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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kikar on Rav Kanievsky's Statements Attributed to Him

Here's the translation of the Kikar article with some added info from the quoted article:

Recently, irresponsible sources posted rumors regarding the opinion of Maran Sar Hatorah Haga'on Rav Chaim Kanievsky on the period of Ikveta Dimshiha while they are supposedly warning the Tzibbur about "dangers and wars".  In the Divrei Si'ah Newsletter, that goes out by way of Maran Sar Hatorah's associates, they decided to put an end to the wave of baseless rumors and to publicize the true opinion of Maran Haga'on Rav Chaim in the matter.

In the wake of many inquiries regarding all different and strange types of announcements that supposedly Rabbeinu Shlit"a is warning about a war or is warning everyone about a harsh period that will come after Shavuot, and various rumors, we dedicate the following essay to make order and clarification in the words of Maran Sar Hatorah Shlit"a.

The truth is that this is not the first time - as in the past periods, the rumors start to spread very quickly, and nowadays, they are even spread by way of the various media networks - that waves of hysteria start to spread, and in Rabbeinu's house, they receive a flood of phone calls, asking, "Is it true?"

A variety of false prophecies of doom that promise destruction and various wars are being publicized in Maran's name via anonymous sources, and of course, it is impossible without a clear promise with an exact date for the time of the arrival of Mashiah...and the world is in chaos and confusion.

A member of the household approached Maran and told this over to him and asked, "Is there a need to try and deny the matter?"

Maran waved his hand as a rejection and said, "Once, they came to the Hazon Ish and told him that someone publicized something in his name that he never said, and they wanted to come out with a big denial. The Hazon Ish smiled and said, "If I deny this, they'll say that the other things that I didn't deny are correct. Someone who wants to clarify the truth can already find a way to do so."

In general, we heard from one of Maran's grandsons that Rabbeinu reemphasizes that the entire period that we are in is a period of Ikveta Dimshiha, and we have been in this period for hundreds of years already. But in this generation, we see things that they did not see in previous generations. For example, what the heads of the government are unfortunately scrupulously fulfilling the gemara that there will be forced work with Talmidei Hachamim and the "increased Hutzpa" that there is in this generation against Talmidei Hachamim. These are things that stick out negatively, Rahmana Litzlan.

In addition to all this, there are various and strange troubles of illnesses, Hashem Yerahem, there is almost no home where there is not one dead - the hundreds of names for Refu'a that reach Maran each day attest to this. And also strange tragedies throughout the world, and it is superfluous to talk about this at length. Maran's answer to all this is that we should know that this is the final period before the coming of Mashiah, and it is incumbent upon everyone to pray that indeed we will merit his coming soon.

Rabbeinu Shlit"a never said or mentioned a date or other time period of a schedule. Just the opposite - there is a grave prohibition of calculating the Endtimes that Haza"l talked about at length in Perek Helek in Tractate Sanhedrin, and Rabbeinu Shlit"a only constantly points out to strengthen ourselves from the hazards of the time and to know that we are close to the coming of the Redemption soon.

And it's brought down in the book "Minhat Todah" that at the end of 5766, a Jew from the Diaspora came in to see Rabbeinu and said that he wanted to buy him a new frock as a gift. Rabbeinu answered him that he already has enough - one for Shabbat and one for the weekdays - "but if you want," Rabbeinu added, "you should bring one that will be to honor Mashiah when he comes." [And it's known that Rav David Frankel ZT"L brought the Kehillat Yaakov (the Steipler - Rav Kanievsky's father) a special Kappota that he will have to greet the face of Mashiah Tzidkeinu.]

And once, someone asked what to do for his wife who doesn't want him to grow a beard yet [and this person who asked is a Kohen]. Rabbeinu wrote him back, "Tell her that soon, Mashiah will come, and a Kohen who doesn't have a beard is invalid for Avoda, as the Ramban writes, and he will have great embarrassment."

Someone from the Diaspora said in front of Rabbeinu, "It is difficult for my wife to think of moving to Eretz Yisrael." Rabbeinu said, "Tell her that it's a Mitzvah and soon everyone will come to Eretz Yisrael. Also, tell her that if the Mashiah will come, will you not agree to come to Eretz Yisrael?

With the blessing of Shabbat Shalom,

[Rabbi] Yitzchak Goldshtoff

I will just add that it seems to me that someone - either these anonymous sources or the author of this article - is conflating the statements of Rav Kanievsky with the statements of the Kabbalists. Note that Rav Yosef Berger was clear about who said what, but it's possible that it was misconstrued by the masses.

I will also add that there are various opinions about calculating dates nowadays.  See here, for example.


At Wed May 13, 01:56:00 PM 2015, Blogger Neshama said...

Yes, I agree, conflating is a good term. However, I see it as a conflated "disclaimer" to ease the public. Not very authentic.

It seems by them that we are in the days of rumors of rumors.


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