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Chabad Rov Decries Lack of Tznius on Lag Ba’omer

A sharp letter regarding certain practices that have taken root in the Lubavitch community on Lag Ba’omer was released today by Rabbi Y. Y. Yeruslavsky, a leading Chabad rabbinical authority in Israel.

The Rov decries the newly adopted custom of having a Kumzitz around the bonfire on the eve of Lag Ba’omer, at which inadequate separation between men and women and Tznius protocols are maintained.

In his letter, Rabbi Yeruslavsky calls these practices ‘a desecration of the holy day of Lag Ba’omer.’ He declares it Halachically forbidden to organize such an event, unless a Mashpia or educator is present to ensure that the laws of Tznius are adhered to.

Rabbi Yeruslavsky also addresses the custom of traveling to Meron on Lag Ba’omer, and says that when traveling there, men and women should sit separately on either side of the vehicle.

Letter courtesy of

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  • 1. TorahYid wrote:

    It is 100% kosher for the kumzits to have mixed seating. It’s not davening.

    • 2. Milhouse wrote:

      Thank you Mr Posek, who thinks he knows better than R Yaruslavski. Who gave you smicha, that you think you can argue with him?

      Since when is separation required only for davening? We learn the whole inyan of separation from a hesped, where there is no likelihood of pritzus, kal vachomer at an occasion where there is such a likelihood.

      We also have an open halacha in Shulchan Aruch that on yomtov, when people gather in mixed groups to celebrate, beis din must appoint guards to roam the gardens and orchards and river banks, etc., to ensure tznius.

      The posuk says “bachurim vegam besulos, zekeinim im ne’orim”, from which we learn that the bachurim must not be, chas vesholom, “with” the besulos. Each must be separate, while zekeinim are with the ne’orim.

    • 4. where did u get this from wrote:

      post a marei mokom for this.
      actually in shulchan aruch it says just the opposite
      a mechitza is only needed for davening (not even for krias hatorah)
      but mixed seating is always ossur.

  • 5. Yankel wrote:

    It depends what you call mixed- family only is fine. If it extends to friends it should be separate seating and separate socializing, obviously. No mechitza needed as there is “takeh” no davening.

  • 6. Phoebe wrote:

    Why can;t couples sit together on this ride? No basis for this. (It is also against the (secular) law in Israel.) Any passenger may sit where he chooses.
    Next up: separate sidewalks in Nachle? Me thinks there are more basic things to work on before morphing in New Square.
    LAG Someach

    • 7. RCL wrote:

      Do you know any halachos at all?
      Are you aware of a set of halachos in reference to married couples?
      I’ll give you a hint…taaras hamishpocha…
      Have you seen the list of things not to be done between husband and wife while the wife is a nida.
      Are you aware that these things are forbidden in public at all times.

      Before you pas ken halacha again maybe you should read a book.

    • 8. Milhouse wrote:

      Who are you to say there’s no basis for it? This psak is the basis.

      And who gives a damn about the law in Israel? We are bound by the Torah’s law. We paid no attention to Russian laws, and we will pay no attention to Israeli laws either, especially when they conflict with the psak din of our rabbonim.

      Separate sidewalks? Depends on the circumstances. If a pirtza develops, as it has on Lag Bo’omer, then yes, we will have separate sidewalks, as we do in Crown Heights during Simchas Beis Hasho’eiva.

    • 9. Milhouse wrote:

      By the way, the psak is directed to schools and parents of teenagers, so there are no “couples” to sit together!

  • 10. mig wrote:

    The rebbe stated the following: Tsnius horaah of the day: …We see in particularly in recent years to where the breaking of the barriers of tsnius can lead. “Fashions” that bring shame to women’s garments, created to entice the most lowly aspects of the nefesh behamis, and express the lowliness of the “modern” world in regards to the foundations of “self respect.”
    This abandonment and pritzus (promiscuity/breaking of boundaries), rachamana litzlan, of a large number of today’s young people has brought to disturbing tragedies in many homes. Surely, if those same young people were educated on the foundations of tsnius fitting with our holy Torah, many tragedies would be avoided , and the lives of many young people would not be harmed.

    (Igros Kodesh, vol.26, p.328), Hatznea Leches p.33-34

  • 11. peanut gallary wrote:

    Why cant you just give the Rabbi enough credit that he may know what he is talking about and why he wrote this? some peoples first reactions must be hey if the Rabbi said it it cant be good.why are you from the Kumzitzers?

    • 12. agree wrote:

      you took the words out of my mouth. this is a rov and to be respected and accepted.
      it is mandatory to set guidelines even if we are not there yet at least we know what to strive for.

    • 13. Because! wrote:

      It’s just so much easier to sit and complain about the lack of leadership in our community than it is to actually listen to our leaders…

  • 14. What 4 says wrote:

    The Rebbe said it quite clearly, I don’t know what there is to disagree about. A family style event may not be a big deal, but at what point does it cross over to a situation that is just not tznius? It depends on how the event is set up.

  • 15. to number 1 wrote:

    Tznius is not only by davening !
    I am not sure what type torah yid you are but definitely not a religious 1 every 4 year olds know better

  • 17. Milhouse wrote:

    Note well that the psak is directed to the parents and schools, and is specifically about problems with teenagers. The first part, about kumzitz, doesn’t mention adults at all. The second part about the buses does mention “men and women” rather than “boys and girls”, but I don’t know whether to read too much into that. It may just be a generic way of speaking.

  • 18. mixed seating wrote:

    is never ok. sorry. anyone remember the Rebbe said no to mixed dinners?
    the Rav is standing up for whats right- if its too hard thats a personal battle but its a chutzpa, and cowardly to speak against rabbanim on this public forum- he obviously knows more than me and you and if you have a question you can contact him directly.

    on that note the bonfire in crown heights does try very hard to keep it separate- which is nice.

  • 19. Chabad satmerizarion... wrote:

    Here we go… What’s next on trying to convert Lubavitch to satmer?!?

    • 20. Milhouse wrote:

      What are you talking about? Lubavitch was always more mehader than Satmar.

    • 21. An admirer of the Satmar community for its halachic standards wrote:

      And what is wrong with Satmar, may I ask?

  • 22. Halacha wrote:

    before you PAsken re tznius
    please look at the Rebbes Horaos re tznius even at shiur torah and in poskim re separate seating at simchas

  • 23. to #1 wrote:

    If you have your own opinion in halachah, and you think know better, don’t bother to this article! (Spoiler alert, you probably don’t know more then the rabbi. )

  • 24. SCANDALOUS wrote:

    Omg, Lubavitch girls are soooo not Tznius. Like its crazy girls walk around with such short skirts and tight dresses, it’s totally unfair to the bachurim

  • 25. Phoebe wrote:

    Oy vey did I come across as anti Chassidish and halachic behavior? Not what I meant. At all. Of course separate seating at dinners, functions etc, shiurim, courses etc. No question about it. IIRC the Rebbe removed his Nesius from institutes that didn’t adhere and hosted mixed functions. And it is high time that every one implements that rule very strictly (no details need to be given everyone knows because the photos are shown here constantly).
    What about that “family” dance that happens at the end of almost every simcha in Crown Heights? How does that happen? I am truly shocked every time.
    The person who mention hilchos Taharas hamishpocho- there are perfectly fine ways of sitting together al pi halacha. And most couples manage well, sit together and keep the halacha stringently.
    Do you sit separately at your Shabbos table? How about if there are some cousins attending? A couple or two thrown in for good measure? Do you maybe have two dining room tables? Two dining rooms?

    Yes, if there is a large crowd of strangers there should be separate seating. As in Tishrei orchim. Or if hosting a kumzitz for a group. Not one’s close family. He should specify what he means.

    And what are boys and girls (if that’s who he geared this at) doing together at a kumzitz in a holy shechunah of the Rebbe. So it’s deeper than just a kumzitz, be assured.

    Moshiach Now

    • 26. Milhouse wrote:

      In case you didn’t notice, R Yaruslavsky is not a rov in the Rebbe’s shchuna. His letter is directed to Lubavitcher educational institutions in EY. These do organise kumzitzen and bus trips for boys and girls, and he approves of it so long as they make sure that the boys and girls are and remain separated.

  • 27. dovid wrote:

    The Rebbe gave a horaah by the first hasc concert that it should be separate seating, even when they thought it would be a flop, and people weren’t buying tickets. See the interview with mordechai ben david when the Rebbe said”kol zeh ayno meshane es hashulchan aruch”.

  • 29. What about subways and busses and planes?? wrote:

    What is a lady or ma supposed to do if she or he rides a subway or bus? Can they sit down? What does it mean they should sit separately on either side of the vehicle? What is someone supposed to do if flying and a member of the opposite gender is seated next to them?

    • 30. Milhouse wrote:

      What has that got to do with the subject? The subject is organised bus trips by Lubavitcher educational mosdos, for their students. It should be obvious that the mosad should designate separate seating.

      The subway is not a Lubavitcher mosad, and is not run according to halacha. What an individual passenger should do is a completely different subject. It depends on the individual and the circumstances, what’s possible, etc.

    • 31. awacs wrote:

      So you’re saying, Milhouse, that the problem *isn’t* mixed seating, but rather Chabad’s blessing of it?


    • 32. Milhouse wrote:

      A mosad chinuch is responsible for the conduct of its students, and has to make sure that any event it organises is 100% kosher. If a mosad takes kids to an amusement park, it has to make sure that they don’t buy any treife candy, or even cholov akum, that they don’t go on rides that are inappropriate, that they don’t hang out with kids who will be a bad influence on them, etc. And if experience proves that something is a michshol, then the next time they must take steps to prevent it from happening.

      When an individual goes somewhere, he is his own responsibility, and can set his own rules, based on his self-knowledge and experience. It’s completely different.

  • 33. Montgomery St/ Ebbets Field Boy wrote:

    I agree with the Rabbi. You never know that behavior such as this may lead to shidduchim!

  • 34. Happened on a plane wrote:

    I know a chasid who was very makpid not to sit next to a woman. So, on a full flight, he was assigned a seat next to a woman, and the flight attendants would not accomodate his needs -“sorry there are no seats available for anyone to change to.”

    So, he went to the bathroom, and insisted on being there for the flight. Guess what, they found a seat for him.

  • 35. HAROLD C. wrote:


    • 36. Annon wrote:

      Spot on.

      By the way, the only place a Mechitzo is mentioned in Shlchan Oruch is with regards to separate seating by the Drosho, for reasons of Tznius.
      So much for the nonsense about only during Davening.
      Do you really think people’s Yetzer only work during Davening?
      Comments to Piskei Dinim should be closed. It’s disrespectful.


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