By Moshe Schapiro Edited by Shaya Gottlieb
This article originally appeared in Yated Neeman, Monsey NY. and is reprinted here with their permission
Rav Zelig Reuven Bengis Zt'l, the well-known Yerushalmi godol and av bais din, was once visited by a brilliant Yerushalmi yungerman. To the shock and surprise of Rav Bengis' gabbai, the godol of Yerushalayim Jewry stood up for the young man! After the visitor left, the gabbai questioned Rav Bengis as to why a yungerman in his twenties was worthy of such an honor.
Rav Bengis explained, "A yungerman who learned every single Ra"sh in Negaim and Ahalos is worthy of this honor." The yungerman in question? None other than Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher, later to become the av bais din of the Eidah Hacharaidis, a world-renowned posek whose p'sakim were respected across the Torah world.
Rav Yisroel Yaakov represented the Litvishe velt in the Eidah, and succeeded in uniting the many groups of authentic Torah Jewry under one umbrella, to preserve the sancitity and purity of Yerushalayim.
The passing of Rav Yisroel Yaakov last week, at the age of 77, was the severance of yet another link to the amolige Yerushalmi gedolim, who lived their lives in pashtus and single- minded ameilus baTorah, with supreme Torah authority, yet humble to a fault. Rav Yisroel Yaakov, who never shied away from the most difficult sheilos, whose persona commanded respect, thought nothing of joining the line waiting for the bus to take him on his errands, just as if he would have been another ordinary Yerushalmi, instead of one of the gedolei hador. These twin traits of authority and humility were interwoven in the Yerushalmi godol, who was oft seen walking on the streets of Geulah or Meah Shearim with dozens of bochurim following his trail. Wherever he went he was surrounded by Bnei Torah, who crowded around him, asking shailos. In fact, Rav Yisroel Yaakov once remarked, in a joking manner, about the swarms of bochurim who constantly surrounded him, "When a bochur sees me on the other side of the street, and doesn't cross the street to ask me a shailah, he thinks that he was oiver baal tashchis!"
That he was considered one of the foremost poskim of this generation is in equal measure due to his brilliance and gaonus, his exemplary hasmodoh, (he learned an average of eighteen hours a day from his early childhood until his passing,) and his 'breite pleitzes,' or broad shoulders, the ability to take upon himself the responsibility of paskening complicated shailos when many others were hesitant. When he reached a p'sak, he defended it with courage and might, never wavering from the truth, never waffling to suit public opinion. He paskened shailos, dispensed medical advice, and showed an understanding of medicine that astounded great doctors who were unsure of what the problem was, all without ever having opened a medical textbook.
When Rav Yisroel Yaakov delivered a p'sak, the issue was closed. Zeh hu zeh. With authority born of courage and commitment to daas Torah, he stood by his word, no matter what others would say.
Rav Fisher belonged to the "old school" of Yerushalmim, who held that matzos baked by machine were preferable to hand matzos, because there was no ch'shash of chometz developing with the flatter, more quickly baked matzos. Thus, every Shabbos Hagadol he would exhort his listeners to burn their hand matzos with the chometz and use only machine matzos! Once, a woman whose relative had just passed away approached Rav Yisroel Yaakov with a shaila about the aveilus. Often, situations arise in which a mourner is exempt from, and not even allowed to keep, all the details of Hilchos Aveilus. The woman was in precisely such a situation, and when she went to ask Rav Yisroel Yaakov her shaila, he paskened leniently. Nevertheless, the woman felt uncomfortable about exempting herself from aveilus, and her anxiety only increased when a certain talmid chacham heard about the pesak.
"How can you be meikel?" he asked her indignantly. "What about kavod hames?"
The woman sent her shaila once more to Rav Yisroel Yaakov to make sure she had understood him correctly, and her messenger came back with the report that yes, she had understood correctly, and Rav Yisroel Yaakov still stood behind his ruling. intent on listening to what the messenger had to say to pick it up. Then came a knock at the door, and there stood Rav Yisroel Yaakov's grandson.
"The Rav sent me to ask what is wrong with your telephone," he said, pointing to the still ringing machine.
The woman quickly picked up the phone and, to her dismay, the caller was none other than Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher. "Do not let people 'drey you a kop,'" Rav Fisher instructed her. "Shulchan Aruch is Shulchan Aruch, and what I pasken is what I pasken!"
for fifty years, who was niftar last Thursday, 25 Adar I/February 26. With his passing Klal Yisroel lost a Torah giant renowned not just for his hasmada, his halachic rulings and his wise counsel, but also for the heartfelt empathy and compassion he showed to every Yid.
Meanwhile, the phone began ringing, but the woman was too The woman breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing these words.
This story epitomized Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher, a poseik Despite his prestigious position, the Av Bais Din of the esteemed eidah comported himself like a simple Yerushalmi Yid, who served his Creator with humility, never desiring to draw attention to himself or his actions. It was the multitudes who sought him ought, who wanted to learn, to emulate, and to marvel at a sample of amolige Meah Shearim in our day and age.
Tens of thousands of Bnei Torah, and Yidden from every walk of life accompanied Rav Yisroel Yaakov to his final resting place, and many, although not directly related to him, felt as though they had lost their own father or grandfather.
Rav Yisroel Yaakov was born on 23 Tammuz 5685/1925 to Rav Aharon Fisher, a talmid chacham, who upon coming to
Yerushalayim, joined with the Perushim, descendants of the talmidei haGra. Rav Aharon, who hailed from Karlsburg, had served in the Hungarian army in his youth, and to atone for his not being able to be medakdek in Mitzvos while in the army, he later salted his food and made it almost unpalatable.
Rav Aharon was also a brilliant chess player and once, at the behest of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, Rav of Yerushalayim, of whom he was a close talmid, he accepted a challenge from a Moslem religious leader to play a match. He beat the Moslem soundly. This brilliance was passed down to his son, Rav Yisroel Yaakov, (who was named after Dr. Yisroel Yaakov Dehan, the holy zealot who was murdered by the Zionists.)
Rav Aharon was also an expert marksman, and once averted a horrifying pogrom threatning the newly-built yishuv of Meah Shearim, by shooting the Mufti, or head Arab, as he advanced upon the city with a seething mob behind him. One shot with his ancient weapon, (hailing back from his army days,) and the Mufti lay dead, while the rest of the Arabs retreated in terror. Before Rav Aharon came to Eretz Yisroel from Hungary he was concerned that the standard of chinuch in Eretz Yisroel was on a lower level than in Europe, so he contacted Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin, the Rav of Yerushalayim at the time, to ask his advice.
"Come to Eretz Yisroel," came the reply, "and I promise that you will have sons who will be gedolim." Rav Diskin's bracha was not long in materializing.
At the age of about 3, young Yisroel Yaakov went to cheder for the first time and the class began learning Parshas Noach. The lesson had hardly begun when Yisroel Yaakov asked a question so piercing that it took the rebbi's breath away. Yisroel Yaakov was immediately promoted to a higher grade. But even that was just a temporary measure. At the age of 6 he had already begun learning Gemara with a group of older boys who were going through two daf a week.
Coupled with his brilliant intellect, Yisroel Yaakov learned from his father at an early age to utilize every available moment of the day and night. When he was just 7 years old, his father would wake him each night at midnight to say Tikun Chatzos. Yisroel Yaakov would then go back to sleep - but only for a short while. His father would again wake him before dawn to learn a daf of Gemara with a chavrusa before davening Vasikin. He continued this pre-dawn regimen for the rest of his life. Many of his Shailos and Teshuvos seforim of later years were written in the quiet hours before davening Vasikin each day. Three years ago, when Rav Yisroel Yaakov suffered his first heart attack, he was taken to hospital, where he fell into a troubled sleep. The next day he seemed very agitated.
"What is the matter?" a relative of his asked him.
"From the age of seven I have never missed davening neitz," he replied, "but today no one woke me up."
While still a young boy, Rav Yisroel Yaakov once met Rav Zelig Reuven Bengis, the Av Beis Din of the Eida Hachareidis of Yerushalayim.
"Please give me a bracha to become a rosh yeshiva," begged the boy.
"And an av beis din, you don't want to become?" smiled Rav Bengis. "I bless you that you should become both. This bracha indeed came true. Rav Yisroel Yaakov served as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Eitz Chaim for decades, and afterward he was appointed av beis din of the Eida Hachareidis.
Rav Yisroel Yaakov's childhood, however, was far from carefree. Tragedy struck at a young age. His devoted father passed away while Rav Yisroel Yaakov was still a child, and Rav Bengis appointed Rav Matis Davis, one of the geonim of Yerushalayim, to act as guardian for Rav Yisroel Yaakov and his siblings.
In those days, however, poverty was rampant, and despite receiving assistance from friends and neighbors, Rav Yisroel Yaakov's family lived from hand to mouth. He said in later years that he feared that each day he devoted to learning might well be his last. Who knew if his mother would be able to hold out much longer and not ask him to contribute toward the family's parnasa? Not that he made much of a strain on the family budget.
Each morning he would make his way to the beis medrash with two pieces of bread for lunch, and there he would remain until evening. For Rav Yisroel Yaakov, fast days like Shiva Asar B'Tammuz had a certain advantage because they meant that he could save the few minutes he usually "wasted" while eating lunch.
This hasmada became part and parcel of Rav Yisroel Yaakov's life until his last day. He scheduled every minute of the day so as to squeeze as much time as possible from it for Torah study.
In his youth he devoted 18 hours each day to uninterrupted Torah study, and two days a week he didn't sleep at all. On the nights he did sleep, he gave himself only four hours - and that was only after his mother complained to his rabbanim, Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and Rav Bengis, that he wasn't getting enough sleep and had constant headaches.
During the course of his entire life, he never slept during the day, including Shabbos and Yom Tov. He maintained this strict sleep regimen even after suffering a stroke, when he had to breathe through an oxygen mask 24 hours a day.
On Seder night, he ran a short Seder in order to avoid interrupting his regular learning sedarim.
During times of war and times of peace, times of simcha and times of sorrow, Rav Yisroel Yaakov's sole interest was Torah - and still more Torah.
When the British imposed curfews in the 1930s and 40s, he simply stayed in the beis medrash the entire night. When Yerushalayim was being shelled during the 1948 war, the Jews of Yerushalayim huddled in makeshift shelters shuddering as shell after shell detonated overhead.
One person, however, remained almost totally unaffected. Rav Yisroel Yaakov sat in the shelter, his mind totally absorbed in a small Maseches Eiruvin. By the time the fighting was over, he had gone through it from cover to cover and knew it by heart.
Rav Yisroel Yaakov gained an encyclopedic knowledge of Gemara and poskim. People struggling through the most complicated sugyos of Kodshim and Taharos found that the most elusive sevaros were at his fingertips. This became a trademark of Rav Yisroel Yaakov's pesak in later years - his mind would swiftly cut through the most complex problems like a knife.
As it says in Pirkei Avos, a sign of wisdom is to admit that one does not know something when he does not really know it. Rav Yisroel Yaakov was literally besieged by hundreds of shailos every day, yet he barely had to think at all before giving a decisive pesak of "mutar" or "assur." Toward the end of his life, Rav Yisroel Yaakov became almost blind until a cataract was removed. During this period he delivered his shiurim completely by heart with an unused sefer open in front of him.
On the other hand, when he had no ready answer he would humbly admit, "For that question, I have no answer."
WITH HIS REBBEIM
As a teenager, Rav Yisroel Yaakov was a talmid of Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and had a learning seder with him every day. One Sukkos, Rav Yisroel Yaakov visited Rav Isser Zalman in his sukka to wish him a Gut Yom Tov. When Rav Isser Zalman saw his talmid entering, he rose in respect and, of course, other visiting gedolim of Yerushalayim had no choice but to follow suit. Rav Yisroel Yaakov didn't know where to hide.
Every Shabbos Rav Yisroel Yaakov would accompany his Rebbe, Rav Bengis on long walks, "speaking in learning" the entire time.
Some bachurim from Chevron Yeshiva once visited Rav Isser Zalman to ask him for semicha. He refused.
"I will give semicha to him," he said, pointing to Rav Yisroel Yaakov. "He knows how to learn." And with that he gave Rav Yisroel Yaakov semicha on the spot.
When Rav Bengis gave Rav Yisroel Yaakov semicha at the age of 18 he wrote, "The person for whom the entire Talmud is contained in him."
Once Rav Yisroel Yaakov decided on something, there was little that could prevent him from accomplishing his goal. This was one of the secrets of his gadlus, and it was evident even in his youth.
A preliminary step to creating the State of Israel was an election to create a national council known as the "Vaad Leumi - the National Council." Many of the Jews of the old yishuv, however, were violently opposed to it. Many youngsters were sent to protest at the polling booths, and Rav Yisroel Yaakov was among those who protested opposite the Edison Cinema near Zichron Moishe.
Young non-religious hooligans began to beat him, but he refused to leave his post. No one could persuade him to leave until Aguda activist Rav Moshe Blau personally arrived and told him to go home.
Rav Yisroel Yaakov married his Rebetzin, Ruchama, the daughter of Rav Zellig Wallis. Before the wedding he stipulated that he would spend no more than 10 minutes at his meal with her each day, and she agreed to this condition. She helped support their growing family by embroidering tashmishei kedusha, but with all this they still lived in utmost simplicity.
This didn't trouble Rav Yisroel Yaakov in the least. His first home had outdoor plumbing and the kitchen was little more than a hole in the wall. At the suggestion of any improvements he would immediately retort, "All we need is what is necessary to survive. Who needs more?" His apartment building was so rundown that one day, a large chunk of the ceiling collapsed, thankfully without causing injury to anyone. Forever after, Rav Yisroel Yaakov praised Hashem for miraculously protecting his family from potential disaster.
Throughout the years, his Rebetzin cared for him, watching his health, ensuring that he ate and rested. Although their house was literally hefker, filled with people asking shailos from morning until late, the Rebetzin took it all with grace and her trademark smile.
Fourteen years ago Rav Yisroel Yaakov's wife suffered a stroke and she was paralyzed for the remaining 11 years of her life. Rav Yisroel Yaakov cared for her, in turn, devotedly until her passing.
POSEIK, ROSH YESHIVA AND RAV
In 5721/1961 Rav Yisroel Yaakov was appointed poseik in the Eida Hachareidis by the head of the kehilla, Rav Pinchas Epstein. At the same time, he became Rosh Yeshiva of Eitz Chaim Yeshiva in Yerushalayim, where he was loved and revered by his talmidim. His primary goal was to instill his students with a burning love of Torah study.
In 5723/1963 Rav Yisroel Yaakov was chosen as the Rav of Yerushalayim's legendary Zichron Moishe Shul. Situated between Meah Shearim and the center of town, it is a hub of activity from early morning to late at night, with hundreds of passersby stopping in to catch a minyan.
The shul is surrounded by a large community consisting of Yerushalmim and Chassidim, Ashkenazim and Sefardim. On the surface, forging a community out of such a disparate group seems impossible.
But Rav Yisroel Yaakov had the requisite quality for this task. As one of the generation's greatest sages he possessed in full measure the two attributes Pirkei Avos mentions in the list of kinyanim necessary to truly acquire Torah: "Ahuv ve'oheiv es habriyos," "Loved by others, and one who loves others." Although Rav Yisroel Yaakov had a very crowded schedule, he still found the time to worry about the problems of the simplest Jew as if they were his own. He was the central magnet that fused the disparate elements of his community into one cohesive unit.
Rav Yisroel Yaakov made a point of coming to everyone's Shalom Zachor, often arriving early, before the meal was even finished.
"I have to go and learn," he would apologize to the baal hasimcha.
Rav Yisroel Yaakov's gadlus was also in the small details.
After Krias HaTorah he was particular to go over to the bima and hand over the me'il for gelila. His attitude was, why lose out on a mitzva? When people pushed others aside to make way for him, he would object strenuously.
"What gives you the right to push other people around?" he would ask.
He couldn't bear to inconvenience other people even when it was necessary that he do so. His greatest complaint while lying in the hospital in the last days of his life was that people had to serve him.
"I never thought that I would reach such a point," he would lament, "that I would have to inconvenience people to this degree."
Very rarely would he summon a person to come and see him. Instead, he would either speak to the person by phone, or go to see the person himself. On Shabbos and Yom Tov he insisted that the shliach tzibbur not stretch out the davening so that people should not have to wait too long before they could go and eat. Very often, he would serve as shliach tzibbur himself to ensure that this was the case.
A HEAVENLY MISSION
In 5734/1974 Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss, the head of the Eida Hachareidis, appointed Rav Yisroel Yaakov a member of his beis din at the Satmar Rebbe's advice. From that day on, he never missed attending the beis din three times every week, until the Thursday before he passed away.
After Rav Weiss passed away, Rav Yisroel Yaakov was appointed s'gan av beis din of the Eida Hachareidis, and after the passing of Rav Moshe Aryeh Freund, he was appointed av beis din.
As a dayan, Rav Yisroel Yaakov was careful to not take the smallest favor from people over whose cases he presided. An eyewitness once saw him suddenly leap from a moving car. Rav Yisroel Yaakov had just realized that the kind person who had offered him a lift was a litigant in a din Torah over which he was presiding.
Until the day before his passing, Rav Yisroel Yaakov continued accepting private shailos twice a day. Originally people would arrive at his house long before dawn to put their names early on the waiting list posted outside his room. In an attempt to minimize the burden on tzibur, the paper was put up no earlier than half an hour before sunrise. At 8:45 a.m. a crowd would gather outside. Toward the end of his life the number of people waiting to see him was kept to a minimum by shutting the door to his waiting room and allowing only those people already inside to ask their shailos.
Those who did not manage to see him in the morning had a second chance, at 1:30 p.m. every day. And three days a week, Rav Yisroel Yaakov would again hold court in the beis din from 4:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Rav Yisroel Yaakov considered it his Heavenly mission to answer people's shailos. Once he had a painful infection on his leg and someone suggested that he take a temporary respite from his demanding schedule.
"Chas veshalom!" he replied. "In the grave I'll have plenty of time to rest."
Even when he walked the half block from the Zichron Moishe Shul to his home, he was followed and surrounded by an admiring throng, and fielded more than a few shailos on the way. This only stopped shortly before he passed away simply because in his weakened state he couldn't walk and speak at the same time. In addition, his phone rang day and night with yet more shailos and requests.
It must be said that some of the people who came to Rav Yisroel Yaakov were plain nudniks, but he never showed them any sign of impatience. One such person once asked the Rebbetzin for a glass of water, and then proceeded to throw it in Rav Yisroel Yaakov's face. A number of men immediately pounced on the offender and were about to throw him out into the street, but Rav Yisroel Yaakov merely laughed and asked them to let him go.
"The water was perfectly clean," he said pleasantly, "but perhaps the gentleman would prefer a different glass."
Other people would go on and on for half an hour about something that could have been settled in a minute or two. Many shailos that were presented to him were not really shailos, and not worthy of his attention. Yet never did he show the slightest impatience. His face was as relaxed after the half hour as it had been after the first half a minute.
Long before Sukkos every year Rav Yisroel Yaakov would go to his regular esrog dealers to find a mehudar set of arba minim, but not only for himself. At the same time he would gather sets for a number of other people as well. When a neighbor insisted that he take aravos for free he insisted, "On the contrary, as rav of the neighborhood I should pay double."
Doctors were often amazed at Rav Yisroel Yaakov's medical advice. Due to his many years of experience he was not afraid to disagree with them on many occasions. In addition, he had many segulos that proved highly effective, often in unexpected ways.
He once told a chronically ill person to use an unusual segula for a specified time, and shortly afterwards the symptoms, considered incurable by the medical establishment, were alleviated. On another occasion he wrote a kameiya and instructed someone with internal bleeding to dissolve its ink in water and drink it. The next day the man was sent home from the hospital.
The father of a sick newborn told Rav Yisroel Yaakov about the cocktail of medicines the doctors had prescribed for the newborn and he retorted, "Don't argue with them, just toss the whole thing into the garbage when they're not looking." A man whose wife was having birth complications in nearby Bikur Cholim Hospital came late one night begging for advice. Rav Yisroel Yaakov told him what should be done and added, "When the child is born, let me know."
Soon afterward a healthy baby was born, and in the excitement the man forgot to let Rav Yisroel Yaakov know what had happened. At about 3 a.m. he suddenly remembered and hastily made his way to Rav Yisroel Yaakov's home where he found Rav Yisroel Yaakov still saying Tehillim for his wife. Many people wouldn't consider naming their children until they had consulted Rav Yisroel Yaakov.
On one occasion there was a discussion between a husband and wife about what name to give their child. There were three possibilities: the name Dovid after a recently departed relative, and two other suggestions. When the wife went to ask Rav Yisroel Yaakov's advice, for some reason she forgot to mention the relative's name, Dovid. Rav Yisroel Yaakov heard her out and then he said, "Why don't you call him Dovid?"
PERSONALIZED ADVICE - AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
The power of Rav Yisroel Yaakov's personality and wisdom spread far afield and there are few people in the chareidi community in Eretz Yisroel who did not at some time avail themselves of his Torah wisdom and practical advice. Many people spoke to him dozens, even hundreds, of times.
In problematic situations Rav Yisroel Yaakov could spend up to half an hour per day, for several days, calming both the father and mother of a child with problems.
It was clear that other people's troubles were as painful to him as his own.
Every Friday, Rav Yisroel Yaakov would visit sick Jews, and on Shabbos he would visit those in the nearby Bikur Cholim Hospital. On Erev Yom Kippur he would warn very sick people that it was forbidden for them to fast. One paralyzed man received a visit from him every Shabbos for seven years.
After Rav Yisroel Yaakov's first heart attack three years ago, his health deteriorated, and his doctors estimated that his heart was working at only 20 percent normal capacity and his blood was oxygenated 5 percent of the norm.
A professor who diagnosed him at the time thought that he had only weeks to live. The average person would have collapsed and spent the rest of his life in bed. But Rav Yisroel Yaakov's burning love of the Torah and his fellow Jews gave him supernatural strength to go on.
Since that time Rav Yisroel Yaakov required a constant artificial oxygen supply, but the only concession he made to his weakened state was to stop going to weddings and bris milas. Otherwise, his schedule remained intact. His door stayed open for shailos, he davened in his shul and he continued acting as av beis din. When he was forced to go to the hospital now and then, he would take a small Gemara along with him and study it during every spare moment.
Last Wednesday, Rav Yisroel Yaakov had difficulty breathing and his oxygen supply was increased. The following morning he told his eldest son Rav Aharon that his breathing made it too difficult for him to go to his Vasikin minyan.
When his son returned Rav Yisroel Yaakov complained once more about his breathing. He made a brocho, Shehakol, on some coffee, drank a few drops and lost consciousness. A doctor arrived in an ambulance and found that the tzaddik had left this world.
Present at Rav Yisroel Yaakov's passing were his bechor Rav Aharon, and Rav Efraim Stern, Rav Yisroel Yaakov's devoted shamash.
It was Rav Yisroel Yaakov's minhag to make the siyum in his shul every Erev Pesach. A few days before his passing he told one of his grandsons that he had no time to speak to him or he wouldn't finish the mesechta in time. After his passing, a Gemara Zevachim was found on his table with a marker on the last page. He had finished the mesechta on his very last day. On the day of Rav Yisroel Yaakov's passing, the gabbai of the Zichron Moishe shul, Rav Efraim Solominski, announced that it had been decided to appoint Rav Yisroel Yaakov's son, Rav Aharon, the new rav of the shul. Rav Aharon is the only talmid chacham to whom Rav Yisroel Yaakov ever gave shimush.
At the levaya, Rav Aharon delivered divrei hesped. He was followed by Rav Yisroel Yaakov's brothers: Rav Moshe, the rav of Batei Broude and the Knesses neighborhood, mechaber of the sefer Ohr Bohir; Rav Meir Tzvi, who is a rav in of Har Nof; and Rav Shlomo, a well known Rosh Yeshiva.
At the Eida Hachareidis building, Rav Yisroel Yaakov was eulogized by the members of the beis din: Rav Moshe Halberstam, Rav Moshe Sternbuch, Rav Meir Brandsdorfer and Rav Avraham Yitzchak Ulman.
He was also eulogized by Rav Yitzchak Aryeh Weiss, av beis din of Kol Rina Hurdanke of Manchester; the Toldos Aharon, Rebbe of Yerushalayim; and Rav Chaim Tzvi Meizelish, Rosh Yeshivas Satmar of Bnei Brak and grandson of the Satmar Rebbe.
From there the tens of thousands of mourners proceeded on foot through snow and slush to accompany the aron to Chelkas Harabbanim in Har Hamenuchos.
Rav Yisroel left a rich legacy of writings, including "Even Yisroel," a seven-volume work on the Rambam; three volumes of "Teshuvos Even Yisroel"; and "Even Yisroel" on the parshiyos.
He is survived by his sons, Rav Aharon; Rav Moshe, Rosh Yeshivas Rema; and Rav Yehuda, one of the distinguished talmidei chachamim of Yeshivas Mir; and by his sons-in-law, Rav Moshe Braverman, Rosh Yeshivas Meah Shearim; and Rav Elimelech Rotman, Rosh Yeshivas Torah Veyira. He is also survived by manygrandchildren and great-grandchildren. May his memory be a blessing for Klal Yisroel. TNZB"H.