web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Life Of A Legendary Posek

Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, zt"l

Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, zt"l

The birth of Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv – who died in Jerusalem last week at the age of 102 – is thought by many to be a miracle.

Despite sixteen years of prayer and longing for a child, the chief rabbi of Homel, Rabbi Avraham Erener, and his wife, Chaya Musha, remained childless. According to one story – often repeated by Rabbi Elyashiv’s children – it was only after an incident when Rebbetzin Erener displayed tremendous compassion by curbing well-deserved anger after a display of cruelty by a distraught neighbor, that Rebbetzin Erener was told by her father, Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv (author of the classic kabbalistic work Leshem Shevo V’achlamah), that her selfless actions would merit the blessing of a child who was destined to greatness. Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv was born one year later on April 10, 1910 in Lithuania.

His survival throughout the years faced additional hurdles, as numerous times from childhood on Rabbi Elyashiv was stricken with serious illnesses from which he was not expected to recover. Upon the advice of the Chofetz Chaim, in 1922, Rabbi Avraham Erener took on his wife’s family name, Elyashiv, in order to consolidate the two families and obtain a uniform immigration certificate allowing them to enter the British mandate of Palestine. This move was facilitated by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, the Ashkenazic chief rabbi of Israel. Seven years later, Rabbi Kook once again took on an important role in the life of then 19-year-old Rabbi Elyashiv, arranging his marriage to Sheina Chaya Levin, daughter of esteemed Jerusalem Rabbi Aryeh Levin.

When they arrived in Palestine, Rabbi Avraham founded Tiferes Bachurim, a beis medrash in Meah Shearim, where he would deliver a nightly lecture. After his sudden passing, his only son, 32-year-old Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv succeeded him. Until close to the turn of the century, Rabbi Elyashiv was available every night to individuals seeking answers to various halachic inquiries. Rabbi Elyashiv’s vast Torah knowledge was acquired without ever attending a formal yeshiva. From when he was a small child until his father’s death, the two learned for several hours daily. The pair covered the entire Shas, Rambam, and all of Shulchan Aruch by the time Rabbi Elyashiv was married in 1930. After his marriage, Rabbi Elyashiv began studying at Ohel Sarah, another beis medrash in the neighborhood.

Rabbi Elyashiv fathered five sons and seven daughters, two of whom did not survive to adulthood. A son, Yitzchak, succumbed to an illness at a young age and a daughter, Rivka, died in a Jordanian shelling attack in 1948. Sons Shlomo, Moshe, Binyamin and Avraham Elyashiv are all considered great scholars in their own right and all of Rabbi Elyashiv’s daughters married prominent rabbis. The eldest of Rabbi Elyashiv’s daughters was the renowned and beloved Rebbetzin Batsheva Kanievsky, a”h, wife of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky. She passed away just months ago.

Rabbi Elyashiv, serving as a judge with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate until 1972, was close with other great Torah leaders, including Rabbi Betzalel Zolty, Rabbi Yaakov Ades, Rabbi Eliezer Goldsmidt and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. He ultimately earned a position on the Supreme Rabbinical Court. Rabbi Elyashiv was persuaded by Rabbi Elazar Menachem Mann Shach, zt”l, the rosh yeshiva of the famed Ponovitch Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, to take a more active role in Jewish public life in 1989 and was the spiritual leader of the Degel HaTorah Party.

Unlike many of today’s widely respected rabbinical figures, Rabbi Elyashiv was not the head of any congregation, yeshiva or community but was still one of the most widely sought out authorities in our generation and was considered by many to be a gadol hador and the leading posek for Ashkenazic Jewry. Rabbi Elyashiv began his day at 3 a.m. and was known to sleep for not more than three or four hours nightly, spending the remainder of his day deeply immersed in Torah studies, delivering shiurim, answering often complex halachic questions and receiving the many visitors who flocked to see him from all over the world. He was known not only as a man of great learning, but also as a man who appreciated and respected the value and dignity of every person.

Rabbi Elyashiv lived a life of simplicity in his small apartment on Rechov Chanan in Meah Shearim, and his reputation for impeccable integrity and concern for others was beyond compare. As a young couple, Rabbi Elyashiv and his wife moved into that apartment at the request of his parents who wished to be close to their only child. They lived together in that two-bedroom apartment for approximately twenty-five years. That was where all the Elyashiv children were raised and where Rabbi Elyashiv lived until his last day.

About the Author: Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites, newspapers, magazines and many private clients. She can be contacted at sandyeller1@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Life Of A Legendary Posek”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Hamas terrorists manage  to find their way to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as well.
Egypt Formally Designates Hamas as Terrorist Entity
Latest Indepth Stories
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu carried his message to Americans through the media after meeting with President Obama and castigating Iran at the UN. (September 30, 2013)

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

israel-day-parade-bds

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Netanyahu in a previous address to Congress-

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.

More Articles from Sandy Eller
A-Night-Out-logo

One of the best perks of writing about restaurants is that we often have the opportunity to taste a broad sampling of menu items and the chef at Brasserie Halevi kept up a steady stream of food to our table.

Eller-020615

If you have ever tried to organize the different sized roller blades in your garage, you will appreciate the wisdom of the roller skates we had when we were little.

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

As always, when it comes to electronics, you get what you pay for.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

“We had been in our first-period class for less than three minutes, and the website was already in-motion,” Rabbi Young told The Jewish Press.

It may be sweater weather now, but sooner or later summer will be here, bringing abundant sunshine, swimming, barbeques and mosquitoes.

Demetrious’ insistence on handmaking his chocolaty treasures with only the highest quality ingredients paid off in customer loyalty…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/news-extra/the-life-of-a-legendary-posek/2012/07/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: