Psak From Rav Elyashiv: No Kosel On Shabbos

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rav-elyashivA few years ago, the Yerushalayim municipality installed a number of security cameras throughout the Old City. It was a time when there was a rash of stabbings and stabbing attempts in the Old City, and the cameras were aimed at helping catch the perps and also discouraging crime in the future, as perps will know they can more easily be apprehended.The issue was raised that perhaps the cameras operating on Shabbos would be a problem for those walking through the Old City on Shabbos to go to the Kosel.

Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was reportedly asked a shailah, and after being made certain that the videos did not operate based on motion sensors and no lights were activated by people walking by, he paskened that people may continue to walk to the Kosel on Shabbos.

Now, however, according to a notice in the Israeli Yated Neeman, it seems the security system is not being monitored the way it was meant to be. Therefore, Rav Elyashiv has reportedly said that people should not walk to the Kosel on Shabbos, because they might be tripping security cameras. Until the system is checked to be okay, one should avoid it, according to Israeli sources, which state that while Rav Elyashiv was initially satisified with the arrangements, at a later time he, or his representatives, tried to get the police to make some changes to some of the technological aspects of the system to satisfy some more machmir concerns. When the police refused to comply with the request for additional changes, Rav Elyashiv supposedly withdrew his support.

It would seem – and this is conjecture, not part of Rav Elyashiv’s ruling – that such a p’sak would affect thousands of people every Shabbos, and not just those who are walking to the Kosel. These security cameras are placed throughout the Old City, and, according to this p’sak, people throughout the Old City would have to stay in their homes the whole Shabbos.

{Rafi G-Life in Israel, Matzav.com Newscenter}

36 COMMENTS

  1. Has anyone heard of Grama, Derabonon’s…different things like that. There are so many other people (goyim) that walk through there as well, plus what is there to trigger? Is it not a camera that is always on??? There are cameras all over NYC and all other cities and Jerusalem – must everyone stay in their house on shabbos? should you not cross a street because a car will have to stop?

  2. To GR:
    If you really want to know ask your rov.
    Why are you mefalpel on things you don’t know?Your pilpul is very far from lomdish.
    Do you simply like to talk a lot? Go ahead.
    But atleast leave a phone # or an address where you can be contacted.

  3. the Ribbono Shel Olam is sitting at the kiseh hakavod crying

    This is what I hear

    Naa .. I think it is heartburn from my lunch
    Time for the Tumbs

  4. Until the system is checked to be okay, one should avoid it, according to Israeli sources, which state that while Rav Elyashiv was initially satisified with the arrangements, at a later time he, or his representatives, tried to get the police to make some changes to some of the technological aspects of the system to satisfy some more machmir concerns. When the police refused to comply with the request for additional changes, Rav Elyashiv supposedly withdrew his support.

    huh?

  5. do you realize rammifications that thousands walk there on shabbos?

    matzav i hope you accept this and not turn away out of fear that maybe some ppl have opinions unlike yours.

  6. Rav H. Schachter has said if you are benefiting from the security provided by the security camera then it is neicha lei and is a BIG problem. This is a problem all over YU where they installed cameras post 9/11 and I’m sure many other places as well.

  7. Very Interesting News Item !!!
    This is a tempest in a tea cup.
    No.1: If Rav Elyashuv didn’t write it out clearly and have it published, Rav Eliyahuv has repeatedly said DON’T BELIEVE IT.
    No.2: Today, last Shabbos and this coming Shabbos, and the last few Yom Kippurs, the main Satmar Beis Medrash on Rodney Street in Williamsburg, has an eye-in-the-sky video camera, just like in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, video-taping everything 24/7.
    No.3: Just about every busy thoroughfare today has video cameras taping everything. Every bank, almost every ATM machine, every gas station, etc., is being video-taped. Whenever there is some crime, the police automatically go around and take all the nearby video tapes and – CATCH THE CROOK !!!! Does that mean, like several commentators have already mentioned, that we should sit at home all Shabbos and not even step out of our front doors?
    No. 4: Every hotel, including the one that just hosted the Agudah Convention, has its main lobby, every floor, and all of its meeting and board rooms video taped 24/7. So too every hospital. Is Rav Elyashu supposedly telling us not to go to Agudah Conventions or to be mevaker cholim??
    No. 5: Apply the old rule – if sounds crazy, it is. There may be some tiny little kernel of truth in some technical application in this story. However, the supposed “Issur” of going somewhere that is being inadvertantly video-taped was never issued by Rav Elyashuv.
    No. 6: Case Closed. Have a great Shabbos !!!!

  8. Follow-up Footnote: Please after I wrote my firt comment, I checked the sorce – Kikar Shabbos and the Hebrew Yated and, low and behold! Rav Elyashuv “supposedly” made the remark but DID NOT sign it. I wonder what that means? Could he have possibly have said that his supposed ruling should be publicized – however he did not wish to sign it ? I’ll let the more intelligent Matzav readers decide.

  9. BIG LAMDAN;
    I think you should go back to yeshiva for a little while and take a refresher course so you will better understand the terms you’re using.

  10. unfortunately .. the chevra will misss my point

    the crying is a result of the sillyness we are engulfed in

    lets work together so that the ribono shel olam doesnt take it away

    all the pronouncements are counterproductive .. posturing .. for the uninformed public thats all

    there is a solution to this issue

    stop the pronouncements and lets implement the solution

    before it is too late

  11. Minyan Regular
    No. 4……..Is Rav Elyashu supposedly telling us not to go to Agudah Conventions or to be mevaker cholim??
    .no i dont believe so
    is that an intelligent question?

  12. #6 maskim lechaora dos is a lo nich leh and even covers the shitah of the oruch lfi the rush and tshuvos hram bec its lo nicha leh klall

  13. To No. 23: You are right. Rav Elyashuv would never say such a thing. That is exactly my point. He never signed this big takanah. Those around him are making these statements. And they are not making it under his direction. Therefore, as you hinted, these so-called statements are totally and completely worthless and must be absolutely ignored. Thank you !!!

  14. There are cameras all over BMG also.

    Can all the bachorim not leave their rooms on shabbos, can noone daven there, can no one learn there?

  15. #27-30, Four comments stating the same thing with four different monikers yet only a minute a part. Could it be one person? Talk about honesty….!!

  16. 34 honest ppl you should be careful with. the dishonest ppl you need not worry because they will be dishonest. honestly i think there is no dishonesty in listing different monikers because this whole thing is aninymous

  17. But Rabbi Yisrael Rozen, head of the Tzomet Institute, said Thursday that “whoever wants to prohibit the Western Wall cameras will have to order religious people to stay away from yeshivas, hotels, banquet halls and public areas, all of which use online security cameras.”

    Rozen, whose institute is one of the leading establishments in developing solutions for the use of modern technologies in accordance with Shabbat observance, was involved in the consultations for the original use of the cameras around the Western Wall.

    “There are two problematic aspects to being filmed on Shabbat. The first is the digital changes your image creates on the screen, but the more serious one is having the filmed materials saved,” he explained.

    Since the images are deleted within a limited period after they are recorded, the major halachic obstacle is resolved, enabling the cameras to be used on Shabbat.

    “The permit for using such online cameras was given even to those that temporarily save the information recorded in case a crime was committed.

    Security cameras are in use all over the country, including in yeshivas and hotels, not to mention sensitive places such as settlements, Jerusalem and the Western Wall,” he continued.

    “Cameras like these that broadcast online were permitted by all the leading adjudicators, including people representing Rabbi Elyashiv,” Rozen said. “Articles about that were also published in the [Tzomet Institute’s annual] Techumin journal, including by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz and others from the haredi sector.”

    Apparently, Rabbi Elyashiv’s people wanted the additional measure of having the materials recorded on Shabbat erased in a shorter period, and the utilization of that specific program is probably what is not being supervised, Rozen said.

    “There is an endless pursuit of stringencies in Rabbi Elyashiv’s court,” Rozen charged. “This is a demand that exists nowhere else. Its implications are not just for the Kotel, but for half the country.”

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