Heavy grief descended on the Torah world, particularly the
members of Yeshivas Mir past and present, upon receiving news
of the petiroh of HaRav Moshe Finkel zt"l on
Sunday 28 Av at the age of 94 following a long illness.
The levaya set out from Yeshivas Mir in Jerusalem on
Sunday afternoon and he was buried near his father, HaRav
Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, and his father-in-law, HaRav Mordechai
Dovid Levine, author of Darkei Dovid.
HaRav Moshe Finkel was born on 21 Av 5670 (1910) in the small
town of Mir, Poland, and had the merit to grow up in the
presence of his grandfather, one of the Torah gedolim
of his generation, HaRav Eliyohu Boruch Kamai, the rov of
Mir. His father was HaRav Eliezer Yehuda ("Leizer Yudel")
Finkel zt"l, later rosh yeshiva of Mir in Europe and
Following his father's pattern of "wandering" to places of
Torah, he went to study at many of the leading places of
Torah during those times. He began at Yeshivas Slobodka,
where he remained close to his other grandfather, HaRav
Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the Alter of Slobodka.
Then he transferred to the famous Talmud Torah of Kelm, which
left its imprint on his special personality. He learned there
bechavrusa with HaRav Dovid Povarsky, zt"l. He
also studied at Yeshivas Baranovitch under HaRav Elchonon
Wassermann Hy"d, and also with HaRav Shlomo Heiman
Later he returned to his hometown where he was selected among
the members of Yeshivas Mir to join a group traveling to
study under Maran the Griz in Brisk. Greatly impressed with
the young man, Maran entrusted him to take part in the task
of preparing for publication his father's book of
chiddushim, Rabbenu Chaim Halevi on the Rambam,
working together with his own son, HaRav Y. D. Soloveitchik
Before World War II broke out he returned to Yeshivas Mir.
The yeshiva's alumni recall how he spiritedly prayed as
chazon on Motzei Simchas Torah, at the last
tefilloh in the town of Mir. He remained with the
yeshiva during some of its wanderings up to 5701 (1941), when
he managed to go to Eretz Yisroel with his father.
Shortly after his arrival, HaRav Eliezer Yehuda set up the
yeshiva in Jerusalem, with HaRav Moshe taking an active role
by helping his father in every way. At this time HaRav
Levine, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Eitz Chaim and author of
Darkei Dovid, chose him to marry his daughter.
When the yeshiva expanded he took on the formidable task of
supporting the yeshiva. During this period the yeshiva moved
from one location to another until HaRav Eliezer Yehuda
decided to build a permanent facility in the Beit Yisrael
neighborhood. During these years HaRav Moshe hardly had a
moment's rest, and he worked with true mesiras nefesh
for an extended period.
He would embark on long journeys for the sake of the yeshiva,
sometimes going on the road for an entire year, not resting
until he had completed the holy task of supporting the
hundreds of avreichim and covering the yeshiva's
He always insisted on not deriving any benefit from yeshiva
funds, living in great poverty. He took great pains in his
conduct. His family members say when he once tied his right
shoe before his left, the mistake left him perturbed all
He passed away on the date of his bris miloh. As the
Chasam Sofer says tzaddikim live out their years,
counting through the day of their bris miloh.
The first of the maspidim was HaRav Nosson Tzvi
Finkel, current rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Mir, followed by
HaRav Aryeh Finkel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir-Brachfeld,
HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, one of the roshei yeshivos of
Yeshivas Mir, his mechuton HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky, one of
the roshei yeshivas of Yeshivas Ponovezh, and his oldest son,
HaRav Eliyohu Boruch, a ram at Yeshivas Mir.
He was buried at Har Hamenuchos Cemetery in the family plot.
After the burial, his son-in-law, HaRav Binyomin Povarsky,
spoke of the deceased's adherence the halochoh in every
detail, even during his final days when his strength failed
HaRav Moshe Finkel, zt"l, is survived by his sons,
HaRav Eliyohu Boruch and HaRav Yitzchok Eizek, his sons-in-
law, Rav Shmuel Breskin and HaRav Binyomin Povarsky,
grandchildren and great-grandchildren following in his