Opinion: Using Rav Elyashiv in a Commercial


rav-elyashiv2By Rafi G.

I went into Bank Leumi today to talk about the possibility of opening an account there. The one thing you notice right when you walk in – you can’t miss it – is the four large LCD screens displaying images of the directors of Bank Leumi receiving a bracha from Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Everywhere you look in this little branch of Bank Leumi, there is a screen facing you with the images displaying.I was almost embarrassed with the commercial way they are using Rav Elyashiv’s images. Just like, lehavdil, a celebrity making a commercial for vitamin water, Rav Elyashiv is now being used for commercials for Bank Leumi – except that celebrities get paid millions of dollars for use of their image, and Bank Leumi is probably raking it in because of the use of the gadol‘s image.

How embarrassing to use a gadol like that.



  1. Actually, I think it is very admirable. Firstly, every tzedakah under the sun “commercializes” gedolim if you want to really feel that way, and they should know better than secular bankers.
    Secondly, that a secular organization is showing you that they went to get brochos from chashuve tzadikim shows that they care about their heritage and value our sacred gedolim. I would feel comfortable in a bank that isn’t afraid to show they have chareidi ties, especially in an Israel that is demonizing the chareidim more and more.

  2. YES! AND how embarassing when worthy organizations put placards with gedolim’s portraits all over town to publicize an event, and then leave them to become trash in the streets for weeks afterwards.
    The “Jewish” trash is embarrasing, and the fact that it is pictures of our supposedly revered gedolim is a shanda.

  3. “Raking it in?” Do you really think that people use the bank just because the manager displays a picture of him with a gadol? PLEEEAAASE! If he would display a picture of him with a celebrity there would be protests, so who should he use to advertise? Lipa Schmeltzer?

  4. right you are ! it has gotten OUT OF CONTROL! . .

    Today they are even using his image on frum websites to catch your attention, to read the articles

  5. WIthout naming names, the various Vaadim of Tzedaka do the exact same to make money – so why shouldnt the banks?!!

    The tzedaka organizations have completely DEGRADED the chashivus for gedolim by turning them into posterboys!

  6. And it is also improper to put a gigantic milk carton, from ANY tzedaka organization, even if they are VERY worthwile, in front of a tzadik, and publicize the photo for marketing purposes.
    It is an insult to the tzadik, and insulting to the potential donors.

  7. There is a story of a picture of a great man hanging in a butcher store. The butcher is trying to advertise that he is kosher. A customer comes in and tells the butcher ” I would feel more comfortable if the Gadol was roaming around in the store and you were hanging on the wall”

  8. I, as a charedi, would not choose to patronize a bank simply because gedolim pictures are prominently displayed.

    Now, if Rav Elyashiv himself was actually standing behind the counter, that’s a different story…

  9. You may argue about the worthiness of any specific tzedokoh organization, but there is a difference between “using” a gadol to promote tzedokoh as opposed to using him for commercial purposes. Again, I am NOT justifying any organization’s method of advertising, but the comparison is ludicrous.

  10. all these people that agree with this article have not given any reasons why, back it up, dont jewish organizations also do the same!!!!

  11. @4Real “placards with gedolim’s portraits…leave them to become trash in the streets..is as shanda”
    Gedolim pictures have no kiddusha whatsoever