Rav Shteinman: Stay Away from Leitzanus


rav-shteinman“As Yom Kippur approaches, we have to be mechazeik ourselves and stay away from leitzanus (levity)”, said Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman in a shmuess this week at his yeshiva, Yeshiva Orchos Torah, in Bnei Brak.

In the past, Rav Shteinman would frequent yeshivos during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah to share words of hisorerus, but because of his weakness, he has only visited the yeshivos of Orchos Torah and Gaon Yaakov.

However, he asked his grandson, Reb Gedaliah Honigsberg, to share with the talmidim of Yeshiva Shaarei Torah and other yeshivos in his name that “care should be taken in shemiras halashon, especially in abstaining from speaking leitzanus.”

Rav Shteinman explained: “Many times, bochurim have been very strong in learning and other matters of avodas Hashem, but the spirit of leitzanus enters them and destroys them completely. There was one boy who learned with me at Yeshiva Toras Chesed in Brisk. He was a big yorei Shomayim and baal mussar, but suddenly he was consumed by leitzanus and lost all his mussar, and he experienced a steep moral decline.”

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}


  1. I don’t care for the translation of leitzanus as levity. A list of synonyms for levity includes liveliness and cheerfulness. An example sentence I found when googling the word levity was “without some occasional levity, the working environment is no better than a sweatshop.”

    People need happiness and enjoyment and most cannot handle a boring and monotonous life. Levity is necessary at times.

    A better translation (in my opinion) of the true aveira of leitzanus is cynicism, and that is a major problem in our generation, and that is what people need to stay away from (myself included). Levity is fine (of course, in moderation, as everything else).

  2. Another translation of leitzanus I have seen is “scoffing.” Whatever another person says, or whatever situation or value there is, the leitz scoffs at it. “Looks down on,” “hold in contempt” might equally be synonyms. Definitely a destructive way of looking at the world and other people.

  3. Leitzunis is of mitzvos or halacha etc…. but one MUST do all mitzvos with happiness. do not mix the two happiness and Leitzunis are two totally different things. ??? ??? ?? ????? ? ????? ????? ??.