belskyYWN regrets to inform you of the Petira of Hagon HaRav Chaim Yisroel Belsky ZATZAL, one of the Roshei Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Flatbush, and a leading Posek in the United States. Rav Belsky is renowned as of the most brilliant Torah minds of our generation, with a grasp of virtually kol haTorah kulah and instant recall and knowledge all across the spectrum. He was 77-years-old.

Rabbi Belsky was diagnosed with a illness just a few months ago, and his condition began to deteriorate.

Jews around the globe as well as in his beloved Yeshiva had been Davening for his Refuah for the past few week as his condition deteriorated.

He was Niftar around 7:30PM on Thursday night.

The Niftar will be brought to the Yeshiva Torah Vodaas bais hamedrash on Thursday night where people will be able to say Tehillim. The Levaya will be held on Friday morning at 10:00AM at the yeshiva located at 425 East 9th Street between Cortelyou Road and Ditmas Avenue. The Niftar will be flown to Eretz Yisroel on Motzei Shabbos for the kevura on Sunday. Exact times will be updated when they become available.

Rabbi Belsky was born on August 22nd 1938 to Rabbi Berel and Chana Tzirel Belsky. His maternal grandfather is HaRav Binyomin Wilhelm, a founder of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.

Rabbi Belsky received his semicha from Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in 1962, and from Hagaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein in 1965. He also studied in Beth Medrash Elyon for a number of years.

His first kashrus position was with the Kof-K. He then served as the Senior Halachic Consultant for the Orthodox Union [OU] since 1987.

He was also the Rov of Camp Agudah since 1967.

One of his daughters is married to Philanthropist R’ Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz.

In February 2012, rabbi Belsky was rushed to the hospital by Hatzolah, after first suffering from a ruptured esophagus, and a collapsed lung. He also went into cardiac arrest while in the hospital, and underwent numerous procedures. At the time, the name Chaim was added. He remained in the hospital for nearly three months and miraculously recovered, and was released home at the end of May 2012.

Watch the moving words Rabbi Belsky gave after returning home in 2012. (Video below at 2.10)

Boruch Dayan Ha’Emmes…

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  1. Tears, only tears. What an irreplaceable loss for all of Klal Yisroel but especially to us here in Brooklyn. A tremendous void. BD”E.

  2. What a tragedy!! Rav Belsky was like a father to thousands of people , not just his own ! He can not be replaced! May He be a meiletz yosher for his family and all klal Yisroel !!

  3. אבל יחיד תעשה לך״- איש אשר רוח בו, כמוהו לא היה ולא תוסיף להיות. The rosh Yeshiva was truly a יחיד במינו, unparalleled in his uniqueness. His absence will forever be felt.

  4. Aside from his reputation as a great posek, the Rav was also widely respected for his ability to explain complex issues of halacha to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences and where possible, de-mystify some arcane matters of halacha which were often waved away by other rabbunim with a variation of “thats just the way it is and not for us to question why”.

  5. BDE terrible loss to klal yisroel in general and to mesifta torah vodas specifically. Rav Belsky has walked the halls of the Mesifta all his life. I am old enough to recall him being called Sruly Belsky. Such a clear mind is not created often. May he be a meilitz yosher for the Mesifta.

  6. The way this article including video and pictures was posted about 15 minutes after the petira tells me that YWN had this all ready to go beforehand. Very poor taste.