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Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (The Steipler)

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About The Rabbi

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (The Steipler) was born in the Ukraine and in his youth his parents moved to the town of Hornostaypil, from which his appellation, “the Steipler”, was later derived. He was the son of Rabbi Chaim Peretz, who was a Chernobyl Chassid and the local shochet. Around the age of 11, Rabbi Kanievsky entered the Novardok yeshiva, studying under its famed dean, Rabbi Yosef Yoizel Horowitz.

In spite of the harsh conditions, he continued to strictly observe all the mitzvos.

He decided to move to Białystok in Poland in order to continue learning Torah unhindered from Communist interference. There, he studied under Rabbi Avrohom Jofen.

In 1934, he left Poland and moved to Israel, settling in Bnei Brak, where his brother-in-law Rabbi Karelitz had already been living for a year and a half. For many years he was head of two yeshivas there.

Though known as a world-class scholar, Rabbi Kanievsky shunned publicity and lived in humble surroundings, teaching, writing and devoting himself to Torah and good deeds.

Over 150,000 mourners attended Rabbi Kanievsky’s funeral in 1985. His son, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, following in his father’s path, is a world-renowned Haredi rabbinical authority. He also has a daughter who currently lives in Bnei Brak.

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (The Steipler)wrote many works, his magnum opus being the multi-volume Kehillos Yaakov (“assembly of Jacob”), containing his unique analysis of most of the tractates and concepts of the Talmud. He also authored Birkas Peretz (on the Torah) and Chayei Olam. There are several volumes of letters, known as Karyana D’Igarata, and several volumes written by a disciple, Rabbi A Horowitz, describe his daily life.

 

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