Sunday night, 14 Iyar, a massive throng accompanied HaRav
Moshe Finkel zt"l, one of the roshei yeshiva
of the Mirrer yeshiva, on his last earthly journey. He was
niftar after prolonged suffering in his 68th year.
HaRav Moshe Finkel, the son of HaRav Chaim Zeev Finkel and
the grandson of HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, was born in Tel
Aviv in 5693 (1933). As a youth, he studied in the Or
Yisroel yeshiva ketana, and then in Ponevezh,
Slabodka, Kollel Chevron and the Mir. He came to the Mir
together with his brother, yibodel lechayim tovim
ve'arukim, HaRav Aryeh Finkel, after their uncle HaRav
Chaim Shmuelevitz arrived in Eretz Yisroel.
When he was still young his mother passed away, and from the
age of sixteen he lived in the home of his grandfather,
HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, the rosh yeshiva of Mirrer
Yeshiva, in Jerusalem. He related that his grandfather would
wake him for shacharis kevosikin every morning, and
would also study with him bechavrusa every day,
reviewing with him the daf which had been studied
that day in the yeshiva and then the one studied the
previous day. After returning from abroad, he would review
with him all of the pages of gemora with Tosafos,
which had been studied in the yeshiva in his absence.
For many years, HaRav Moshe studied bechavrusa with
his uncle, HaRav Chaim Shmuelevitz. In his seforim,
HaRav Moshe would refer to HaRav Chaim as "Admor Hagrach."
During Rav Moshe's final days a student said that people
might not know to whom he was referring. However HaRav Moshe
insisted that this was the title which suited his uncle.
When he came of age, he married Rebbetzin Ramah, the
granddaughter of HaRav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, and soon
after his marriage he was appointed to the position of
ram in the yeshiva. In addition to delivering
shiurim, he also assumed the financial burden of the
yeshiva, as his father had done, and he traveled to Africa,
England and many other countries on the yeshiva's behalf. He
helped needy students of the yeshiva and chassonim
who required aid. He also performed much chesed with
everyone, including those who did not belong to the
He produced many students, some of whom are ramim and
marbitzei Torah in yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel and
abroad. His seforim, Bnei Chayil on Sukkah,
Nedorim and Pesochim were warmly received by the
entire yeshiva world for their innovative approach and their
special study method. These seforim, which are broad
in their scope, contain both extensive information as well
as enlightening chidushim in a new manner. They also
illustrate how to transmit limud to students. These
features are especially evident in his chidushim on
He published his seforim on Pesochim after he
fell ill and after his two kidneys had stopped functioning.
Even under such circumstances, he continued to deliver
shiurim in the yeshiva.
Three years ago, he fainted in his room in the yeshiva, and
from that time on he would deliver chaburos in his
home to prominent avreichim of the Mirrer yeshiva. He
also continued to work on his seforim until his final
day, among them one on Kiddushin which he nearly
completed preparing for publication. Even when speaking was
very difficult for him, he insisted on correcting and
reviewing every letter and point in the book, so that it
would be clear, precise and understood by all.
During his most critical times, he still retained his
remarkable memory, and recalled every rishon and
acharon in a most detailed manner, and where
everything could be found. He also clearly recalled all that
he had written in his life as well as the explanations for
all his writings.
He studied with a number of chavrusas, giving all of
them the feeling that they were equal in his eyes. Even when
his suffering was intense, he continued to study with his
chavrusas so that they would not notice that
something was wrong. Sometimes he would study
bechavrusa until dawn.
Last year, his situation worsened and both his legs had to
be amputated. Nonetheless, he continued to deliver
shiurim and chaburos until very recently, when
he could barely sit. During his final days, when he was in
the hospital, he continued to study with his
chavrusas. A month ago his situation worsened and he
was hospitalized. The last three days of his life he was
unable to speak, and on Sunday afternoon he returned his
pure soul to its Maker.
Upon his petirah, the levaya set out from the
Mirrer Yeshiva to Har Hamenuchos.
He is survived by two sons, HaRav Aharon, who is continuing
to bear the burden of the yeshiva and HaRav Shraga who is in
the United States. He is also survived by two daughters, one
of whom is married to HaRav Shlomo Werner, one of the
prominent avreichim of the Mirrer Kollel, as well as
by his brother, HaRav Aryeh, one of the roshei
yeshiva of the Mir and by two sisters, one of whom is
married to HaRav Aharon Chodosh, the menahel ruchani
of the Mirrer yeshiva, and the other is married to HaRav
Avigdor Neventzal, the rov of the Old City of Jerusalem.