Rav Shteinman Advises Mechanchim Not to Take Talmidim to Bodies of Water Due to Sakanah

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rav-shteinmanFollowing a wave of accidental drowning, Maran Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman has advised mechanchim and those running summer programs in Eretz Yisroel not to take their young charges to bodies of water.

Many rabbeim take talmidim on end-of-year trips, often to go swimming. A number of mechanchim visited Rav Shteinman at his home and asked his advice in light of various recent drowning incidents.

Rav Shteinman surprised some of them by stating unequivocally, “It is a sakanah. Do not go to places with water.”

Members of Rav Shteinman’s household related that already after the first incident of a bot from Talmud Torah Mishkenos Yaakov drowned, Rav Shteinman said that taking young talmidim to areas of water is dangerous.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}

13 COMMENTS

  1. Of course it is dangerous if there isn’t a trained lifeguard on duty. No adult should be taking a child to swim if he or she is incapable of supervising appropriately and saving if necessary. OTOH, When there is proper trained supervision, would Rav Steinman have the same opinion?

  2. Perhaps if fathers taught their children to swim, as required by the Mishna in Kiddushin there would be no sakana.

  3. Okay, definite point there.

    I wonder what is the status of water safety and swimming edcation among the oilam in Eretz Yisroel. Perhaps it is worse than in America, since they don’t go to camps as much there, right? Am I missing something?

    The above is directly related to this story.

    And the question is, if so, what can be done to improve the situation?

    P.S. It could be the same for some groups outside EY as well.

  4. i dont understand. “asked his advice in light of various recent drowning incidents”
    be safe and responsible in water.

  5. the gadol hador said DO NOT LET THEM NEAR WATER MEANING BEACHES AND ETC.. AND MAYBE EVEN POOLS BEFORE EVERYONE MAKES A MISTAKE.. AND DOESNT LISTEN TO THE GADOL HADOR ,, ASK YOUR RAV

  6. I am deeply saddened to hear of these drownings. As someone who came within seconds of drowning in a pool in a summer camp as a child, this really hits home.
    1. All children must learn to swim. Period. And it doesn’t matter in the least if a Mishna says so or not, or whether Rambam “brings it down” or not. It is an absolute necessity.
    2. Even if every child is a superb swimmer, there must be no swimming at beaches if there is no lifeguard on hand. Period. It doesn’t take long to be sucked in by the undertow, and it doesn’t take long to drown, believe me.
    3. The imperative to learn to swim must be expanded to mean, “one must learn to stay alive in the world through thick and thin.” Thus, teach your children, your boys and your girls, self defense of all sorts: all martial arts, archery, fencing, eventually marksmanship. No Jewish child should ever be a hapless victim. No girl should be a victim of any sort of attack. If we do so, we will raise a generation of VERY self confident, capable and successful future leaders of our nation.

  7. #11, do you live by the torah?
    Why do you hink that if the rambam doesnt bring it down as halacha, neither does r’ moshe feinstein zt”l, you have to say that you still have to do it?
    They were well aware of the dangers of swimming, and they knew the gemara and rishonim and achronim and they still dont hold by it.

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