| Magazine Feature |

Rabbi Elyashiv and His Torah Dynasty

More than a family, more than a dynasty: the Elyashiv family tree is a virtual kingdom of Torah scholarship


For close to a century, an unforgettably melodic tune has been sounded in Jerusalem's Meah Shearim neighborhood. Though he holds no public position, the sound of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv's Torah learning echoes and resounds throughout the world. From his modest apartment on 10 Chanan Street, Rabbi Elyashiv has built a glorious Torah empire, a virtual kingdom of Torah scholars. Over the years, the branches, fruits, and saplings of the Elyashiv home have intertwined with the leading families of the Torah world. Yet even as they provide shade and sustenance for the entire Jewish nation, the Elyashiv descendants remain firmly rooted to their esteemed patriarch.

In a room filled with sefarim covering every wall from floor to ceiling, in a modest apartment on the narrow cobblestone street that ranks among the narrowest in Meah Shearim, beats the heart of today’s Torah world. The halachic rulings for the generation originate in this humble abode, at 10 Chanan Street, the home of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

Though Rabbi Elyashiv studies alone, you might think there’s a chavrusa in the room with him: as he dissects the give and take of the Talmudic discussion, he asks questions aloud, answering them himself, even responding, “Ah gutte pshat, a good explanation.”

The only furnishings in Rabbi Elyashiv’s home are those that facilitate his Torah learning: shelves filled with sefarim, a shtender for davening, a table piled with sefarim, and a bed, which Rabbi Elyashiv uses for a scant few hours so he can regain his strength for the next day’s Torah learning. The only decorations adorning the simple home are the pictures of the Torah giants that are the roots of this dynasty of Torah— his grandfather, the kabbalist Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv, ztz"l, author of the Leshem Shevo V’Achlamah, and his father-in-law, “the tzaddik in our times,” Rabbi Aryeh Levine.

From the modest house on Chanan Street – with its simple appearance and magnificent spiritual proportions – many branches of the Elyashiv dynasty have taken root and blossomed, spreading throughout the Torah world. Just several miles and a couple of decades lie between the eminent resident of this apartment and his descendants. Yet they all share his Torah, his pleasure in learning, his fervor and his halachic exactitude. The apples haven’t fallen very far from the tree.

If there’d ever be a family reunion attended by all the branches of this “royal family,” it’s doubtful whether the facility would be able to contain their combined greatness. This imaginary gathering would unite a veritable “mizrach vant” of our generation’s greatest Torah leaders and tzaddikim, a significant number of whom are linked in some way to the magnificent Torah dynasty rooted in the apartment on Chanan Street.

Tears and Silence

The history of the Elyashiv family in Eretz Yisrael began in Adar, 5684 (1924), when the grandfather, Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv, immigrated from Shavel, Lithuania, together with his son-in-law Rabbi Avraham, his daughter Chaya Musha, and his grandson Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who was at the time a young boy. Rabbi Avraham’s original family name remains unknown, since he adopted his wife’s family name to facilitate his escape. It is known, however, that he studied under the Chofetz Chaim in Radin, and later in Dvinsk.

Rabbi Elyashiv was close to his grandfather in his youth, and when his grandfather’s eyesight failed, the young Yosef Shalom would write his Torah novella by dictation. He is mentioned once in his grandfather’s works with the designation, “fortunate is the one who gave birth to him.”

The story of that birth is a moving one. Rabbi Elyashiv’s mother, Rebbetzin Chaya Musha, was childless for a long period of time. One day she hid behind the oven and, poured out her pain in copious tears. Her father, the author of the Leshem, passed by and was moved by her weeping. She told him she wanted a son; he thought for a moment, and then blessed her with a son who would enlighten the eyes of the people of Israel.

A commonly told story, whose source is unknown, relates that once Rebbetzin Chaya Musha worked all day washing the family’s laundry, which under the conditions of Jerusalem in those days involved an entire day of backbreaking work with large vats of boiling water and corrosive soaps. After hanging the fresh laundry on a line in a communal courtyard, where the Jerusalemite custom was to hang laundry from the corner of one house to another, she took her leave and returned home. A neighbor passed, and was so annoyed by the laundry that interfered with her path she took a scissors and cut the line, causing the wet laundry to tumble to the ground in a muddy mess.

When the Rebbetzin returned after a while to retrieve her laundry, she was shocked to see the malicious damage. But without a word, she picked it up and steeled herself to repeat the entire exhausting process once again. In the merit of her silence, the story concludes, she gave birth to a son who enlightened Israel with his Torah.

This story is not historically exact, for we know that Rabbi Elyashiv celebrated his bar mitzvah on the ship on the way to Eretz Yisrael. Perhaps the story occurred in Europe with the necessary change of background details.

As a youth, Rabbi Elyashiv spent his days and nights studying Torah in Meah Shearim’s Ohel Sarah shul, located not far from the famous “shtiblach.” Being as his own residence was in the same courtyard, it was said that for two full years, the young Torah scholar never left the courtyard once. Even after his wedding the beis medrash was the furthest destination he ever visited. During that period, Rabbi Elyashiv developed a close relationship with the rabbi of Jerusalem of the time, Rabbi Zelig Reuven Bengis, who wrote regarding him that “the halachah is as he says in every place.”

Unforgettable Melody

Rabbi Elyashiv is known far and wide for the lilting, pleasant melody of his Torah learning. His melodious devotion to Torah has taken on the same unforgettable melody since his youth. The Gerrer Rebbe, the Beis Yisrael, used to take a walk every morning. He loved to pass the place where Rabbi Elyashiv was studying Torah and listen to the melody of his study.

Rabbi Elyashiv’s song is not only the symbol of sweetness and joy in Torah study, but also a sign of musical talent. In those days when cantors were the favorites of the religious public, the famous cantor Yossele Rosenblatt came to Jerusalem. Many went to great lengths to attend the synagogues where he would be so they could listen to his talented renditions of the prayers. Rabbi Elyashiv, a young scholar at the time who was endeared by the music of cantors, made plans to walk to the synagogue where Yossele would be singing. On the way, he suddenly stopped and exclaimed: “The Torah is waiting for me,” and returned immediately to his place in front of the Gemara.

In recent years, Rabbi Elyashiv has made a public celebration in his succah during Chol HaMoed, and the popular singer Michael Streicher attends, giving Rabbi Elyashiv much pleasure with his sweet melodies.

Rabbinate Cut Short

The foundation of Torah was laid in this home from its first cornerstone. Immediately following his wedding to Chaya Sheina, the daughter of Rabbi Aryeh Levine, Rabbi Elyashiv resumed his usual learning schedule. The rebbetzin understood that he wished to devote himself entirely to Torah, and supported that desire wholeheartedly.

The new home established by Rabbi Elyashiv was filled with Torah learning. In order not to lose precious time from Torah study, whenever he got up for a meal or anything else he would leave a piece of paper in his sefer as a bookmark, so as to save the few moments of  searching for the place he had stopped. Today, the family members still find these paper bookmarks in all the sefarim in the house.

Despite the spiritual splendor, material sustenance was sorely missing.

Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac HaLevi Herzog, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, was aware of the Elyashiv family’s austere financial situation. Rabbi Herzog knew Rabbi Elyashiv well, as he was part of a special group that studied in Ohel Torah, a kollel led by Rabbi Herzog’s father-in-law, Rabbi Hilman. Other members of the group included Harav Shlomo Karelitz, Harav Shalom Schwadron, Harav Yitzchak Grossman ztz”l and Harav Wosner. This group would meet in Rabbi Herzog’s home for Torah discussions every Friday.

Rabbi Herzog offered the young Torah scholar a position as the rabbi of Ramle. Thus, the future halachic authority of the generation became the rabbi of Ramle, a small town in Israel. Rabbi Elyashiv would travel many hours each day to Ramle and deliver Torah lectures, until the long commute became too difficult for him.

A while later he was appointed as a judge in the rabbinical court of Jerusalem. He later became a member of the Supreme Rabbinical Court of the Chief Rabbinate, where he served for more than twenty years with the other rabbinical judges: Rabbi Yaakov Adas, Rabbi Betzalel Zolty, Rabbi Eliezer Goldschmidt, Rabbi Salman Chaggi Aboudi, ztz”l, and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.

He maintained close relations with the other rabbinical judges. Once, his family asked whether he could host an engagement celebration of a family member that had been purposely limited to very few invited participants. He agreed, but told his family there were two people he must inform about the celebration: Rabbi Eliezer Goldschmidt, because he had a regular study partnership with him on that night, and Rabbi Shlomo Shimshon Karelitz, the head of the rabbinical court of Petach Tikvah, because he would likely arrive that night to discuss a halachic inquiry with him and see there was a celebration in the home.

Many of the prominent halachic authorities of the time consulted with Rabbi Elyashiv about pressing halachic questions. In 1975, when there was a question regarding the kashrus of a certain product on Pesach, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and Rabbi Elyashiv – who enjoyed an unusually close friendship – met to discuss the issue together with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. In a number of his responsa, Rabbi Yosef mentioned that he discussed the issue at hand with Rabbi Elyashiv and he agreed with him.

In 1973, Rabbi Elyashiv resigned from the Supreme Rabbinical Court, after a difficult halachic controversy rocked the nation. From that time until today he devotes himself solely to the study and dissemination of Torah.

The Daily Schedule

Rabbi Elyashiv begins his day at 3:30 in the morning after a brief night’s sleep. Even if he retires later than usual, he murmurs a certain Torah verse and wakes up at the same time, without the use of an alarm clock. He studies Torah until Shacharis, 6:30 am. He has maintained that he does not want to make the minyan earlier so as not to trouble the many people who want to come to his minyan.

He then studies Torah all day, with a short rest in the afternoon, until 7:00 pm when he receives visitors. For decades Rabbi Elyashiv has delivered a daily Gemara lecture in the evening at Tiferes Bachurim, a small synagogue, which  has participants who have been regulars for many years.

His son-in-law, Rabbi Ezriel Auerbach, informs us that Rabbi Elyashiv spends many hours each day preparing for the shiur. At first, laymen used to attend, but today it has become a meeting place for great Torah scholars. Rabbi Betzalel Zolty ztz”l once remarked that “the daily Gemara shiur geared for working people was what gave Rabbi Elyashiv the extra clarity and polish in his Torah knowledge.”

Rabbi Elyashiv’s devotion to Torah learning knows no bounds of time, place, or externals. Even after the painful passing of his wife, he turned to his sons and daughters at the end of the shivah and said: “Kinderlach, everyone is going home now. No one is staying here.” The family relates that he immediately took the Gemara in hand with obvious signs that he missed studying Torah immensely and at once began with great enthusiasm (after the week of shivah in which it was prohibited to study Torah).

Every aspect of Torah knowledge is spread before Rabbi Elyashiv like a map. In one of his regular lectures, Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman spoke about studying Kabbalah, and related that the Chazon Ish had vast knowledge in Kabbalah. The Chazon Ish studied with a secret kabbalist known as ‘The Baker of Kosovo.’ One of the participants asked Rabbi Shteinman if there is anyone in our generation who understands Kabbalah. Rabbi Shteinman thought for a while, and then nodded his head and answered affirmatively. They asked who it is, and after a moment’s silence Rabbi Steinman answered: “Rabbi Elyashiv.”

Leadership of the Generation

It was Rabbi Elazar Menachem Mann Shach, ztz”l, who positioned Rabbi Elyashiv at the helm of the generation. Before 1989, Rabbi Elyashiv didn’t involve himself in communal leadership at all. He would only rarely sign proclamations. In 1973, when Israel was rocked by the stormy controversy over the halachic status of certain persons who were prohibited to marry within the Jewish people, Rabbi Elyashiv took a major role, and made a rare appearance before the Council of Torah Sages together with Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, and Rabbi Michel Feinstein ztz”l.

In 1989, upon the establishment of the religious political party Degel HaTorah, Rabbi Shach asked Rabbi Elyashiv to join in the public leadership, and Rabbi Elyashiv acceded to his request. He came to the major public gatherings of Degel HaTorah and shared in the task of rendering decisions. Rabbi Shach would come from time to time to Rabbi Elyashiv’s home in Meah Shearim, and when Rabbi Shach’s health would not allow him to climb the stairs anymore, they met in the offices of Yad Sarah in Jerusalem, as per the suggestion of Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky, who served at the time as chairman of the organization.

At one of their final meetings, Harav Shach mentioned that it was difficult for him to fill his leadership position. His vision and hearing were poor, he explained, and so he found it barely possible to serve as leader. He asked Rabbi Elyashiv to accept upon himself the leadership position. At first, Rabbi Elyashiv was silent. Then he replied, “Hashem shall lengthen the life of the rosh yeshiva, who shall continue to lead us until the coming of Mashiach.” Rabbi Shach was not at peace with this response. At their next meeting, which was to be their last one, he repeated his request. Rabbi Elyashiv hesitated for a moment and then replied that if people would come to ask him questions, he’d answer them. With this response, Rabbi Shach felt at peace. When he subsequently grew very weak and visitors asked him questions, he would refer them to Rabbi Elyashiv.

Planting New Trees

The Elyashiv home was the merger of two Torah giants of the previous generation. Rabbi Aryeh Levine, famous for his role as the “rabbi of the prisoners” during the British Mandate, was very close to the author of the Leshem, Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv, and even published a work, Ari B’Mistarim, describing the sefarim written by the Leshem. The closeness between these two outstanding rabbis led to the shidduch between Rabbi Yosef Shalom and Rabbi Levine’s daughter.

The shadchan, matchmaker, in this case was Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook. He advised the rebbetzin, who was concerned about the fact that Rabbi Yosef Shalom spoke so little during their meetings together: “His name is Yosef Shalom, and he will yet increase peace (yosif shalom) in the world!”

The Elyashiv family consisted of twelve children, five sons and seven daughters (see box). One daughter was killed by a Jordanian mortar shell during the 1948 War of Independence, when the family hid in the home of their grandfather Rabbi Aryeh Levine, which was very close to the border. They also suffered the loss of a son who died in infancy.

Continuing the pattern of their parents, Rabbi Elyashiv’s children married leading Torah scholars and children of Torah giants. Interestingly, the Elyashiv family has continued to form new bonds with other “royal families” in the Torah world. Two granddaughters have married grandsons of Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman and Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz.

The Chazon Ish was the Shadchan

The thin young man, whose deep-set eyes bespoke the many hours he devoted to the tiny letters inside his sefarim, immediately caught the attention of Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, the Chazon Ish. This was the first time that the young Jerusalemite scholar, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, had visited the Bnei Brak home of the Chazon Ish. In that small apartment, every visitor felt like a child speaking to his father – though the Chazon Ish had never had a child of his own.

When he met Rabbi Elyashiv, the Chazon Ish immediately thought of his nephew, the young Chaim Kanievsky. “He would be a suitable father-in-law for my nephew, Chaim,” the Chazon Ish remarked to one of his students. This was the first proposal for the shidduch that came to fruition years later when Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the son of Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon, married Batsheva Elyashiv, the oldest daughter. When the Chazon Ish later recommended his nephew Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky to Rabbi Elyashiv, he told Rabbi Elyashiv that his nephew would be “the Rogatchover of the next generation.” The family relates that Rabbi Elyashiv once remarked: “Back then, we did not yet understand what the Chazon Ish meant. Now we know.”

At the tenayim celebration, someone wondered aloud how Rabbi Elyashiv would allow his daughter to marry someone with the same name as he, which contradicts the ruling of Rabbi Yehuda Hachassid that one should not take a son-in-law with the same name as his. It is a little-known fact that Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky’s full name is Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim. Being as his own name was Yosef Shalom, how could Rabbi Elyashiv allow the shidduch? The Chazon Ish, uncle of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, silenced the questioner, saying, “Who told you to reveal that?” In any case, since the father and son-in-law also bore additional names, it would not be a problem in this situation, he continued.

Immediately after the engagement celebration, Batsheva Elyashiv was invited to spend Shabbos at the home of her future father-in-law, the Steipler. The kallah appeared at the Kanievsky home shortly before Shabbos, but to everyone’s surprise the new chasan was nowhere to be found. He had left two hours before to greet his kallah at the Central Bus Station and escort her to his home, but he did not arrive home together with her. The Steipler hurried to the bus station to search for his missing son. The scene before his eyes did not surprise him at all: There, sitting on an isolated bench close to the Jerusalem bus stop, was Rabbi Chaim, his attention focused completely on the Talmud on his lap, oblivious to his surroundings.

The shidduch between the Elyashiv and Kanievsky family created a strong bond between the two fathers: Rabbi Elyashiv and the Steipler Gaon. After the marriage, Rabbi Elyashiv presented the Steipler with the Leshem’s shtreimel, a gift the Steipler was uniquely qualified to appreciate. The Steipler would wear the shtreimel only on Shabbos afternoon at the third Shabbos meal; today, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky wears it every Yom Tov and occasionally at his third Shabbos meal.

The two Torah leaders visited each other quite often. Once, when the Steipler came to visit he was escorted to the room where Rabbi Elyashiv was studying Torah, but he did not want to disturb his study and said not a word. He sat and enjoyed the sweet sound of the give and take of the Talmud, spiced and elaborated by Rabbi Elyashiv, and only after quite some time did Rabbi Elyashiv happen to lift his head and see his mechutan sitting in front of him.

Choosing the Sons-in-Law

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein, the rabbi of Ramat Elchanan, Bnei Brak, and the rabbi of the Maayanei Hayeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak, was the next son-in-law, married to Shoshana Elyashiv, a”h. He was chosen when he was not yet  ten years old by Rabbi Aryeh Levine, who in addition to his famed piousness and kindness also served as the mashgiach, spiritual dean, of the Eitz Chaim Talmud Torah, where the young Yitzchak was a student. The child’s special qualities attracted Rabbi Levine’s attention, who remarked that the child was destined for greatness. By the time Rabbi Yitzchak reached the age of availability, the shidduch was already a foregone conclusion, at least from the side of the kallah.

Rabbi Yitzchak had a strong connection to his future brother-in-law, Rabbi Chaim, because of their mutual closeness to the Chazon Ish, with whom Rabbi Yitzchak was a very frequent visitor. Once, when Rabbi Yitzchak didn’t visit for a period of several days, the Chazon Ish sent Rabbi Nosson Schulman to inquire whether he was ill. Rabbi Yitzchak admitted that he was not feeling well. In response, the Chazon Ish said that he wished to visit the young man. When Rabbi Yitzchak heard of the plan, he jumped out of bed, announcing that he had recovered completely and there was no need for the Torah leader to trouble himself to actually come visit.

The shidduch of Rabbi Binyamin Elyashiv with Rabbi Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz’s daughter was almost expected ahead of time as well. Each stage of the celebration resembled a conference of the generation’s Torah giants.

Rabbi Yechezkel Sarna, the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Hevron, attended the sheva brachos. He told Rabbi Lefkowitz: “I have known many Torah giants, and I never met one that became great solely through the power of the Torah. The only person about whom it can be said that he attained greatness solely through study of the Torah is your mechutan, Rabbi Elyashiv.”

Rabbi Yosef Yisraelson, the next son-in-law, besides being a young genius, was chosen because of his holy ancestors: His father, Rabbi Dov, was the mashgiach of the chassidic yeshivah in Baranovich, and his grandfather, Rabbi Hirsch Guttman, was the mashgiach in Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman’s yeshivah; both perished in the Holocaust. Rabbi Yosef was taken into the Elyashiv home as an orphan, and his future father-in-law treated him as a son. As a result, and because of his great appreciation of his son-in-law’s virtues, Rabbi Elyashiv felt a special closeness to Rabbi Yosef.

Rabbi Avraham Zvi Yisraelson, son of Rabbi Yosef Yisraelson, recounts that the originator of his father’s shidduch was Rabbi Dov Freidan, a close student of Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein. The shidduch was successfully finalized by Rabbi Dovid Povarsky, who had known the Yisraelson family since his days in Baranowitz, when Rebbetzin Yisraelson had personally cared for him as a son.

In return, Rabbi Povarsky adopted the young genius when he attended Yeshivas Ponovezh. When the shidduch with Rabbi Elyashiv’s daughter was suggested for Rabbi Yisraelson, Rabbi Povarsky told him, “The Elyashiv family is a home for a ben Torah. If a bochur is searching for a Torah home and the daughter of a Torah scholar, he’ll find it in the Elyashiv home.”

Rabbi Moshe Elyashiv married the daughter of Rabbi Chaim Brim. Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer said of him that he was the Rabbi Aharon Kotler of Eretz Yisrael. When Rabbi Chaim Brim’s next daughter came of age, he remarked that he wanted another Elyashiv with all the fine qualities of that noble family.

Torah Royalty

As a family of Torah royalty, the connection between Rabbi Elyashiv and his sons and sons-in-law revolves exclusively around the subject of Torah.

In the first years after his marriage, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky would visit his father-in-law in Jerusalem frequently. Today, at their advanced ages, they both rarely leave their cities: Rabbi Elyashiv never leaves Jerusalem, and Rabbi Kanievsky rarely leaves Bnei Brak, so they have few occasions to meet.

However, they do have a fixed time to meet every year during Chol HaMoed when Rabbi Chaim travels to Jerusalem to visit his father-in-law, where they spend the entire time together discussing topics of Torah. Usually, he includes a visit to the Western Wall on his bi-annual trip to Jerusalem as well.

Although the physical connection is not so consistent, the spiritual connection is seamless. Rabbi Chaim relies completely on the rulings of his father-in-law. Many public proclamations printed today with the signature of the Torah leaders, upon which Rabbi Elyashiv has signed, carry Rabbi Chaim’s statement in place of his signature: “The words of my father-in-law need no support.” He often refers those that ask him for halachic rulings to Rabbi Elyashiv. In turn, Rabbi Elyashiv has expressed his appreciation for Rabbi Chaim: “In each generation there is ‘housing’ for the blessings that come down into the world. In our generation, the housing of blessings was given to Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.”

Rabbi Ezriel Auerbach serves as the right hand man to Rabbi Elyashiv in the proliferation of his halachic rulings and his stance on public issues. He is a member of the Shearis Yisrael rabbinical court, and the founding member of the committee of rabbis established for organizing charity distribution in Israel (Vaad Harabbonim L’inyanei Tzedakah).

For the last fifteen years, Rabbi Elyashiv has spent his summers in the Auerbach home in Jerusalem’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood. In addition, he recuperated from various health problems in their home. Rabbi Ezriel and his rebbetzin are frequent visitors at Rabbi Elyashiv’s home in Meah Shearim, and often spend Shabbos there. Rebbetzin Auerbach travels to the apartment on Chanan Street daily, to assist her father. Rabbi Elyashiv’s Purim meal has regularly been at the Auerbachs in Bayit Vegan.

Rabbi Elchanan Berlin frequently visits his father-in-law as well, and they discuss Torah topics during his visits.

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein maintains a strong relationship with his eminent father-in-law, and speaks with him almost daily.

Rabbi Yosef Yisraelson, the head of a kollel in Rechovot, is a great Torah scholar who assists in communal affairs, utilizing his unique position as the son-in-law of Rabbi Elyashiv and the neighbor and close friend of Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman in Bnei Brak, on Rechov Chazon Ish 5. Rabbi Elazar Shach was also close to Rabbi Yosef Yisraelson, and in earlier years Rabbi Yisraelson would serve as a liaison between the two Torah giants.

Rabbi Yosef Yisraelson has labored for years on the publication of Rabbi Elyashiv’s Torah, and publishes pamphlets every year with the practical halachic rulings he has heard from his father-in-law. During the months preceding publication, he spends many hours with his father-in-law to clarify the topics upon which he is writing.

Rabbi Binyamin Rimer, the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Kriyas Melech, the youngest of the sons-in-law, maintains a close connection and visits on Shabbos. Rabbi Elyashiv asked him to work on behalf of establishing the religious political party Degel HaTorah, together with Rabbi Shmuel Deutsch.

The connection in Torah study has continued between the sons-in-law themselves. Every Friday Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky and Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein meet in Bnei Brak and clarify halachic topics together. Rabbi Chaim’s sefer Siach Hasadeh contains many quotes from Rabbi Yitzchak. Additionally, Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Ezriel Auerbach conduct halachic discussions on a regular basis.

The Elyashiv Extended Family

Rabbi Shlomo

Rabbi Moshe, married to the daughter of Rabbi Chaim Brim

Rabbi Binyamin, married to the daughter of Rabbi Lefkowitz

Rabbi Avraham, married to the daughter of Rabbi Zeidal Heisler


Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the son of the Steipler (married to Rebbetzin Bastsheva)

Rabbi Elchanan Berlin (married to Rebbetzin Ettil Dinah a’h)

Rabbi Yosef Yisraelson (married to Rebbetzin Sorah Rachel)

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein (married to Rebbetzin Shoshanna a’h)

Rabbi Ezriel Auerbach (married to Rebbetzin Leah)

Rabbi Binyamin Rimer (married to Rebbetzin Gita)


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 159)

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