The Torah world was cloaked in mourning on Motzei Shabbos when news came from Sheba Medical Center about the histalkus of HaRav Moshe Mordechai Halevi Shulsinger zt"l, author of Mishmar Halevi, who taught Torah to tens of thousands of students for decades. He was held in high regard by gedolei Yisroel past and present and renowned for imparting ahavas haTorah and upholding truth unflinchingly.
HaRav Shulsinger, the son of HaRav Yitzchok Halevi Shulsinger, passed away at the age of 69 one week after he entered the hospital following a decline in his state of health.
Known from an early age for his tireless Torah study, his burning love of Torah and his extraordinary memory and abilities, he won the respect of Torah luminaries, including HaRav Y.Z. Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav, his rabbonim at Yeshivas Slobodka, notably HaRav Yechezkel Abramsky, the Steipler, HaRav Shach and ylct"a HaRav Eliashiv. He adhered closely to their teachings, passing them on in his shiurim and books,
HaRav Shulsinger was a living example of unflagging devotion to Torah study. He studied tractates of gemora dozens of times, achieving prodigious mastery of every word.
He taught Torah in numerous communities, gaining special renown for his Daf Yomi shiurim at Beis Medrash Yarchei Kallah in Bnei Brak, where he went through all of Shas nearly six times. The intense, in-depth shiurim were heard far and wide via the Kol Halashon phone system. In teaching Seder Kodshim he passed on the Brisker approach he learned from his own rabbonim.
He was also known for his ability to instill ahavas Torah, a message that comes through in Mishmar Halevi, his commentary on Shas, and in Peninei Rabboseinu, which includes anecdotes and observations of the great Torah figures of the previous generation, who passed on to him the fundamentals of the proper Torah hashkofoh.
HaRav Shulsinger was born on 7 Adar 5701 (1941) in Haifa to HaRav Yitzchok, also a tremendous shakdan and a talmid of the Chofetz Chaim in Radin during the years 5682-84 (1922-24). HaRav Yitzchok made aliya with his entire family, following the Chofetz Chaim insistent charge that as soon as he left the ship he would head toward a yeshiva.
In Eretz Yisroel he spent ten years learning in Jerusalem, where he came to be known as "Yitzchok Masmid," sometimes squeezing two 10-hour learning sessions into one 24-hour day. His wife, Simah Leah, was the daughter of Jerusalem tzaddik HaRav Avrohom Chaim Chechik and the sister of HaRav Zeev Dov Chechik, author of Toras Zeev who became HaRav Moshe Mordechai's primary teacher.
Moshe Mordechai arrived in Jerusalem before turning 16 and began cleaving to his uncle, HaRav Zeev Dov Chechik, an amazing genius and tzaddik to whom the Brisker Rav sent sick people, asking that he pray for them. HaRav Chechik brought the young man to the Brisker Rav, for which HaRav Shulsinger expressed his gratitude throughout his lifetime. During this period the young man held fast to his uncle, learning difficult sugyos,d> from Seder Kodshim six hours a night.
Starting in 5728 (1968) he went to the yeshiva headed by HaRav Meshulom Dovid Halevi Soloveitchik in Jerusalem to study Kodshim and for an entire year would return to his home in Bnei Brak only for Shabbos.
HaRav Shulsinger begin giving a daily shiur at the Yarchei Kallah beis medrash in Cheshvan 5729 (1968) — at first drawing less than a minyan of listeners. Over the years the shiur grew so much that the beis medrash had to be enlarged. These shiurim, which continued on a regular basis for 42 years, went through all of Shas five and a half times.
Considered a leader of the Daf Yomi revolution among baalei battim in recent years, the shiur was held day in and day out, including Shabbos, Yom tov, Leil Purim, Leil Yom Kippur and Motzei Tisha B'Av. During Chol Hamoed he would give two two-hour shiurim, and on Leil Shabbos during long winter nights he would deliver highly charged shiurim that lasted for hours, inspiring listeners with his rischo deOraisa until his final days on earth.
He was also famous for his droshos, which often drew people from far-flung locations. In these talks he would pass on the hashkofoh he received from his rabbonim, discussing daas Torah as it applied to contemporary issues. The talks were intended to impart a love of Torah and Torah scholars, and prevent participants from getting ensnared by materialism, shallow conduct and the passing vanities of This World. He would pepper his talks with stories about gedolei Torah, bringing many listeners to return to the straight path.
He was especially renowned for the droshos he gave on the seventh night of Pesach, Leil Tisha B'Av and Motzei Tisha B'Av, when the beis medrash was packed to the brim, for hours on end.
Over the years he published over 30 volumes of Mishmar Halevi, which he put much work into and on whose pages his delight over every chiddush is readily apparent.