A frightened infant is in mortal danger, as is explained in
Yuma, 84b: It is a mitzva to desecrate Shabbos in
order to save a child from panic.
[It also says, ]"Cursed is the man who raises a ferocious dog
that frightens women." Bovo Kama, 83a.
Therefore, it is a mitzva for every person to prevent the use
of explosive noisemakers in any form, and to take the
destructive instruments from children, in order to prevent
them from committing the violation that borders on pikuach
nefesh (as explained in Bovo Kama 28). Anyone who
encounters a distempered cat who attacks children is urged to
kill it and is permitted to keep its skin. (See Chosen
The Mishnah Berurah (343:9) writes: If a young child
does damage, he deserves to be beaten by beis din.
It is a mitzva to [figuratively] "break the arm of a wicked
one" by reporting sellers of fireworks to the police. One who
does so is not considered an informer, rather, he will be
commended for blessing. Happy are the parents who train their
children in the right path and prevent them from using
combustible noisemakers. In this merit, may they be
privileged to hear from them the sound of jubilation, the
sound of joy and the sound of Torah.
HaGaon R' Shmuel Halevi Wosner shlita
HaGaon R' Nissim Karelitz shlita
"We must Uproot the Phenomenon Which Derives from Amolek"
by N. Katzin
According to HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, rov of Ramat
Elchonon in Bnei Brak, referring to the widespread use of
firecrackers and dangerous combustibles in chareidi
communities in Israel, "The phenomenon of explosives that
frighten people and can cause heart failure is absolutely
foreign to our people. It is rooted in those who live by
their swords, savages who have a hand in everything. Yet this
evil practice has reached our people, or more accurately, the
unruly fringe of our people. It originates with Amolek and it
must be uprooted in these days when we efface the memory of
In an interview with Yated Ne'eman, HaRav Zilberstein
stressed the danger in this phenomenon, as is reflected in
the many appeals that come to us in this matter. "Many
doctors come to me and tell me of incidents of women who were
on the verge of a serious condition from fright, or of
children who were nearly blinded. A rosh kollel came
to me and told of a firecracker that was thrown into a
synagogue and the dreadful panic it raised. Drivers came to
me and told me that someone threw a firecracker at their
cars, causing a near accident. Someone who studies in our
kollel said today that someone threw a firecracker at
his wife on Rechov Ezra in the middle of the day and she
almost fainted from fright. And the Amolekites watch and
smirk with glee.
"Chazal say, `Cursed is the man who keeps a ferocious dog on
his property.' A dog is even a G-d-made creature and we are
obligated to show it gratitude, yet here we are talking about
dynamite that is far worse. This must be uprooted at its very
HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein added that these words were
already written by HaGaon R' Chaim Falagi. He mentions "An
explosive cylinder which is a vessel of death . . . Even if
it does not contain anything that kills, nevertheless, the
noise it makes, alone, causes trembling and dread and makes a
person afraid." He wrote further that "even the [small
amounts of] explosive matter that is placed in papers and
rolled up, known as pulver-powder does not befit our
people to use -- even on Purim . . . In our city of Izmir,
the rabbis have issued a joint statement that it is forbidden
to use explosives on Purim . . . This applies to anything
that contains dynamite. It is customary on Shabbos Zochor to
announce this in public to warn and remind the people against
"These warnings," says R' Zilberstein, "must be issued again
and this habit uprooted together with Amolek."
What can be done against this practice?
"Very simple. There is no recourse but to involve the police
in the matter. We will publicize a statement in the name of
the rabbonim that it is a mitzva to report anyone who sells
these devices to the police. Principals and teachers shall be
told to publicly announce the name of any boy caught handling
explosives and to censure and denounce him. This will help to
halt this terrible phenomenon.
"It cannot be that there are such wicked people with hearts
of stone who insist on pandering to this urge and making huge
sums of money at the expense of frightening an entire
"I ask that whoever can help in this matter, to eradicate
this practice as a measure of `And you shall wipe out the
evil from your midst,' to do whatever is in his power.
Whoever finds a child using fireworks must seize him and
wrest it away from him, ask him his name and report him to
the principal of his cheder to be dealt with."