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Hagaon Harav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, 104, Ztz”l

by Israel National News

Hagaon Harav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman Ztz”l, one of the most widely respected Poskim of Jewish law in the haredi community, passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 104.

Officials at the Maayanei Hayeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak noted earlier Tuesday morning a significant deterioration in the rabbi’s condition. Shortly after the hospital released the statement, Rabbi Shteinman passed away.

At the beginning of last month, Rabbi Shteinman, 104, was hospitalized for a week, at the end of which he was released to his home under the supervision of his personal physician.

Rabbi Shteinman was considered the leader of the Lithuanian haredi Jewry since the death of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

He was head of the Council of Torah Sages of the Degel Hatorah representing Lithuanian haredi Jewish community.

Rabbi Shteinman studied in Lithuanian yeshivot between the two world wars. In his early twenties he was first appointed as a teacher, and in the 80-some years since then he taught Torah, in yeshivot in Switzerland and in Israel.

His public involvement began in the 1960s, when he focused mainly on encouraging the opening of kollel studies in Israel. He served as an adviser and mentor on education in the Lithuanian community. With the establishment of the Degel Hatorah Council of Torah Sages in the late 1980s, he joined the Council, and since then his public influence has expanded.

Since the death of Rabbi Shach in 2001, he stood alongside Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv as a leader of the Lithuanian public.

After the death of Rabbi Elyashiv, Rabbi Shteinman led the Lithuanian community and was considered the supreme spiritual authority of the Degel Hatorah party, its newspaper Yated Neeman, as well as the Lithuanian educational institutions and yeshivot connected to the party.

Rabbi Shteinman initiated the establishment of yeshivot and kollelim in Israel and abroad, and served as president and patron of some of them. He headed the Ponevezh kollel, and the yeshivot Gaon Yaakov and Orchot Torah. Until the beginning of the 21st century he also served as head of the Ponevezh yeshiva for youth.

Rabbi Shteinman wrote about thirty books, including a series of books on the Babylonian Talmud and the Torah.

The Levaya took place today in Bnei Brak with hundreds of thousands in attendance.

Boruch Dayan Hoemes


  • 1. A very quiet humble man wrote:

    He was a very quiet, humble man. I met him about twenty years ago in his tiny apartment. He was sitting and learning on his bed – he did not use a chair until his later years, as he did not wish to recline on the back. His wife Obm was a very fine lady – asking us about family etc. A remnant of a generation which did not cherish materialism.

  • 2. Ma Rabbi wrote:

    A true Gadol and man of peace who loved both Chassidim and Litvishe alike. He will be missed.

  • 3. Talmud Chochum wrote:

    א. אבקש מאד לא להספידני לא בפני שלא בפני לא לעשות עצרת התעוררות או עצרת אבל או כל מיני שמות שבודים והכוונה להספד
    ב. לא לכתוב שום מאמר עלי בעיתונים יומיים שבועיים חודשיים מספיק תמונתי ולא כמו שרגילים לכתוב תולדותם
    ג. לא להדפיס מודעות על הלויה לא להודיע ברמקול או רדיו מספיק שיהיה רק עשרה אנשים בלויה
    ד להשתדל שלא לשהות בין מיטה לקבורה לזרז שיהיה קבורה הכי סמוך למיטה
    ה. מקומי בבית החיים בין אנשים פשוטים
    ו. לא לכתוב על המצבה שום תארים רק ‘פה נקבר רב אהרון יהודא לייב בן רב נח צבי שטיינמן’
    ז המצבה תהיה הכי זולה ופשוטה לא לבזבז כסף עבור קניית מקום בבית הקברות שעולה ביוקר אבל אם רוצים לתת צדקה שיתנו בלי קניית מקום
    ח. בימים שהמנהג ללכת על הקבר ככלות השבעה ושלושים ויהרצאייהט מכל מקום לא יבזבזו יותר מידי זמן מיוחד עבור זה יותר כדאי שיתחלפו במשך המעת לעת ללמוד כסדר ומלדבר על דברים בטלים
    אם על ידי החיפוש למצוא מקום להתפלל לפני העמוד יגרום הרבה ביטול תורה יותר כדאי ללמוד לשם שמים בזמן הזה
    ט. אבקש שכל מי שרוצה בטובתי (זה בשבילנו למעשה) ילמוד כל יום פרק אחד משניות עד גמר יב חודש והבנות יאמרו כל יום עשרה פרקי תהילים גם בשבת ויום טוב
    י. אבקש שלא להזכירני בשם צדיק או ירא שמים שלא אתבזה על ידי זה בעולם האמת
    יב. אבקש בזה מחילה מכל מי שפגעתי בכבודו וכן מי שאני חייב לו כסף וידוע שבמציאות לא יגבה היינו שיוכל לגבות על פי דין אבקש למחול לי

    כל יוצאי חלצי לא ילכו אחרי המיטה כמנהג ירושלים

    (התוספת האחרונה)
    היות שהרבה טועים בי לכן הנני מצידי אני מייעץ לא לקרוא ילדים על שמי אבל איני אוסר את זה

    זה הצאווה המלאה.
    מה שבסוגרים זה תוספת של הרב משיקובסקי

  • 4. Picaboo Shimon wrote:

    he was a holy man. he was not antagonistic toward lubavitch as some other lithuanian rabbis were. I am sorry that he passed away. it is a big loss to world jewry.

  • 5. Rabbi Moshe Wiener wrote:

    Emulate Other Bochurim or Disregard Them?

    Maran HaRav Shteinman was asked by a number of yeshiva bochurim: “The rest of the bochurim in my yeshiva do not grow their beards. Should I follow their example or not?”

    To each of them he replied that they should disregard their colleagues’ conduct.
    • To one bochur he quoted the Mishna in Ediyos (5:6): “Better to be called a shoteh your entire life than to be a rasha even once.”
    • To another he responded even more sharply: “If everyone around you is eating chazir, is that a reason for you to eat it as well?!”
    • To a third he said: “No one ever lost anything from growing a beard!”

    Maran HaRav Shteinman was once approached by a bochur who followed the opinion of the Mechaber, that one may cut his hair between Lag Ba’Omer and Shavuos. “Most of the bochurim in my yeshiva do not cut their hair until the yemei hagbalah,” he said. “Since I follow the Mechaber’s opinion, may I shave my beard before that time?”

    “Any method you use to shave your beard will be problematic,” Maran HaRav Shteinman replied. “Using an electric shaver may involve an issur de’oraysa. Even using shaving cream is not acceptable, as some say this involves the issur of lo yilbash.”

    Some claim that growing a beard demonstrates arrogance, as if he thinks he is perfect.

    “It is still better to grow a beard,” Maran HaRav Shteinman once commented. “This will protect a person spiritually to a certain extent.”

    Maran HaRav Shteinman further remarked: “The reason it was once common for yeshiva bochurim to shave is because the issur involved was not widely known.”

    פרי חיים ממרן הרב שטיינמן שליט”א, שופר ארגון להפצת יהדות, צוות שופר גנזי המלך, כו תמוז תשע”ב


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