Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: The Child Should Hit Back

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rav-shlomo-zalman-auerbach[From Matzav.com’s Daily Halacha Section.] If a child hits another child in school, how should the child respond? Should he hit his classmate back or should he go to the rebbi and tell him what was done to him?

In Sefer Aleihu Lo Yibol (Chinuch 23), it is related that this question was posed to Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l. Rav Shlomo Zalman said to tell the child to hit his classmate back in order to defend himself and deter the other child from hitting him again. However, said Rav Shlomo Zalman, the child should be told that the purpose of his hitting back is purely to prevent further attacks, and not, chas veshalom, for revenge.

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  1. No chiddush. R’ Yitzchak Berkovitz once said this over in a shiur and one of the ladies there didn’t believe him so he went to R’ Eliyashav and R’ Eliyashav gave the same pasak. But he stressed that this does not apply at home, at home the child should go to a parent.

  2. It is a rush in buba kama that says “nikomo” doesn”t apply in such a case of self defense. I don”t have a gemara in front of me so if anyone knows the exact place or the wording please post it. Thanks.

  3. But then all too often the rebbi or teacher sees the second one and punishes him or both.
    Then the second one becomes resentful of the rebbi with unknown consequences.

  4. It is irresponsible for Matzav to print anything from this sefer, especially under the label of halacha. It clearly states in this sefer many times that it is NOT to be used as halacha lemaesa and the pesakim inside are not meant to be used in any other cases. In fact, this sefer was printed against the wishes of R’ Shlomo Zalmans family and in fact has a letter in the front of it from one of his sons (I believe R’ Baruch) saying very clearly not to print it.

  5. the headlines are misleading and are a gross misrepresentation of rav sholomo zalman and is pure sensatiolist media.

    terrible, just terrible. he would have never posed it that way and no one is mekabel your misrepresente lies.

  6. I also attended that shiur from Rav Berkovitz and can confirm that Rav Berkovitz said exactly that. Ask anyone in Sanhedria Murchevet and they’ll tell you the same thing. V’ain kan shum chidush.

  7. As a former middle school rebbe in a large yeshiva we debated this issue many times. It certainly seems from the ROSH like the victim may hit back. However, school rules were that they could not hit back.


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