Those Close to Gerrer Rebbe and Rav Chaim Kanievsky Say They Are Worried After Baba Elazar’s Murder


gerrer-rebbeLast Thursday’s murder in Be’er Sheva was a private tragedy, but it was also an unprecedented event. If, as police suspect, Asher Dahan indeed murdered Rav Elazar Abuchatzeira because he was upset over the advice the rov gave him, then the relationship between rabbonim and their flocks has just changed: Previously, rabbonim had no reason to fear that interacting with the public endangered their lives.

Seemingly, this was an extreme, possibly unique, case, and police are investigating whether the suspect had psychiatric problems. But might it also be connected to the reality that has developed over the years in the courts of rabbonim?

Associates of Gerrer Rebbe quoted him as saying he may stop meeting with his Chassidim one-on-one. An aide to Maran Rav Chaim Kanievsky, who has masses of people knocking on the door of his Bnei Brak home every day, told Haaretz that “ever since the murder, I’ve felt I need to watch the rav‘s back, and my own.” Rav Yitzchak Batzri, son of the famous mekubal Rav Dovid Batzri, even spoke of possibly hiring guards.

It’s certainly not unprecedented for people to be upset after consulting a rov about a personal problem, and that also went for Baba Elazar. In 2009, a 47-year-old man was indicted for going to the rav‘s house with a knife and threatening to kill him.

Over the last week, Israel’s political leadership has flocked to Be’er Sheva to pay condolence calls on the family: President Shimon Peres, several ministers, opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu call called Rabbanit Abuchatzeirah.

{Yair Israel, Haaretz contributed to this report}


  1. “An aide to Maran Rav Chaim Kanievsky, … told Haaretz …”

    Do you believe this? Because I don’t. They don’t talk to Haaretz.

  2. 60,000-70,000 people at the levaya plus THOUSANDS more at the shiva ISN’T what I’d exactly call ‘private’!!
    A tragedy for the ENTIRE WORLD would be more accurate!!

  3. Isn’t there a Shomer in each house!!
    He hasn’t grown old and He hasn’t retired!
    This was gezaira, clearly from Above!!

  4. we can’t change out lifestyle because of a lunatic. It is a very bad precedent. We have to (will all due respect)remember Yosef ha Tsadik when he said
    “sajas Elokim ani” we need more emuna!

  5. I say a metal detector is a requirement at every chutzer of the Gidolim. It’s trully unprecedeted, this kind of situation. But unfortunately the crazies amongst us are getting more extreme. And the carpet is not a usefull tool anymore in containing them! And there’s alot of kinah out there for these mikubalim, and rabunim. Some claiming that they have millions of dollars. And so it’s worth protecting them from the money perspective alone. Hashem gave us life and we have to protect it. It’s the most vital example a Gudol Biyisroel should be showing!

  6. This is called paranoid!!

    More people die in plane ans car crashes every day we should stop going in cars or planes?

    What the the likelihood of this happening again?

    Ans if there’s a gezeira then NOTHING in the world can stop it.

    Besides, Haaretz is known as a rabidly anti-religious newspaper so this entire story is probably baloney.

  7. an aide close to me just told me that i’m thinking of stopping meeting anybody in private anymore. also an associate of mine told me that i may hire a bodyguard.

  8. going to a tzaddik for advice is one thing BUT going for a bracha & depending on it is a straight lack of faith in Hashem & can C”V make things worse between a person & Hashem (even though he got a bracha from a tzaddik.

  9. I think that there a two issues which must be considered.

    On the one hand we very likely have a halachic obligation not to believe these rumors. Although I think everyone is entitled to some emotional responses to such situations, to seriously consider not meeting with individuals betrays a serious lack of bitachon. Furthermore it is abdicating, effectively resigning from, leadership. I do not believe, nor do I think we are permitted to believe, that these claims are accurate.

    On the other hand we do need to think practically. While placing our trust in Hashem we must take appropriate measures to ensure our own safety. This murder HAS changed things. The mentally ill act out by imitating others who have gained notoriety. There is a very real danger that others will try to follow this example ?”?. When I was young this phenomenon was seen with a string of postal workers involved in workplace shootings. Steps must be taken to protect Gedolim and those around them, but as hishtadlus and not fear.