“SAKANA”: R’ Chaim Kanievsky Asked About Evacuating Miami For Hurricane Irma (VIDEO)


Florida is hunkering down in preparation for Hurricane Irma, a record breaking Category 5 storm expected to make landfall in the next few days. Grocery shelves have been emptied, windows are being shuttered and emergency services are readying themselves for all possible scenarios.

In the Jewish community, another form of preparation is being taken into account. After Gov. Abbott of Texas was criticized for not calling for an evacuation before Hurricane Harvey, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has warned that an evacuation order may be declared for parts of Florida in the next few days.

The question arose about how to deal with an order to flee that is issued on Shabbos.

The shayla made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, landing in Bnei Brak to be answered by the Godol Hador, R’ Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a. After listening to the halachic query, R’ Chaim was unequivocal. “Chshash Sakana,” he declared, with all its halachic ramifications.

Watch the video below to see the question being posed to R’ Chaim followed by his succinct answer:



  1. Of course Rabbi Kanievsky is correct to state that in the event of an official warning to evacuate being issued on Shabbat, the Jews of that area should evacuate.

    Pikuach Nefesh פיקוח נפש during an extreme wind event like a hurricane overrides the Shabbat prohibitions.

  2. Shabbos was not mentioned in the question. Possibly the meor einei yisroel shlita would say to leave with enough time not to transgress Shabbos Kodesh or otherwise. Clarification is required

  3. Who is the person that repeated the question in hebrew to R’ Chaim ?
    R’ Chaim just siad the 2 words chshash sakana and the shoel added “shyatzu misham”. Although from watching R’ Chaim it appears that he agreed with what was said.

  4. What’s wrong with you people? Rav Chaim NEVER said to “leave” or “evacuate”. It was the questioner who said “so they should leave”. Watch carefully – Rav Chaim did NOT respond to that! I hate when people put words in Rav Chaims mouth.

    • yes WATCH carefully as rav chaim DID RESPOND! rav chaim did shake his head yes to the question “she’yeitsu misham” they should leave there?
      you wrote
      “I hate when people put words in Rav Chaims mouth”. please dont hate now… you also made the mistake, [in the opposiite way]

  5. do you realy have to go all the way to reb chaim if you should leave florida or not .how about a little brain on your own to leave if you can

    • Thank you! You seem to be the only person to have noticed this. When I read this headline I bursted out laughing. Rav Elyashiv Zatzal once said that some people feel that if they see a rov or a posek and they dont ask him a shaila its a form of bal tashchis. Grow up and figure it out. If the local authorities have a mandatory evacuation order in place like in the Florida Keys, so it might even be a chilul hashem not to evacuate. But you have to do whatever you feel is the best way to keep you and your family safe.

      • Hey smart aleck, the Governor has not told anyone to evacuate yet. They are still waiting to see what develops. I’m surprised that a dodo like you doesn’t realize the hardships involved with making a State mandatory evacuation and the tax dollar expense involved. What a condescending shmuck.

        • Hey, I live in Miami and I’m going through just as much hardship. I’m not sure if you have been following the news, but there is a mandatory evacuation order in Monroe County/Florida Keys, and Miami Dade County.

    • Sorry to aay but this has become a new game for grown ups. Whatever you think up you ran to Rav Chaim to ask….

  6. Reb Chaim does not always go with what people say. Reb Chaim has many times told people not to worry about surgeries or the such when asked. And YES for all those that think this is not a question for daas Torah, it is. Although there was a hunger in the land, our Avos did not leave until told to do so by Hashem. It’s not as if there is a flood now, many storms do go out to sea, and so without Reb Chaim’s Psak, one may not have to leave now.

  7. So where should we go exactly? Should i just abandon my elderly parents who, because of their fragility, can’t travel anywhere? I should flee to safety and just leave my Parents at G-d’s mercy to fend for themselves? It’s nice for you commentors to make suggestions from the comfort of your armchairs, sitting thousands of miles away, pontificating on what we should or shouldn’t do. We don’t appreciate it. Show some sensitivity. The day of judgement is right around the corner.

    • our prayers are for you and your precious parents. may you all be safe and healthy…. please update here as to your condition….
      in the merit of kibud av va’eim keep you well for many many years.

  8. The danger of publicizing such videos is that it has a danger of backfiring after the fact. People will misconstrue what’s taking place by Reb Chaim. If it turns out that the hurricane veers off to the side and (hopefully) spares Miami, people will question the veracity of Reb Chaim. Aye, he said it IS a sakana, and lemaaseh nothing happened? So they will have doubts in their minds as to what the Gedolim are saying? They will lack emunas chachomim r”l. This is a very dangerous game the internet is playing. This is a private shaila for each yochid that lives or has relatives in Miami, not for the yentas

    • What’s scary is that we have come to a point that this is a concern. You should keep shabbos because the torah says so, not because Rav Chaim said so. It’s a certain level of apikursus to think that way.

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