Rav Chaim Kanievsky Refuses To Bentch Bochur Who Drove Without A License


rav-chaim-kanievskyMaran Harav Chaim Kanievsky recently had sharp words for a yeshiva bochur involved in a traffic violation. The bopchur had reportedly come to the venerated gadol for a bracha, but Rav Chaim refused.  The transcript of the discussion between Rav Chaim and the bochur follows:

Bochur: Kevod harav, I have a trial next week and they want to imprison me. Would the Rov please bentch me to save me from this?

Rav Kanievsky: What is the trial about?

Bochur: I was caught driving without a license after I crashed into a wall

Rav Kanievsky: So you’re actually a rotzeiach (murderer)! Actually, they should put you in jail.

Bochur (yelling): Why? Chalilah, I didn’t kill anyone, and I didn’t even hurt anyone. I just had a small car accident between myself and a wall.

Rav Kanievsky: But you were driving without a driver’s license, were you not?

Bochur: Yes

Rav Kanievsky: So are you called a real rotzeiach. You could have had an accident involving people.

Bochur: But I know how to drive well. Besides this could hurt [my chances] for a shidduch and yeshiva.

Rav Kanievsky: There is no such thing as “know” [how to drive]. Without a license you don’t know how to drive. Regarding shidduchim, it is smart not to want you. You’re dangerous.

Bochur: I really regret [my actions]. I just want the rov to give me a bracha to save me in the trial.

Rav Kanievsky: What do you regret? If you get a car tomorrow, you won’t drive it? You will! It’s best for you to sit in jail and study about “lo sirtzach” (“do not murder.”)

Bochur: Would the Rov bentch me if I promise to be more careful starting today?

Rav Kanievsky: I cannot bentch you. May Hashem help that you be sentenced [by the court] with whatever is best for you.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. to #4 i dont chas vishalom doubt hagaon harav
    i think this story isint true gidoilim dont curse people thats why im not mikabel and i think someone has a good immagination

  2. On the contrary, I think this is probably exactly what he did say. There is “lo sa’amod” and “nishmarten al nafsheichem” involved. It is only chasdei HaShem that the boy did’t kill himself and a few other people besides. You have to really try to hit a wall – it doesn’t just jump out in front of your car unexpectedly.

    If you keep current with Israeli news, you will see that traffic accidents have killed more people than all the wars and m’chablim combined, and it’s usually bad driving that does it.

  3. I would be very happy if this were true. But I have to admit that it does sound, lulei demistafina, a bit suspicious. First off, wouldn’t the Rav have called him a “Rodeif” not a “Rotzei’ach”? That’s my biggest problem with believing this story. And who made this “transcript”? Was it taped? By whom?

    Perhaps Matzav can enlighten us as to the source of this report.


  4. Why is this surprising?
    Driving without a license & looking for a brocha, did he think that Rav Chaim would give him one? Did he drive to his house also unlicensed? YOU R A MURDERER DRIVING without a license, SPEEDING, SLEEPING or TEXTING?

  5. Reb chaim is a true gadol so watch what u say about him!He has back!Who is the witness that said this is true?Hey is good mussar

  6. Rav Kanievsky did exactly right. Why should a bochur think he can break laws, put lives in danger and then get a brocha so he can go scot free? Save him so he can do a good shidduch? There is something very wrong with this bochur’s reasoning. Bechasdei Hashem he didn’t kill anyone! But if doesn’t see anything wrong with his actions because it was only “between him and the wall” he is clearly a danger to himself and to everyone with whom he comes into contact. He is no shidduch candidate for anyone, with his attitude! He would actually benefit greatly from serving time in jail to rethink his behavior and his attitudes, and to recognize the enormity of his aveiros. Maybe that would make him into a more mature person who will finally take responsibility for his actions.

  7. to #2 Im sorry, but R Chaim is alot more concerned about kids going off the derech,than u r.Anyway his father the steipler goan already had the same story with somebody and through him out of his house calling him a murderer…. also I would like u to thihk if chas vsholom anyone of your siblings would get killed in an accident with such a person,Im wondering if u would be so worried about him going off the derech.last,its very very dangerous starting up with the gadol hador, I would be trembling if I was u.

  8. Why is it that when R’ Chaim says something people disagree with, they don’t believe he said it. Yet, when it’s reported that R’ Dovid Soloveitchik says something which could also be controversial, everyone rushes to accept it as full truth?