Audio: Rav Elyashiv’s Remarks Regarding Entering the Knesset

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rav-elyashiv[Audio below.] Yesterday, we reported that Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, during a shiur, commented on the permissibility of shomrei Torah umitzvos of entering the Knesset in Yerushalayim. We now present the actual audio of the remarks, below.

First, the text of yesterday’s report here on

From a purely religious perspective, a shomrei Torah umitzvos should not cross the threshold of the Knesset building in Givat Ram, Yerushalayim, not even for tzorchei tzibbur, and not even to serve as a

 Knesset member representing the chareidi world and fighting against those who antagonize the chareidi world.

That statement was made Tuesday night by Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv during his daily shiur at his bais medrash. Rav Elyashiv stated that the Knesset is a bais minus, a place of heresy, and thus all the halachos regarding places of apikorsus applies there as well.

Tuesday night, Rav Elyashiv’s shiur dealt with the issur of entering botei minus, places of heresy, and the general issue of avodah zarah. During the course of Rav Elyashiv’s analysis of the sugyah, he discussed the ramifications of the issur. Quoting the words of the Gemara, Rav Elyashiv said that in certain situations it is permitted to enter places of apikorsus in order to debate with nonbelievers and apikorsim.

One participant in the shiur asked whether this would apply to chareidi Knesset representation.

“Is this a limud ledoros? After all, even the chareidi MKs enter the Knesset, which is a bais minus. They are going to debate them and respond to them as they battle against the Torah,” asked the questioner.

“In the Knesset, there are heretics who work to battle against the Torah. The Knesset members thus enter there to fight back to defeat their arguments and laws [against the Torah way of life]” asked the questioner.

“Do they accomplish anything by doing so?” asked Rav Elyashiv.

“They try to be helpful and accomplish,” said the questioner.

“Then let them stay home and try to help from there,” said Rav Elyashiv.

This comment from the posek hador would seem to fly in the face of the precedent to allow chareidim to serve as members of Knesset to accomplish what they can on behalf of Torah Jewry.

Now, for some fifty years, according to the comments of Rav Elyashiv, it would appear that the achievements in the Knesset by chareidi MKs do not justify the serious halachic problem involved with entering a bais minus.

According to sources, chareidi MKS were surprised by the p’sak and sought to confirm it.

It is not yet clear if Rav Elyashiv’s statement was meant as halacha pesukah for Degel Hatorah representatives to follow or if it was merely part of his analysis and discussion of the sugyah at the shiur.

The next time the chareidi Knesset members visit Rav Elyashiv at his home on Rechov Chanan, it is expected that they will ask him for clarification and whether what he said is a p’sak halacha.

Click below to listen to the actual exchange between Rav Elyashiv and the attendees of the shiur on this matter:

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{Yair Israel}


  1. C’mon, what’s the big deal?

    Maran responded to a question posed by one of the shiur participants, in a matter-of-fact way. Actually, from the audio it sounded like Maran’s response was even a milsa d’bidichusa.

    Hardly a psak hallachah.

  2. Let’s wait for Rabbi Elyashiv to speak formally to the issue. It seems odd that he would reverse a long-standing policy so casually in a private setting.

  3. Actually, who says it is a long standing policy?

    Have you ever seen or heard of a psak thaT is mattir ?

    it is just done.

  4. I would never walk into the Knesset building . It might be debatable as to whether a Chaver Knesset is allowed to go in or not . But one thing is for sure . You need to hold your nodse if you go in as you would if yoiu were a garbage collector . It is a necessary job but not a mechibadige one . The mindset that a frum Chaver Haknesset gets Kovod like an odom Chashiuv ,is wrong . An honest garbage collector is also an important job ,but we dont make him the guest of Honor at the Agudah Convention .

  5. It would be a Zachus from Hashem to be elected to the Knesset. Imagine the trust that Hashem gives you to be able to impact the entire Jewish nation. Tremendous responsibility. You have to decide whether to go to war, to order troops in harms way, saving a hostage, all when Jewish Neshmos will be killed. Worrying about water resources. Seeing your country needlessly torn between religious factions. Any Frum Jew should be honored to be elected to the Knesset. I realize that seeing some of the things that go on is distressing. However, look inward and say, what can I do to prevent this. I believe that every Gadol would agree with what I just said.

  6. With the religious MK’s being 5% of the Knesset I find it hard to believe that they can accomplish anything.

    By the way this view is already mentioned in the Satmar Rebbu’s book that was printed in 1960.

  7. Do you really believe what you just wrote? What should replace it, the Arabs, America, Aguda, Da’ati Leumi, the Sephardim, who. Unfortunately even among the Cheridim, there is Machlokes. You would have total anarchy. There will always be different opinions. It is always easier to be an outsider and criticize. Wait until you have to govern. When you have to sit down with people around a table and look them in the eye. People who are good people, but do not see the world as you see it.

    The goal is to work with the Knesset, connect to their Neshamos, and then move forward together. In my family e-mails I have written about connecting to people. The Kotzker said (printed in the Sefer Neflous Chadoshos) that if you don’t have a Kesher with all Jews, you have Shekir. Both words in Hebrew are the same letters, spelled differently. I believe that this is the proper approach.

  8. re #6 Aaron Schindler

    “It would be a zechus to disband the

    As a public service, take note that
    blogger Aaron Schindler is the same
    anti-Israel bigot who uses
    other false names: Yosef, Temini, Yechezkel Shraga, James, Joe Hill.

    This fellow should check his shchita.
    His consumption of tarfos has had
    a negative impact on his thinking.

    I hope this website will not turn into
    haven for Satmar/Neturei Karta
    meshugaim who are mechalel HaShem.


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