Rav Yosef: It’s a Mitzvah to Tell Authorities About Illegal Fireworks Merchants

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“Since it’s a matter of pikuach nefesh, endangering lives, you are allowed to inform authorities if you told firecracker merchants to stop selling and they ignore you.” These were the words of Rav David Yosef in his shiur at the Yechaveh Daas shul in Yerushalayim, reports Naama Green for Hidabroot.

During a lecture shiur on the halachos of Purim, the topic of firecracker sales came up and the rov said that since it’s dangerous you are obligated to inform on them if they ignore your warnings to stop.

“Every year we hear of tragedies that happened due to firecrackers. Elderly people lose their hearing and children lose fingers. When I was a child I saw a boy set off a firecracker near an old man that made him deaf. The man shouted at the boy with great shouts.”

Rav Yosef continued: What halachic dispensation is there to permit this? People get started by this. Pregnant women can get shocked. In our times unfortunately there are terrorist attacks with guns and these firecrackers really scare people.”

“A person who does this is liable with his life. People can die from this. Imagine G-d forbid a terrorist comes and everyone thinks ‘it’s only a Purim firecracker and they don’t call the police. In our security situation many people are already tense to begin with and any small thing can really scare them.”

The rov  repeated to remove any doubt: “It is prohibited to sell firecrackers period. Therefore I say, first of all according to government law it is illegal. This law is actually Halacha. There is no doubt this is totally prohibited. Not only that but if you warned them, it’s a mitzva to inform authorities on these merchants that sell firecrackers. You tell the merchant; “either you stop or I go to the authorities”. This dangerous phenomenon must stop immediately.”

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