Rav Asher Weiss Visits NY


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One of Klal Yisrael’s foremost Poskim, HaRav HaGaon R’ Asher Weiss, the Av Beis Din and Rosh HaKollel from Eretz Yisrael, recently completed his week long tour in the U.S., delivering Shiurei Torah throughout the Tri-State area. The Rav’s itinerary was arranged by his close talmid R’ Shay Schachter, Rosh Bais Medrash of the Young Israel of Woodmere.

The variety of communities visited by the Rav speaks to the tremendous derech eretz and kavod that all streams of Klal Yisraol share for the Rav, ranging from a Bioethics Shiur presented through the viewpoint of Halacha to over 200 doctors at Maimonides Medical Center, to various Kollels in Boro Park and Lakewood giving Shiurim on Hilchos Pesach.  The Rav spent Shabbos in Woodmere, sponsored by Tuvia and Barbara Levkovich amongst other Mishpochos in the community, where he gave a fascinating Shiur on Pikuach Nefesh and addressed various delicate shailos that are presented to him as the official Posek of Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Yerushalayim.  Each of the shiurim over Shabbos attracted close to a thousand people from across the Five Towns.

Visiting the Cherry Lane Minyan in Great Neck, arranged by Dovid Rosengarten and sponsored by Bill and Elissa Rosengarten, the Rav addressed particularly sensitive questions brought before him by the different agencies within the security establishment of Israel, such as the Mossad, the IDF, and the Police Force.  In addition, the Rav related personal tales of halachic dilemma that frum young men and women serving in these agencies face on a regular basis.  For example, can a Mossad agent eat treife in trying to befriend a Palestinian terrorist to get information that can save lives in the near future?  In another case, a young women asked if it would be permissible for her to wear a tzelem necklace in an enemy country and befriend terrorists that can help with information that can down the road save lives.  The Rav explained, considering how rare it is to find someone who has the unique traits that enable one to qualify as a Mossad agent, these are all tasks “sh’ee efshar la’asos al yedei acheirim” and hence, are all permissible in the context of Pikuach Nefesh.

All who attended the Rav’s shiurim across these various communities were able to appreciate the sensitivity and compassion that the Rav brings in issuing Psakim on these especially important matters.


  1. I once had a conversation with Rav Asher and I told him that I was personally responsible for him being among the Gedolim.

    He giggled and asked, “How is that?”

    I responded that though he is considered among the greatest people in this generation, if everyone in this generation would be a Vilna Gaon, he would be considered a Chashuve Yid.

    Then I asserted that he is only among the Gedolim because of SHLEPPERS like me. There must be SHLEPPERS to have Gedolim. Gedolim la-afoo-kay mai? I assured him that am holding down the other end of the bell curve.

    Rav Asher laughed.