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Three Great Torah Scholars laid to Rest

Three Great Torah Scholars laid to Rest L-R: Rabbi Yitzchok Sheiner (Flash90/Shlomi Cohen), Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski (Courtesy/Family), and Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik (Wikimedia Commons)

Jewish World Mourns Passing of Three Great Torah Scholars

Feb 1, 2021

Three renowned rabbis who passed away over the weekend were laid to rest in Israel and mourned as giants of their generation.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Three leading rabbis who were regarded as among the greatest scholars of their generation passed away in Israel over the weekend after battling the coronavirus.

Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik, who headed the Brisk Yeshiva ,passed away Sunday at the age of 99. He was one of the outstanding Torah scholars from the Soloveitchik rabbinical dynasty, which originated in the city of Brisk in Poland in the early 1800s.

His father Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik fled the Nazis and brought his family to Israel, settling in Jerusalem and becoming a leader of the ultra-Orthodox community. Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik presided over the Brisk Yeshiva in Jerusalem since opening it in the 1970s.

A cousin of Soloveitchik’s, Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik (1903-1993), is considered one of the main founders of Modern Othodox Judaism in America, which is now also a mainstream branch of Judaism in Israel.

Only hours after Soloveitchik passed away, Rabbi Yitzchak Scheiner, head of the Kamenitz Yeshiva in Jerusalem, also succumbed to coronavirus at the age of 98. Born in Pittsburgh in 1922, Scheiner moved to Israel in the 1940s and settled in the capital city.

Scheiner was known as a gaon, a Torah genius, and in 2003 was appointed to sit on the Council of Torah Sages providing guidance for the Degel HaTorah political party in the Knesset, which later merged into the current United Torah Judaism party.

Police were unable to keep thousands of mourners from attending the funerals of the two revered heads of famous seminaries, who were widely respected for their decades of teaching Torah.

Tragically, Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski also died of the coronavirus on Sunday at the age of 90. A prolific author who published more than 80 books on Torah and mental health, Twerski was also widely respected in the secular world as an expert on the psychology of addiction.

Born in Milwaukee in 1930, Twerski spent most of his life in Pittsburgh and New York before moving to Israel to spend the final years of his life.

He was a member of the Chernobyl Hasidic dynasty founded 250 years ago in the Ukrainian city. Members of the Twerski family branches continue to excel in Torah scholarship and education, with many heading yeshivas in America and Israel.

Twersky’s funeral was limited to a small number of attendees who all followed the strict pandemic rules, wearing masks and social distancing.

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