Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

1 Kislev 5763 - November 6, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Chaim Shalom Yisrael zt'l
by Betzalel Kahn

Hundreds of mourners participated in the levaya erev Shabbos of HaRav Chaim Shalom Yisrael zt'l, head of Yeshivas Ner Shmuel and Mosdot Ner Shmuel in Har Nof, Jerusalem, who passed away unexpectedly Friday morning at the age of 57. Bnei Torah including roshei yeshivos, rabbonim, dayonim, former talmidim from Yeshivas Novardok in France and talmidim, past and present, from Yeshivas Ner Shmuel, accompanied their rov and lamented the painful loss of a tzaddik who helped establish and elevate the Torah world in Israel and France and, with tremendous mesirus nefesh, taught them the fountainheads of truth in accordance with the mesorah handed down from our rabbonim and the teachings of the Alter of Novardok.

Rav Chaim Shalom Yisrael was born in Morocco to Rav Meir. In his youth he was noted for his exceptional talents and for a heart open to ahavas Torah. At the age of 10 he went to Yeshivas Novardok in France where he studied under HaRav Gershon Liebman and acquired Torah learning and hashkofoh handed down as a legacy from the Alter of Novardok.

Later he married and, together with his wife, worked hard at bringing other Jews closer to our Father in Heaven. Their home was always open and drew many people seeking help in ruchniyus and gashmiyus.

His life's ambition was to raise up the Torah world, particularly in Eretz Hakodesh. To this end he moved to Jerusalem where he founded Yeshivas Ner Shmuel, Mosdot Ner Shmuel and Talmud Torah Or Chadash in Har Nof.

He was bound heart and soul to HaRav Gershon Liebman, and was also one of HaRav Chaim Zeitchik's leading talmidim. Just two weeks ago he helped work on a new edition of seforim written by HaRav Zeitchik--the namesake for Talmud Torah Or Chadash--to prepare them for publication.

Rav Yisrael helped support numerous yeshivos and other institutions, trudging along with every rosh yeshiva who came to France to help him raise funds, never considering that his actions could divert donations that might otherwise come to his own institutions.

Even when involved in fundraising he had a regular chavrusa together with him in the car so he could delve back into his studies while in transit.

He strongly encouraged young men to publish seforim and just days before his petiroh he gave a substantial contribution to an avreich trying to publish a book.

The levaya set out from Yeshivas Ner Shmuel. HaRav Shlomo Zafrani, rosh mosdot Ohel Moshe in Har Nof, gave a hesped about the deceased's mesirus nefesh for chinuch. HaRav Yisrael David Nivoner, formerly one of the roshei yeshiva of Ner Shmuel and a close friend for 50 years, reminisced about how he had been a man of chesed whose every deed was lesheim Shomayim. HaRav Betzalel Toledano, rosh yeshivas Zohar HaTorah, said Rav Yisrael spent his entire life thinking about how to elevate Torah in Eretz Hakodesh and noted his joy and effusiveness in tefilloh. HaRav Chaim Sarna, rosh yeshivas Chevron (Geulah), recalled how he originally wanted to build Torah institutions in France, but when he realized social conditions made it difficult to do so in keeping with the true Torah hashkofoh he made aliyah and built exemplary Torah institutions in Eretz Yisroel.

Rosh Yeshivas Ner Shmuel, HaRav Yaakov Yisrael, speaking with a choked voice, described how his brother poured his energies into harbotzas Torah in the face of persecution and blatant degradation. The deceased's eldest son, HaRav Shimon Yisrael, principal of Talmud Torah Or Chadash, tearfully recounted how his father never held a grudge against anyone and despite the trials and hardships he underwent, he always received people with a pleasant countenance and a dignified manner.

When the levaya reached Har Hamenuchos additional hespeidim were delivered by HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, one of the heads of Yeshivas Mir, and HaRav Reuven Elbaz, rosh yeshivas Or HaChaim. As the sun began to set on erev Shabbos Chayei Soroh, HaRav Yisrael was interred in the section for rabbonim. Following the burial short words of parting were offered by his son-in-law, HaRav Yaakov Ben- Porat, a ram at Yeshivas Or HaChaim.

HaRav Chaim Shalom Yisrael zt'l, is survived by sons, daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, all of whom are talmidei chachomim dwelling in the tents of Torah and following in his illustrious footsteps.


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