The Torah and yeshiva world was cloaked in mourning following
the sudden passing Monday night in Jerusalem of HaRav Tzvi
Hirsch Markowitz zt"l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Karlin-
Stolin, a member of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, a member of the
Nesius of the Vaad Hayeshivos, and formerly the
moro de'asra of Ramat Gan and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
Slonim in Ramat Gan. One of the generation's great leaders
and teachers of Torah, mussar and yir'oh, he
linked chareidi Jewry to the gedolei Torah and the
Torah world of the pre-World War II era.
Thousands of HaRav Markowitz' talmidim came streaming
to his home on Rechov David Chazan in Jerusalem upon hearing
the bitter news.
Tzvi Hirsch Markowitz was born in 5677 (1917) to HaRav Shmuel
Markowitz, gavad of Turetz, Lithuania. Even before the
age of 13 he went to learn Torah in the town of Slonim and
was so engaged in his learning that, rather than traveling
home for his bar mitzvah he marked it with a modest
celebration at the yeshiva, then headed by his future father-
in-law, HaRav Shabsai Yogel zt"l.
Later he transferred to Yeshivas Grodno where he soon became
a talmid muvhok of HaRav Shimon Shkop zt"l, who
was close to his family. He also became one of the first
talmidim of HaRav Boruch Ber Leibowitz, author of
Bircas Shmuel, who would tell over his shiurim
to the young Tzvi Hirsch along with his fellow students
Eliyohu Mishkovsky and Shraga Grossbard before delivering it
to the rest of the yeshiva.
He had close ties to all of the gedolei Yisroel of
Lithuania and already as a bochur he would converse
and correspond with HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, with the
roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir and other gedolei Torah
of the dor dei'oh.
As dark clouds began to gather over Europe and the sounds of
war echoed, R' Tzvi Hirsch continued his learning without
interruption. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II he
moved to Eretz Yisroel to evade the draft, narrowly
escaping the Holocaust before the Nazis clamped down on all
of Europe. In Eretz Yisroel he resumed his studies at
Yeshivas Lomzha in Petach Tikva.
In 5703 (1943) he married the daughter of rosh yeshivas
Slonim HaRav Shabsai Yogel, who immediately made him a
ram at Yeshivas Slonim in Ramat Gan.
For the next six decades he taught Torah to thousands and
formed close bonds with all of the gedolei hador,
including the Chazon Ish and the Brisker Rov zt"l.
The Chazon Ish was very fond of him and helped him start his
own yeshiva in Ramat Gan, making a great exception by taking
the time to write to Jewish philanthropists abroad letters
filled with extraordinary praise for HaRav Markowitz.
While serving as rosh yeshivas Slonim in Ramat Gan he began
to take on the burden of the tzibbur, even serving as
moro de'asra of Ramat Gan for many years. He fought
for Shabbos and the sanctity of Ramat Gan, including
demonstrations against Shabbos desecration and breaches in
kedushoh and kashrus. HaRav Shach zt"l even
took part in a demonstration HaRav Markowitz initiated to
protest the opening of a store that sold non-kosher food.
While serving as rov of Ramat Gan he wrote a book called
Benesivos Ho'emunoh, which clarified topical issues
related to hashkofoh and emunoh. He showed
genuine concern for all of the city's residents and persuaded
many of them to send their sons to the holy yeshivas. Over
the years he became a central figure in the city, whose
leaders did not make any moves related to spiritual matters
without consulting him.
HaRav Markowitz also gained renown as a powerful speaker who
was asked to deliver eulogies for gedolei Yisroel and
speeches at various major events for chareidi Jewry.
He was appointed to the Vaad Hayeshivos in Eretz Yisroel,
serving as a member of the presidential board until his last
In 5742 (1982) he was made rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Karlin-
Stolin in Jerusalem, where he served as a marbitz
Torah for over 20 years.
In 5749 (1989) Rabbenu Hagodol asked him to assist in the
setup of Degel HaTorah and its institutions and he was even
appointed a member of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah.
When he moved to Jerusalem, his home became a center for
Torah. Both HaRav Shach zt"l and HaRav Eliashiv
ylct"a trusted his judgment in handling various public
For the last few years he stayed at home most of the time,
devoting his strength to publishing his books and insuring
that they were thoroughly edited and checked. In recent years
his students also published several books containing his
writings and shiurim.
A few months ago his health grew frail and late last week he
was hospitalized at Shaarei Tzedek in Jerusalem, but despite
the prayers of thousands of talmidim around the world,
Monday night he was summoned to the Yeshiva Shel
Together with his wife tlct"a, he had the merit to
raise a number of gedolei Torah and gedolei
horo'oh. HaRav Tzvi Hirsch Markowitz zt"l is
survived by his eldest son, HaRav Eliezer, rosh kollel of
Kollel Beis Meir, HaRav Yitzchok, HaRav Shmuel, one of the
roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh, and HaRav Yaakov, rosh
yeshiva of Yeshivas Shaar HaTorah; his sons-in-law HaRav
Dovid Yitzchok Grossbard, rosh kollel of Kollel Otzar Daas,
HaRav Ovadiah Yaabetz and HaRav Nachum Nebentzal;
grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as thousands of
talmidim mourning the loss of one of the survivors of
the dor dei'oh.
The very large levaya was held on Tuesday afternoon,
leaving from his home in the Nevei Tzvi section of
Yerushalayim for the Chelkas HaRabbonim in Har Hemenuchos.
The maspidim were his eldest son HaRav Eliezer
Markowitz, HaRav Yitzchok Sheiner, rosh yeshivas Kaminetz,
HaRav Aryeh Finkel, rosh yeshivas Mir, HaRav Meir Tzvi
Bergman, rosh yeshivas Rashbi, his son HaRav Yaakov
Markowitz, and his son HaRav Shmuel Markowitz.