Eight years of orphans: mirrors from the life of the late Maran Hagarish Elyashiv


a a A Eight years ago, Rabbi Gaon Rabbi passed away The late Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Who is considered the arbiter and leader of the generation, in the ultra-Orthodox Lithuanian public – in particular and in the Jewish world – in general.

Rabbi Elyashiv was born in Lithuania in 1910 to Rabbi Avraham Elyashiv, who later served as a rabbi in the city of Homel, then part of Russia and now in Belarus.

Rabbi Elyashiv’s grandfather is Rabbi Shlomo Elyashov, a well-known Kabbalist from the 19th century. In 1924, when Rabbi Elyashiv was 14, his family immigrated to Israel, with the assistance of the then Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, and settled in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem. From then until his death, Rabbi Elyashiv lived in the neighborhood for 87 years, rarely leaving it.

Rare documentation: Hagarish Elyashiv in permitting vows (General Teaching House)

As a teenager, Rabbi Elyashiv was educated at the Torat Chaim yeshiva in Jerusalem and in his youth he even studied for a while at the Ohel Torah Kollel in the city. He then retired to independent studies at the Ohel Sarah Synagogue in the Mea Shearim neighborhood, where he sat and studied alone for decades, so Rabbi Elyashiv is considered self-taught.

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From a young age, Rabbi Elyashiv served in various rabbinical positions. Initially, as the rabbi of the Tiferet Bahurim synagogue, where his father previously served as rabbi, a position he has held to this day. Also, for a short time, as rabbi of the city of Ramla. His prominent official rabbinical positions were as a judge in the Jerusalem Regional Court and as a judge in the Grand Court.

His tenure in the tribunal, to which he was “recruited” by the then Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog, has often been used as a tool by his opponents from the extremist factions in the ultra-Orthodox community who oppose cooperation with the state and its institutions.

Rare Documentation: The Concern of the Grish Elyashiv to the Grail Steinman

As part of his activity in the Great Court, Rabbi Elyashiv is considered one of the drafters of the “Discussion Regulations” that regulate the procedures of the rabbinical courts. In 1973, Rabbi Elyashiv resigned from the tribunal following the appointment of Rabbi Shlomo Goren to the position of Chief Rabbi of Israel and president of the Great Rabbinical Court, to which the ultra-Orthodox public opposed.

Despite his quiet nature and escape from the public arena, since 1989 Rabbi Elyashiv joined the spiritual leadership of the Degel HaTorah movement representing the ultra-Orthodox-Lithuanian public, then as the supreme rabbinical authority in Jerusalem for this sector, and later, with the death of Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach, Nationwide.

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Despite his political affiliation, Rabbi Elyashiv is considered a judge accepted by the entire sector, and his rulings have paved the way for many halakhic issues. His home and the synagogue where he studies and teaches were considered a center of pilgrimage for thousands in the ultra-Orthodox community and beyond.

Over the years, Rabbi Elyashiv has underestimated his opinion on public matters, and in many cases preferred his natural silence over expressing a position. Recently, his opinion was heard on the subject of entering the tomb of Yosef, then he said through his associates that this is halakhically forbidden, and against the ‘letter of the rabbis’ forbidding the sale and rental of apartments to Arabs.

How did Maran Hagarish Elyashiv react to the proposal to “check bruises”?

Rabbi Elyashiv was married to Sheina Chaya, the daughter of Rabbi Aryeh Levin, a well-known rabbi in Jerusalem at the time, and the couple had 12 children, 7 daughters and 5 sons. Seven of his children died during his lifetime, one of whom, Rebecca, was killed by a Jordanian shell during the War of Independence.

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Like him, three of his sons-in-law serve as senior arbitrators in the ultra-Orthodox community: Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, Minister of Torah, Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein and Rabbi Azriel Auerbach. In 2010, Rabbi Elyashiv celebrated the age of 100, a year earlier, he was born to his grandson – Nin.

Funeral journey

Funeral Journey (Meir Alfasi, Archive)

More than 300,000 people accompanied Maran Posek Hador Rabbeinu HaGarish Elyashiv Zatzokal to an eternal funeral in an unforgettable funeral procession.

From the early evening hours, crowds of people flocked to the streets near Beit Maran, 10 on Hanan Street in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, with thousands and tens of thousands coming from all over the country for the funeral procession.

At 9:30 PM, the late Maran’s bed arrived at his beit midrash next to his house when only his family and closest students were allowed to enter the place, who wept at traffic signs next to the bed of the judge of the generation.

In front of the pillar, the head of the Mir Yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzchak Ezrahi, approached, and began by reciting Psalms as well as reciting Slichot in a shouting voice as the masses also wept bitterly.

One year before his death: Maran HaGarish Elyashiv ztl at the Western Wall (Photos: Yishai Cohen, Kobi Yeshayahu)

The sons of Maran Zatzokal said together “Kaddish Yatom” when he later passed before the prayer saying the Slichot of the Mashgiach Gaon Rabbi Dan Segal, who said verse by verse with the masses the verses of accepting the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, when the climax was the cry of Shema Yisrael.

Afterwards, his son-in-law, rabbi of the Ramat Elchanan neighborhood in Bnei Brak, Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein, said that although his father-in-law asked that they not mourn him, he would say only a few words in honor of his great father-in-law: “Our dear father, we We apologize to you, please please recommend us well in heaven and judge the people of Israel fairly. “

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Watch the video: The tears, the mourning, the pain ((Photo: Yehonatan Tzur and Amir Levy, Ynet))

Rabbi Zilberstein later praised the sons and grandsons of the late Maran who devoted themselves and cared for the healing and well-being of the judge of the generation and also noted the great devotion of the faithful of his house, Rabbi Yosef Efrati, whose hand did not fall from Maran’s hand.

In addition, the rabbi thanked the dedicated staff of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, where the late Maran was hospitalized in the last months of his life, and for their great dedication to his medicine and health.

Afterwards, the crowds marched towards Mount of Beatitudes in Jerusalem, where Maran Zatzokal was buried next to the grave of his wife.

From the Kikar Archive: Documentation from the funeral – Photo: Meir Alfasi, a summary of his life; Yehuda Perkowitz and Shmulik Drey

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