The bitter news of the petiroh of HaRav Gedaliah Nadel
zt"l spread quickly on motzei Shabbos parshas
Beha'alosecho, drawing thousands to the levaya,
which set out at midnight from Lederman Shul in Bnei Brak.
HaRav Nadel, one of the roshei kollel of Kollel Chazon
Ish, rov of Shikun Chazon Ish and one of the Chazon Ish's
leading talmidim, passed away Shabbos afternoon at the
age of 81 following a difficult illness.
HaRav Nadel was born in 5683 (1923) in the town of Shavel,
Lithuania to HaRav Reuven Keshel. He studied Torah in his
hometown until moving to Eretz Yisroel with his parents at
the age of 13, settling at first in the Balfouria Colony.
After a short period of learning in Tel Aviv he transferred
to Yeshivas Lomzha in Petach Tikva, where he cleaved to his
rabbonim, particularly Maran HaRav Shach zt"l, and
become one of the famous yeshiva's leading
Other talmidim who studied with him at Yeshivas Lomzha
recall how he would sometimes spend 18 hours straight toiling
over his learning. One member of the yeshiva says had he not
been reminded to eat he would not have budged from his
The Chazon Ish took note of the exceptional young man, who
quickly became one of his cherished talmidim. The
Chazon Ish described him as one of the strongest Torah
scholars among his peers and once told one of his
talmidim that R' Gedaliah's tremendous kedushoh
shone on his face.
For many years HaRav Nadel remained close to the Chazon Ish.
Many of the Chazon Ish's talmidim say they often
received the exact same answer to their questions from HaRav
Nadel that they later heard from the Chazon Ish.
HaRav Nadel married the late daughter of HaRav Eliyohu
Weiner, one of the talmidim of the Chofetz Chaim.
After the wedding, the two lived in Jerusalem for a short
period before moving to Bnei Brak.
After marrying, he lived a life of extreme prishus. He
would spend all week involved in his learning at Yeshivas
Yehud, returning home only for Shabbos. The entire month of
Elul he would remain at Yeshivas Lomzha, preparing himself
for the Yomim Noraim. When he told the Chazon Ish that he
wanted to spend Rosh Hashanah in his presence, the Chazon Ish
told him to spend it with the Steipler Gaon instead.
During his lifetime the Chazon Ish conceived an idea to build
a neighborhood for a community of yirei Hashem, a
place now known as Shikkun Chazon Ish. When the Chazon Ish
formulated a plan for the construction of a beis
medrash and residential buildings he said the moro
d'asro would be his talmid, HaRav Gedaliah
As the rov of the new neighborhood HaRav Nadel would provide
clear, pointed answers to all who came to him with questions,
such as the Steipler who, like his son ylct"a HaRav
Chaim Kanievsky, would often bring his questions to HaRav
Based on directives from the Steipler many halachic matters
were decided according to HaRav Nadel's rulings. Many public
campaigns and important gatherings on matters of import to
the Jewish world were held in his home on Rechov Rashbam and
led by HaRav Shach or the Steipler. As a warrior fighting
Hashem's war he was intrepid in his pursuit of truth--
bilti leHashem levado.
HaRav Nadel was famous for his tremendous command of all
areas of Torah. One of his talmidim recounts coming to
ask him a halachic question and HaRav Nadel opened the
Chochmas Odom to the right place, pointing straight at
his ruling. When he was unable to find the exact place he
would spend three days studying the book over and over again
until he knew it word for word.
He served as rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Vishnitz in Bnei Brak,
but after a certain period he resumed dedicating his life to
Torah study with tremendous toil and prishus. His
talmidim recall how once he arrived in Bnei Brak from
his place of study in Yehud, setting a certain amount of time
for his stay in the city. He went to the Chazon Ish to speak
with him on halachic matters and after the conversation,
seeing his allotted time in Bnei Brak was finished, he left
without going home and sent a letter to his wife explaining
that had he gone home to visit he would have failed to keep
his resolution. His zerizus and charodoh in
keeping mitzvos were astonishing and he was punctilious in
every matter of halochoh. Only food carefully supervised from
start to finish entered his mouth.
His modest home, which exuded simplicity from every corner,
was evidence of the disregard he felt for matters of This
World. His only concern was cleaving to HaKodosh Boruch
Hu. When he would speak with Him, HaRav Nadel was so
overcome with emotion he would begin to weep. All of his
deeds pointed to his total deveikus to Borei
In addition to his greatness in Torah and halochoh he was a
man of great chessed, taking care of the families of
the sick and of widows and orphans. He would lend his ear and
his heart for hours and hours to listen to people in need,
whether the case involved individuals or community matters.
He would listen patiently and help however he could. He was
very careful to other respect people's dignity and to carry
out mitzvos of bein odom lechavero.
With graciousness, simplicity and pleasantness he would
encourage the brokenhearted and breathe hope into those in
despair. He would spend hours giving advice on matters of
sholom bayis and chinuch habonim.
In his latter years he was a marbitz Torah for many
talmidim who came to hear his deep, clearly delivered
shiurim, which paved a path toward an understanding of
every sugya, smoothing every rough spot. His
talmidim collected his shiurim in the two-
volume Shiurei Rebbe Gedaliah and several other books
are slated for publication in the near future.
In his final years he suffered from illness, pain and
suffering, but even during difficult times he never stopped
devoting his time to Torah with all of his remaining
strength. During the past year his health began to fail and
recently he fell into further decline until he was
hospitalized at Tel Hashomer's Sheba Hospital. On the
afternoon of Shabbos Parshas Beha'alosecho es haneiros
he opened his eyes, said a few words and suddenly returned
his soul, refined through yissurim, to his Maker.
Despite the late night hour, Rechov Rashbam and the
surrounding streets turned black as bnei Torah,
including gedolei Yisroel, streamed in en masse.
The recitation of Tehillim was led by HaRav Moshe
Bauer followed by hespeidim given by HaRav Nissim
Karelitz, HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky and HaRav Boruch
HaRav Gedaliah Nadel zt"l is survived by his sons and
sons-in-law, prominent figures in Torah and mussar, as
well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren perpetuating
his spiritual legacy, and his many talmidim who
learned Torah and horo'oh from him for decades and are
now mourning the loss of their rov and moreh.