join him in reciting Keriat Shema.
Rav Tzion Boaron Shlit"a
Rav Boaron made a special visit to the Kotel after hearing people were afraid to come to the Kotel and he said Tikkun Hatzot there. UPDATE: He suggested that people be careful in not speaking during prayers, Tzeniut, and peace among ourselves, along with answering Amen Yehei Shemeh Rabba with all our might.
Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein Shlit"a
Rav Zilbershtein was asked if he must stop using Arab workers to add an addition to his apartment if neighbors complain about it. He says that there is no danger since דשו ביה רבים. However, at the end of his responsa on the matter, he quotes his father-in-law Rav Elyashiv ZT"L who says the opposite. UPDATE: He said that we need to stop in-fighting among spouses, family members, neighbors, etc. in order to stop the terrorist attacks. He added that the best protection for a bus is for there to be Torah learning on the bus since then the bus turns into a Beit Midrash.
Rav Yitzchak Brand Shlit"a
Rav Brand discusses the idea of killing a neutralized terrorist. He says that since they are trying to kill us, it is like a wartime setting and it is permissible to do so. He adds that the ridiculous policy of Magen David Adom to treat a critically-wounded terrorist before a seriously-wounded Jewish victim is more of a reason to kill the terrorist since his being alive is preventing the Jew from getting the care he needs.
Rav Dov Lior Shlit"a
Rav Lior says that it is permissible to harm a neutralized terrorist as it is considered like a war.
Rav Tzvi Tau Shlit"a
Rav Tau said that the terrorist attacks were due to improperly relating to the Mekom Hamikdash.
Rashei Yeshiva in North America
A document signed by 4 Rashei Yeshiva in North America - including Rav Shlomo Miller Shlit"a and Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel Shlit"a - hinted that the attacks were due to improper halachic decision-making, especially improper Hafka'at Kiddushin.
(Please add any statements I missed in the comments.)