Rav Kanievsky's Psak

I am putting the original post back up as I originally wrote it. Please refer to the second part of the story before drawing any conclusions, as I was mistaken in some of the major details.

Rav Levy is a very distinguished member of the community. He is someone well versed in both nigleh and nistar (the revealed and hidden parts of the Torah). I have spoken to him numerous times discussing topics ranging from the mundane to the esoteric and I have found him to be someone with a lot of intuitive wisdom and a keen observer of life.

A neighbor of mine was hosting a certain young man for Shabbos, and this young man ate the Friday night meal at Rav Levy’s house. He came back and told my neighbor the story that follows, which I excitedly and quickly confirmed by hearing it directly from Rav Levy himself.

Rav Levy has a daughter who moved to the states a few years ago because her specialty pays 40 shekels an hour here in Israel, and in the US she would make $65 an hour. She recently became engaged to a young man who also lives in the US. Being that all of her friends and all of his family are there, both the chosson and kallah wanted to have their wedding in the states. Rav Levy was presented with a dilemma. Bli ayin hara he has a large family, and bringing the entire family to the states would be a tremendous expense. Besides for that, Rav Levy is careful not to leave Israel except for his livelihood or to visit his elderly father.

Rav Levy is very close to Rabban Gamliel Rabonovich, the rosh yeshiva of yeshivat Sha’ar Hashamayim (A school for mekubalim in Jerusalem), so he posed the question to him. R’ Rabonovich told him that it would be best if he asked this question to someone else, as he has very strong feelings for Eretz Yisrael – he’s never left since he was born here, and never plans to. He ssuggested that Rav Levy should ask a posek.

Rav Levy wasn’t sure who to ask.

Then his fourteen year old daughter came home and mentioned that when she was at her friend’s house, it came up that someone had asked Rav Kanievsky last week about making his wedding during Chanukah. Rav Kanievsky said that it wasn’t such a good idea, as during Chanukah we will all be in bomb shelters.

Rav Levy was somewhat surprised at this information, especially since they were talking about a wedding only two weeks after Chanukah. He was able to get in contact with and speak directly to the young man (we will call him Reuven) who was told this by Rav Kanievsky, and it was confirmed that indeed Rav Kanievsky had told him this. Reuven also told him that he had another friend (we will call him Shimon) who recently went to Rav Kanievsky to ask for a bracha as he was planning to buy an apartment. Rav Kanievsky told Shimon that he should not buy any apartments, as the value of all apartments will be next to nothing within six months as people scramble to get out of Israel. Rav Levy was able to speak directly to Shimon as well, and confirmed that indeed this was what he had been told by Rav Kanievsky.

Rav Levy told me that he had previously posed questions to Rav Kanievsky on a number of occasions, and felt that this would be the correct address to pose this one as well. He went to Rav Kanievsky with a two page letter detailing all of his concerns, the chosson and kallah’s concerns, as well as what he heard from Reuven and Shimon. Rav Levy was accompanied by his son-in-law who frequently visits Rav Kanievsky as he is working on a major project involving the Zohar that requires the guidance of the Gadol.

Rav Kanievsky read the letter slowly and carefully. He finished it and read it again. (Rav Levy’s son-in-law said that it was very unusual for the Rav to read a letter twice.) When he finished, Rav Kanievsky said, “יותר טוב שיהיה פה” – it’s better that it should be here. Rav Levy’s son-in-law reiterated that the chosson and kallah both are in America and very much want it to be there. Rav Kanievsky again repeated, “יותר טוב שיהיה פה” – it’s better that it should be here. Rav Levy asked how he should convince them, and Rav Kanievsky responded and said, “תגיד את זה בשמי והם יסכימו”- say it in my name and they will agree.

Rav Levy told his family and they all agreed to follow Rav Kanievsky’s psak.

I was personally curious as to how Rav Kanievsky knows this information, perhaps through Ruach Hakodesh, or perhaps he’s had conversations with Moshiach, or maybe from learning Kabbalah or the sifrei HaGra? Rav Levy gave me a sheepish look and said that of course he can’t answer that, but he affirmed that on a number of occasions in the past when they have asked Rav Kanievsky shailos, he clearly had Ruach Hakodesh.

I thought it was appropriate to mention to Rav Levy that I had heard a rumor that R’ Dovid Abuchatzeira was only standing for his visitors now because of a dream where his grandfather told him that Moshiach had come and he had not shown him the proper respect. Rav Levy told me that indeed he has been to R’ Abuchatzeira a number of times in the past, and he was always seated, but when he went right before Rosh Hashana, the Chacham was standing the whole time.

After reading this, please see the second part of the story.

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