December 7, 2021


1) What should a person do if he suspects that he may have a parent who shows signs of being from the Erev Rav (or at least who seems to have a very big “Erev Rav” part to their character) or if he just sees that his parent(s) has a lot of evil in them? And what about in a case if he knows that his parent had a rough childhood or was born with a very a lack of balance in their personality or if they went through certain unpleasant experiences that shaped them into who they are today? Does the mitzvah of kibud av v’aim dictate that (1) One is obligated not to see evil in his parents at all and he should only think about their qualities (as it is brought in halachah to do, that one should view his parents as being the Gedolei HaDor when it comes to a special quality they have), and therefore one should not suspect that his parent may be from the Erev Rav and he must honor them, both in deed and in his heart by thinking good about them. (2), Or, should one hate the evil that he sees in his parent and he should suspect that he doesn’t know how to identify “Erev Rav” in another’s personality and therefore he should not think about this at all.


One should suspect that he doesn’t know how to identify “Erev Rav” characteristics in another’s soul, and therefore he should not be thinking such kinds of thoughts at all, either about his parents or about others. The only exception would be people who are well-known reshaim who are known for their wickedness.
QUESTION 2) If someone is regularly a “moser”, he tells on his Jews to the government to get them in trouble, is he possibly from the Erev Rav? During corona there were a lot of stories in which Jews unfortunately told on other Jews to the government that they weren’t complying to safety about corona and davening in illegal minyanim, etc. But perhaps we can give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they were nervous that people shouldn’t die and they wanted to prevent the spread of COVID, and that’s why they told on their fellow Jewish brethren to the government. Or maybe they told on another Jews out of wickedness in their heart, because maybe they are from the Erev Rav who don’t have any pity towards Jews.
ANSWER Similar to the above answer [don’t think about others around you if they are from the Erev Rav]. Only a person who is known to be a moser, who regularly tells on other Jews to the government, is from the Erev Rav.
QUESTION 3) One of the groups of Erev Rav are Jews who try to control people through their money. Today many yeshivos in America are supported by wealthy people and many times these individuals will make all kinds of demands, and it is recognizable that they have a lot of power in running the yeshivos that they are heavily financing. It’s impossible not to feel grateful to them, but on the other hand they do a lot of bad things that bring down the ruchniyus of the tzibbur, either intentionally or unintentionally or in their earnestness. Are there rules by which we can know if these wealthy people who have power are from the Erev Rav, chas v’shalom?
ANSWER Same answer as before [don’t be busy thinking about which wealthy supporters are Erev Rav or not, and only people who are known to regularly abuse their positions of power and money are Erev Rav].
QUESTION 4) Should a person not think about the Erev Rav topic at all because this kind of thinking can make it impossible for him to love every Jew, because instead of judging others favorably and not seeing faults in others, he is instead hating other Jews and he is suspicious that another Jew might be from the Erev Rav, chas v’shalom?
ANSWER Yes! But we do need to separate ourselves from all evil, from all of the evil deeds and who show evil middos, and from all of the non-Torah perspectives and opinions out there, and we need to stay away from those who are involved with this [evil behavior, evil character, and non-Torah outlook on life]. We need to become connected only with good people, and we should draw close others who are distant from the Torah only if doing so will not be very dangerous to your own ruchniyus.
QUESTION There is an entire community of bnei Torah and they have the purity to understand that they should not own a smartphone, and only a few amongst them have it, and in most instances where bnei Torah do own a smartphone, it doesn’t have Internet on it or it’s filtered. But in the last few years, new developments and new neighborhoods have formed near the Torah community, most of them from the working crowd, and almost all of them have a smartphone with internet, because they have gotten used to it, and they look at it as a normal part of life that makes life more practical, so they don’t feel embarrassed to use it in public because they don’t see a problem with it. They view smartphones and internet as a necessary part of life which makes life convenient and easy and more livable. Now, since everyone has free will, it seems that all these people are choosing to be connected with evil and to join with the “Erev Rav”, and as the Rav has spoken about. Is it possible that Hashem is making a separation now between the true tzibbur of Klal Yisrael – who are choosing not to own smartphones and Internet – with those who are choosing to own this device in their lives, who are separating themselves from the true tzibbur that is Klal Yisrael, and instead joining with the side of the Erev Rav?
ANSWER Yes [they are separating themselves from Klal Yisrael and joining with the Erev Rav, chas v’shalom]. But some are doing this [using internet and smartphones publicly without even being embarrassed] simply because they lack clarity. Before Mashiach comes, they will be awakened and then they will have true bechirah (free will) of what they will choose – if they will choose to separate from all of it, or if they will choose the opposite chas v’shalom.
QUESTION 6) In America, in the last few years the standards of living have increased tremendously by those who work for a living, in the pursuit of pleasure, extravagance, and money, where there is a mentality that they feel how it’s necessary to live in stunning, big houses, with a swimming pool, even living in non-Jewish developments just because they found a nice house, and they can barely get a minyan for Shabbos until slowly the area becomes more vacated by Yidden and then they get a minyan. Now there’s a new trend in America to vacation in Florida. At first this started amongst the wealthy, but now it has become a new standard by the working crowd that they need to be able to live a life of pleasure and comfort and with being able to vacation in Florida. The pursuit of luxury in America has skyrocketed in the last few years. Is this one of the 5 groups of the Erev Rav who are identified as “those who pursue pleasure”, who live mainly for physical pleasure, with the Torah being secondary to them and with their pleasure and comfort being their main goal in life? Some people were bnei Torah to begin with but they later went out to work and later chose a lifestyle of running after pleasure and luxury, or because they were influenced by their surroundings, or because they truly wanted it all along. They tasted the taste of Torah but they stopped desiring to grow in their ruchniyus. Others never had a Torah lifestyle to begin with and therefore it wouldn’t make sense to ask them to be more into ruchniyus if they spent all of their lives until now in gashmiyus and without accepting the burden of Torah on them, they never had a Torah way of living to begin with. So maybe they can be given the benefit of the doubt that their enormous pursuit of pleasure doesn’t mean they are Erev Rav, it’s just that their hearts are so stuffed and blocked for all of their lives, because they weren’t successful in their learning or when they were in yeshiva, etc. What is the proper way to view this entire situation?
ANSWER It is all the spirit of the Erev Rav sweeping through the world. The word “Erev” means “sweet”, because the false view of the Erev Rav that is dominant in the final generations is a false kind of “sweetness” which is the antithesis to the true sweetness, the sweetness of the words of Torah in our mouths. That is the root of all the increase of chasing after all pleasures and taavos (all the physical desires of life) in the generation today. Understand that very, very well.