Photo Credit: Courtesy
Rav Salomon at the bris of the author's sister's son.

The Jewish people have been blessed with many remarkable leaders throughout history, and Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, zt”l, is certainly one of them. His influence extended far beyond the walls of the Beis Medrash Govoha (BMG) in Lakewood N.J., where he served as mashgiach for the past quarter century, touching the lives of many with his teachings and exemplary way of life. Rav Matisyahu devoted his life to bettering the lives of others and inspired tens of thousands to strengthen themselves in limud haTorah and avodas Hashem.



Early Life and Education

Rav Matisyahu Salomon was born in London in 1936 to Reb Yaakov and Mrs. Ettil Salomon. From an early age, his passion for Torah study and dedication to Jewish values were evident. He joined the Gateshead Yeshiva, where he became exceptionally close to his chavrusa, Rav Chaim Kaufman, who later founded the Gateshead Yeshiva L’Tzeirim. In 1960, he married Miriam Falk, sister of Rav Eliyahu Falk, zt”l. Rav Matisyahu was a talmid of Rav Elya Lopian, zt”l, in Yeshiva Kfar Chassidim, where he developed his sterling and refined character. Rav Matisyahu considered Rav Lopian to be his rebbe muvhak. Rav Matisyahu always believed he would be a rosh yeshiva, but Hashem had other plans for him. At the levaya, one of his sons-in-law remarked that one of the keys to the massive success that Rav Matisyahu had was that for most of his life he did something that he did not want to do. Rather, he acted out of his selfless devotion to others.


Leadership and Guidance

In the late 1960s, Rav Matisyahu began serving as an assistant mashgiach under Rav Moshe Schwab, zt”l, and later took over as mashgiach of Gateshead Yeshiva. His prowess in Torah learning was so impressive that his appointment as “only” the mashgiach of the Gateshead Yeshiva came as a surprise to those who knew him best. Rav Matisyahu served as mashgiach in Gateshead for about 30 years, until moving to Lakewood in 1997 to assume the role of mashgiach of BMG. Rav Matisyahu’s impact has been felt across continents and generations.


Commitment to Excellence

Rav Matisyahu is best known in American circles for his quarter-century tenure as the mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoha. As previously mentioned, Rav Matisyahu’s devotion to helping others grow in avodas Hashem began much earlier at the yeshiva of Gateshead, where he spent three decades impressing upon thousands a lifelong commitment to excellence.

In 1998, Rav Matisyahu succeeded Rav Nosson Wachtfogel, zt”l, as mashgiach ruchani of the largest and most prestigious yeshiva in the United States. The Salomons agreed to move to a foreign country for the sole purpose of bettering other people’s lives.

During the subsequent years, Rav Matisyahu brought unprecedented enthusiasm to the Lakewood yeshiva. Rav Matisyahu’s weekly schmuessen at BMG drew over a thousand in attendance. With his warm personality and his commitment to refining the character of bnei Torah, the mashgiach’s reputation spread. His influence extended beyond his duties as the yeshiva’s mashgiach as he was transformed into a hashkafic mentor of both religious and non-religious frum Jews across the globe.


Legacy and Impact

In a world characterized by rapid change, Rav Matisyahu Salomon remains a steadfast beacon of tradition, guiding with wisdom, love and an unwavering commitment to the values that have sustained us throughout history. A significant component of Rav Matisyahu’s legacy is his role in raising awareness of the dangers of technology. Rav Matisyahu was a frontrunner in this battle long before many realized the extent of the threat it poses.

Rav Elya Brudny of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn remarked at the levaya that Rav Matisyahu was fighting the “sin of the generation.” Nearly 12 years ago, Rav Matisyahu organized a massive gathering in Citi Field stadium to raise awareness of the dangers of technology. The event drew over fifty thousand people, filling Citi Field and including thousands of others at a nearby stadium with a live hookup. Ahead of the gathering, a gadol in Eretz Yisrael warned Rav Matisyahu that by doing this he was starting up with the S”A (evil angel), which could take “revenge” on him in various ways. Undeterred, the mashgiach continued with the gathering; the fate of his personal well-being was not a factor when it came to the needs of klal Yisrael, and in technology, he recognized a danger of historic proportions that had to be addressed. Due to Rav Matisyahu’s efforts, thousands of people do not have smartphones today and many others have put filters on their devices.

After suffering from a years-long illness, two weeks ago this great leader was taken from us at the age of 86. Rebbetzin Salomon passed away in 2016. Rav Matisyahu Salomon is survived by his wonderful family of children and grandchildren.

May his memory be a blessing.


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Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.