BORUCH DAYAN HA’EMMES: THE GADOL HADOR, MARAN HAGAON HARAV SHTEINMAN ZATZAL [UPDATED 2:08PM IL]

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(COVERAGE OF THE LEVAYA IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)

Just moments ago, the terrible news arrived of the Petira of the Gadol Hador, the leader of Klal Yisroel, Maran HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZATZAL, at the age of 104.

As YWN had reported, Rav Shteinman was hospitalized three weeks ago for general weakness and testing.

In a shocking twist of events in the past three weeks, his oldest daughter suffered a fatal heart attack two weeks ago, and was suddenly Niftar. Rav Shteinman had never been informed of the bad news – but literally moments after her petira – his conditioned worsened and rapidly turned critical. His condition continued to deteriorate for 12 hours, but miraculously stabilized.

His condition remained stable until the early hours of Tuesday morning, when he suddenly turned critical. He went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated a few times. Unfortunately, he was taken from us at just before 8:00AM IL.

Rav Shteinman wrote more than one Tzava (will) in his life. One of them instructs his Levaya to be within 6 hours of his Petira – with minimal amount of Hespeidim, to reduce the amount of Kavod.

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READ – CLICK HERE: A Glimpse Into The Life Of The Gadol Hador, Maran Hagon HaRav Aron Leib Shteinman ZATZAL

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ESSAY PART 1 – MARAN RAV SHTEINMAN

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ESSAY PART 2 – MARAN RAV SHTEINMAN

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ESSAY PART 3 – MARAN RAV SHTEINMAN

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ESSAY PART 4 – MARAN RAV SHTEINMAN

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ESSAY PART 5 – MARAN RAV SHTEINMAN

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ESSAY PART 6 – MARAN RAV SHTEINMAN

CLICK HERE FOR FULL FOOTAGE OF THE LEVAYA

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Levaya Information for HaGaon Rav Shteinman ZATZAL

The levaya for HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZT”L will begin in Bnei Brak at noon. Egged has already announced it is stepping up bus service to Bnei Brak on the 402 line.

Shabtai Gerverchik, the Israel Police spokesman for the chareidi community, told Kol Chai Radio that anyone planning to attend the levaya, to do so via public transportation and not a private vehicle. Participants in the levaya are urged not to climb onto dangerous area and to learn the lessons for the catastrophe that occurred during the levaya of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Halevy Wosner ZT”L.

Israel Police, MDA, Hatzalah and other organizations are meeting and planning the logistics of the levaya which will be bringing people from around Israel.

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HaGaon HaRav Edelstein Instructs All Yeshivos Gedolos and Ketanos to Attend Levaya
Ponevezh Rosh Yeshiva HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein Shlita has issued a call to all Yeshivos Gedolos and Yeshivos Ketanos to participate in the levaya of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZT”L, which is set to get underway in Bnei Brak at noon.

The rav in his will requested to be buried with within six hours of his petira, which means the kvura will be well before shekiya.

According to askanim, hundreds of thousands are expected to participate in the levaya and police commanders are working with EMS and other agencies to prepare for the event.

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Police Preparing for 500,000 Participants in Maran’s Levaya
Police officials are preparing for a tzibur of 500,000 participants in the levaya of the Gadol Hador ZT”L, adding street closures in and around Bnei Brak are beginning.

Heavy traffic should be expected on Jabotinsky, Route 4 and Route 5.

Police will continue to provide updates for the tzibur via the ‘110’ hotline phone number.

Route 4 will become a parking lot for all buses. The buses will NOT enter Bnei Brak. The levaya will begin from 5 Chazon Ish Street, Maran’s home. The kvura will be in the Ponevezh Cemetery.

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MDA Preparing for Maran’s Levaya
Magen David Adom is preparing for the levaya of Maran, which begins in Bnei Brak at noon. Over 500 EMTs and paramedics from around Israel are going to be deployed at the levaya. There will be basic and advanced life support ambulance, medi-cycles, and other vehicles to accommodate operating amid the large number of people expected to attend.

MDA will be working hand-in-hand with 20 different Hatzoloh organizations nationwide, providing an emergency response to medical emergencies.

MDA calls on persons planning to attend the levaya to bring bottles of water and to comply with instructions from organizers, to avoid reckless pushing and shoving and not to stand on walls and other dangerous areas.

MDA is operating under the command of Israel Police.

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Israel Police Updates for Motorists
Israel Police continues preparations for the levaya of Maran, which begins at noon. The following is the latest update for motorists.

The following traffic arrangements begin at 10:00am, regulating and reducing the flow of traffic in both directions leading to Bnei Brak.
• Route 4 from Ra’anan Junction to Mishmar HaShiva
• Route 1 from Ben Shemen Interchange towards Kibbutz Galiyot
• Route 5 from Kassem Interchange towards Morasha Junction
• Route 20 from Glilot Interchange towards Dov Houz Interchange
• Route 471 along the entire route in both directions

One may phone the police ‘110’ hotline for real-time update.

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Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky tearing “Kriya” when hearing of the Petira of Maran HaRav Shteinman

Maran Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievskey Shlita tore Kriya when hearing that Maran HaRav Shteinman was Niftar. He recited “Boruch Dayan HaEmmes” without the Shem Hashem. He instructed to give over in his name that people should make every attempt to attend the Levaya – including children who are of the age of understanding. The same is for women. He said people can push off the lighting of menorah (and light later in the evening) if needed in order to attend the Levaya. He also instructed all Mesibos Chanukah to be cancelled during the Shiva.

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Instructions from HaGaon HaRav Sternbach
Hagaon HaRav Moshe Sternbach, the Ravad Eida HaChareidis has said that there is a Chiyuv to attend the Gadol Hador’s Levaya – even one who is afraid of missing the correct time to light Menorah.

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Aveilus Notice from Chinuch Atzmai 10:25AM IL

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A Request Regarding Women Attending the Levaya 10:31AM IL
The following is released in the name of Israel Police and the family of Maran ZT”L.

Women attending the levaya should gather on Yismach Moshe and Rav Dessler Streets and no one else.

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Aveilus Notice from Mosdos Vishnitz 10:33AM IL

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Pikuach Nefesh! 10:41AM IL
By order of Rabbonim: To every vaad bayis (building committee) on Chazon Ish Street and the area, please, remove ay and all dangerous items and close areas that may create a dangerous situation during the levaya. This include rooftops without a railing, construction areas, weak fences and the like.

Each building is instructed to appoint one person to be responsible for carrying this out to avoid a dangerous situation chas v’sholom.

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Rav Gafne Consults with Police Chief Alshich 10:42AM IL
MK Moshe Gafne is currently consulting with Israel Police Chief Roni Alshich regarding arrangements for the levaya.

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Preparations at the Site of the Kever Continue 10:47AM IL

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Israel Railways Amends Schedule to Accommodate the Levaya 10:49AM IL
Israel Railway officials’ announce it will be running additional trains to accommodate persons wishing to get to and from the levaya from Haifa, Beit Shemesh, Beersheva, and southern communities.

At 10:15AM, a train left the Carmel Coast (Binyamina station), Caesarea-Pardes Chana, Hadera West, Netanya, Sapir, Beit Yehoshua and Herzliya: and it will continue to Beni Brak.

At 11:10AM, a train will run from Beit Shemesh to Bnei Brak via Lod, another special train added to accommodate the levaya.

Other special trains will be added from the Beersheva North station, and it will stop at all Negev stations, the western line including Ofakim, Netivot, Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Yavne-West, Rishon L’Tzion Moshe Dayan, Bat Yam, Holon and then Bnei Brak.

Following the levaya, trains will leave Bnei Brak to bring people home on the ‘fill and run’ basis.

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Israel Police Update on the Levaya 10:56AM IL
The following roads will be closed as preparations continue for the levaya of Maran Rav Shteinman ZT”L.
• Route 4 from Ganot to Messubim
• The uphill on 471 from south of north
• Morasha Junction from Route 4

The following Bnei Brak Streets will/are closed
• Rabbi Akiva
• Chazon Ish
• HaShomer
• Yerushalayim
• Ezra
• Nechamia
• Rav Shach
• Hoshea
• Eshel Avram
• Rav Povarsky
• Rav Ferdo
• Elimelech and all adjacent streets

Public buses will not be permitted on these streets. No exceptions will be made.

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Words of Comfort from MK Rav Yisrael Eichler 11:00AM IL

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Preparations for the Levaya Continue in Bnei Brak

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United Hatzalah Command Post Vehicle Takes Up Position for the Levaya 11:11AM IL

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MDA Prepares Command Post & Generator 11:18AM IL

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Deployment of MDA Forces for the Levaya 11:24AM IL
The following is a picture from MDA’s command and control system of deploying MDA forces providing EMS services of the funeral in Bnei Brak.

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Instructions from HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Auerbach 11:30AM IL
HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita has canceled an event connected to the Ohel Rochel Seminary of the Peleg, which was going to take place in the Mifal HaPayis Building in bnei Brak.

Rav Auerbach instructs everyone to attend the levaya of Maran ZT”L.

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From Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef 11:38AM IL
Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Shlita: The petira of the last remnant of the generation of knowledge, Maran HaGaon HaRav Steinman, is a great loss. The righteous actually protect the vitality of the generation.

Because of his unique leadership, he avoided a split with the world of Torah and the Sephardic community. He was one of the first to recognize the Sephardic worldview and leadership as an equal among equals, which led to the prosperity of the Sephardi Torah world. The entire Sephardi community owes Maran spiritual gratitude, bnei yeshivot and avreichim in kollel, and without a doubt, baalei batim, all of whom should come and participate in the levaya to give Kavod L’Torah.

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There is a Shortage of Buses Due to Traffic Conditions 11:43AM IL
Buses that are taking people to Bnei Brak for the most part planned to return and take a second load of people. However, according to Egged, due to traffic conditions at this hour, it is taking buses over two hours to get to Bnei Brak so rather than return, buses are instructed to wait until after the levaya.

Efforts are ongoing to bring additional buses to cities around the country and tens of thousands of people are still trying to make their way to the levaya.

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Message from Health Minister Litzman on the Petira of Maran 11:51AM IL

יחד עם כל בית ישראל אנו מבכים מרה את הסתלקותו של מרן ראש הישיבה הגאון רבי אהרן לייב שטיינמן זצ”ל, מגדולי ומאורי הדור וראשי עולם התורה.

בהנהגתו המיוחדת היה מרן הגראי״ל זצ״ל לרועה נאמן לכלל היהדות החרדית, מתוך אחריות לעם ישראל, לעולם התורה ובני הישיבות הק׳. העמיד תלמידים הרבה ביגיעת התורה, במסירות נפש ואהבת ישראל.

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The Aron of Maran R’ Shteinman Leaving Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital at This Time 11:51AM IL

(Photo: Media Resource Group)

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The Levaya to Begin Soon 12:03PM IL

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Police Working Desperately to Maintain Order 12:21PM IL
Police officials, as heard over the public address system, are working desperately to maintain order as people are standing on areas that pose a real danger. In addition, participants in the levaya are standing on police vehicles and surrounding the vehicle carrying the aron of the Gadol Hador.

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Aveilus Notice from Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital 12:23PM IL

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Israel Police: Levaya Will be Over 600,000 People 12:28PM IL

Israel Police reports the levaya will easily be over 600,000 people based on those present, Kan News quotes, adding this with the understanding countless tens of thousands are working to make their way to Bnei Brak.

Channel 2 News reports hundreds of thousands. Walla News is reporting tens of thousands and Ynet reporting tens of thousands, as is the case with Haaretz.

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Authorities Call on Levaya Participants to Back Up: Pikuach Nefesh! 12:35PM IL

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MDA Chief of Operations Briefs Subordinates on Operation 12:27PM IL

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Education Minister Naftali Bennet 12:37PM IL

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The Gerre Rebbe Shlita 12:38PM IL

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PM Netanyahu on the Petira of Maran Rav Shteinman 12:41PM IL

I received the news of the passing of the Torah giant and Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman ZT”L with great sorrow.

With the death of Rabbi Steinman, the Jewish people lost a central beacon of spirit, heritage and morality.

The rabbi took advantage of every available moment to study and disseminate Torah. He established halachic rulings, decided on weighty issues, and acted for the public in true love of Israel.

Rabbi Steinman has established generations of students who will continue to carry the Torah torch.

On the eve of Chanukah, in which we commemorate the victory over the decrees of the Greeks that forbade the laws of the Torah, the yeshiva world flourishes.
The Rosh Yeshiva established important sections in the chain of Torah that is thousands of years old, and his memory will dwell forever in the eternal pages of our people’s heritage.

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The Levaya Heading to the Ponevezh Cemetery 1:07PM IL

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All Return Transportation from Bnei Brak Mosdos Canceled Today 1:32 PM IL
Officials announce that return transportation from any and all Bnei Brak mosdos are canceled and parents will have to arrange to get children home due to the levaya of Maran ZT”L.

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1. Maran’s Tzava (Will) in its Entirety 1:47PM IL
English follows the Hebrew.

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 טובתם
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 בילכן הנני מצידיאני מייעץ לא לקרוא ילדים על שמי אבל איני אוסר את זה

זה הצאווה המלאה.
מה שבסוגרים זה לוספת של הרב משיקובסקי

Maran’s will. That which appears in parenthesis is added by Rav Mishkovsky.

• I ask that there are no hespedim, not before me or any atzeres or gathering of any kind.
• No major writeups in newspapers – not daily weekly or others. My photo is sufficient and not writing as is customary for others. Ten persons at the levaya is sufficient.
• Do not print pashkavilim, don’t make announcements via loudspeakers or radio.
• Make an effort to bury me quickly and prevent delay between my petira and kvura.
• Do not write any titles on the tombstone other than פה נקבר רב אהרון יהודא לייב בן רב נח צבי שטיינמן’
• My burial place should be the simplest, least expensive. Do not waste money on a burial site.
• As the minhag is to visit the kever at the end of shiva and shloshim, not to waste more than necessary for it is better giving money for limud and for certain, not on ‘devarim beteilim’.
• If seeking a place to daven before the amud results in too much time, it is preferred to engage in limud torah l’shem shomayim.
• Anyone seeking to assist me (it is for us in essence), lean a chapter of mishnayos daily until the end of the 12 months. Women can recite 10 chapters of Tehillim daily, including Shabbos and Yomtov.
• I request not to remember (Refer) to me as a tzaddik or a Yirei Shomayim so I am not insulted in the Olam HaEmmes.
• I ask mechila if I offended anyone and if there is anyone I owe money to, and in reality, he will not collect even though he has the right ‘al pi din’, please be moichel me.
• My children should not follow the aron for kvura as is minhag Yerushalayim.
• Do not name children after me but do not prevent it either
• If you wish, give money to tzedaka instead of a tombstone, to give but not to buy.
• (Last addition) Since many err, I am advising not to name children after me but I do not forbid it.

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HaGaon HaRav Edelstein Shlita 1:51PM IL

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Only a Small Few Permitted into Ponevezh Cemetery 1:55PM IL
Police have literally sealed the Ponevezh Cemetery hermitically, learning the lesson from previous levayas of Gedolim.

There are literally hundreds of police around the cemetery and only a few hundred people who were actually let in as the actual kvura of Maran ZT”L is taking place.

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Jerusalem Chief Sephardi Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita 2:02PM IL

(Photo: Media Resource Group)

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Leaving the Ponevezh Cemetery Following Kvura of the Gadol Hador 1:08PM IL

צילום ש. מ.

LOOK: The tz'avaah (will) of Maran HaGaon HaRav Shteinman ZATZAL – he was reported to have written more than one • • I ask that there are no hespedim, not before me or any atzeres or gathering of any kind • • No major writeups in newspapers – not daily weekly or others. My photo is sufficient and not writing as is customary for others. Ten persons at the levaya is sufficient • • Do not print pashkavilim, don’t make announcements via loudspeakers or radio. • Make an effort to bury me quickly and prevent delay between my petira and kvura • • Do not write any titles on the tombstone other than פה נקבר רב אהרון יהודא לייב בן רב נח צבי שטיינמן’ • • My burial place should be the simplest, least expensive. Do not waste money on a burial site • • As the minhag is to visit the kever at the end of shiva and shloshim, not to waste more than necessary for it is better giving money for limud and for certain, not on ‘devarim beteilim’ • • If seeking a place to daven before the amud results in too much time, it is preferred to engage in limud torah l’shem shomayim • • Anyone seeking to assist me (it is for us in essence), lean a chapter of mishnayos daily until the end of the 12 months. Women can recite 10 chapters of Tehillim daily, including Shabbos and Yomtov • • I request not to remember (Refer) to me as a tzaddik or a Yirei Shomayim so I am not insulted in the Olam HaEmmes • • I ask mechila if I offended anyone and if there is anyone I owe money to, and in reality, he will not collect even though he has the right ‘al pi din’, please be moichel me • • My children should not follow the aron for kvura as is minhag Yerushalayim • • Do not name children after me but do not prevent it either • • If you wish, give money to tzedaka instead of a tombstone, to give but not to buy • • (Last addition) Since many err, I am advising not to name children after me but I do not forbid it.

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THE LIVE BLOG OF THE KVURA OF GADOL HADOR HAGAON HARAV AHARON YEHUDA LEIB SHTEINMAN ZATZAL ENDS. 

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)




12 COMMENTS

  1. BD”E – what a loss for Klal Yisrael. At the same time, we should be thankful to HKB”H that we had the Zechus of having such a Gadol with us for as long as we did – though as HKB”H’s greedy children, we always want “just a little bit more”.

    BTW, you may want to review and revise the translation of the tzava’a – there are a number of errors. One that particularly caught my attention is where Rav Shteinman asked that people not refer to him as a Yarei Shamayim or Tzadik, lest he be embarrassed (not “insulted” as in the translation) in the Olam Ha’emes.

    an Israeli Yid

  2. If you read the Rav’s “will”, you will quickly understand that he did NOT want the levayah or any other aspect of his petirah to create any disruption in the routine of the tizbur (as if the loss of such a giant of torah could otherwise go unnoticed). He was more concerned about the bitul torah his levayah might create then the kavod that would be rendered to his memory. Even the cost of a matzavah seemed to him to be excessive and focused instead on tzadakah.

  3. Maran HaRav Shteinman was recently 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

  4. BD”E.

    Gadolhadorah – There is clear halachic precedent for not fulfilling the will of a gadol batorah who requests a modest levaya as it is kvod hatorah to give hespedim for him and to participate in his levaya. So while harav Shteinman (who obviously knew this) stated his deeply felt personal desire for modesty, he knew that for reasons of kvod hatorah his will would not be fulfilled. I trust that the tzibbur will find other ways to respect his wishes by ribui limud torah and matan tzeddakah.

  5. To Yagel
    Very good point and hopefully the tzibur will also follow his request regarding expanding limud torah and giving tzadakah. Also, the police yesterday, as reported here on YWN, were able to engage in a minor “deception” that both allowed the hespedim as well as assure quick and safe completion of the burial with minimal risk to the hundreds of thousands of those attending.