Monday, November 16, 2009

Rav Kanievsky on hiring Arabs

A Guest Post by Rafi G

The newspapers are all making a big deal out of Rav Chaim Kanievsky's recent statement regarding Arabs.

An avreich approached Rav Kanievsky the other day and asked for a bracha that he should be successful in his upcoming court case. rav Kanievsky asked why he is going to court, and he answered for hiring Arab workers (illegally I presume).

Rav Kanievsky refused to give him a bracha saying "you deserve whatever you get. Don't you know it is prohibited to hire Arabs because they are murderers?... whoever hires them deserves the punishment"

The papers are comparing it to a past statement of Rav Kanievsky in which he also then said that Jews should not hire Arabs because they are murderers, and claiming racism.

Personally, I prefer to compare it to a different statement of Rav Kanievsky, and rather than claim racism, I would say Rav Kanievsky is in favor of personal responsibility, reward and punishment, etc.

In July, a yeshiva bochur came to Rav Kanievsky for a bracha for his court case regarding a car accident he had been involved in, and he had been driving with no license. Then too Rav Kanievsky said he deserves the punishment for driving with no license, and he could not make any such claim that he knows how to drive if he was not trained in it.

Personally, I think this new statement fits with that old one. Rav Kanievsky believes that people should be held accountable for their actions. You drive with no license and get into an accident - you are a murderer and should be punished accordingly. You hire Arab workers illegally, they are dangerous and you should be punished accordingly.

Just because you are frum does not give you a free pass to break the law. The law is in place to protect us (most of the time at least). You get a drivers license because it means you were trained in operating automobiles. You cannot hire any illegal worker you want because the State needs to verify which Arab workers are safe and can be trusted and therefore hired, and which might be dangerous.

Rav Kanievsky is not a racist. he just believes in personal responsibility.

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