HaRav Shternbuch Burst Into Tears: “HaRav Chaim’s Petira Worse For Klal Yisrael Than The Churban”


HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch was informed of the death of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky during his Purim seudah on Friday at his home in Har Nof.

HaRav Shternbuch tearfully spoke words of hesped during the Purim seudah, saying: “The shechinah is with us on Purim and now the shechinah has been removed from Klal Yisrael.”

Rav Shternbuch started out by saying that HaRav Chaim’s death is more difficult for Am Yisrael than the Churban Beis Hamikdash and all the curses mentioned in the Torah: “‘Also, Hashem will bring upon you every disease and plague which isn’t written in this Sefer Torah, to destroy you (Devarim: 28: 61).’ And Chazal said: ‘This is the death of Talmidei Chachamim.'”

“The petirah of HaRav Chaim, z’tl, is worse than all the kelalos (curses), it’s worse than the Churban Beis Hamikdash,” HaRav Shternbuch said. “And like Chazal said: ‘The death of tzaddikim is worse than the burning of Beis Elokeinu.’ Oy. Hakadosh Baruch Hu sent us a blow like this that isn’t written in this Sefer Torah. Go and return to Hashem because He has preyed and He will heal us. Only Hakodash Baruch Hu can comfort us.”

“Now we are like sheep without a shepherd,” HaRav Shternbuch continued. “All of Beis Yisrael have been left orphans and there is no one to daven for us. Hakadosh Baruch Hu has given us a terrible blow. The shechinah is with us on Purim and now the shechinah has been removed from Klal Yisrael. Hashem Has swallowed us and did not have mercy on the day of His wrath. Now we have no one who will be a meilitz yosher – we can’t even know how many gezerios [HaRav Chaim, z’tl] thwarted. It’s a great sakanah when we don’t have a tzaddik like this to protect us.”

“The Beis Din shel maaleh is receiving a great koach now. He gave so much Torah to Am Yisrael. Hashem should help us that our tears for the death of tzaddikim will atone for Klal Yisrael.”

The paroches was removed as a sign of aveilus in HaRav Shternbuch’s yeshivah in Beit Shemesh.


(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. This was a gigantic loss and a very challenging loss, but to compare the loss of a physical person in Olam Hazeh to thr loss of the Bais Hamikdash or all the curses in the Torah is nonsense and Avodah Zora. Sure, many will disagree with me, but I’m sorry, I don’t equate the loss of our Bais Hamikdash to any loss of person in this temporary world. As I’ve heard in a mussar shmuz, a Gadol Hador and a 13 year old boy both equal the same when counted for a minyan. Let’s remember the greatness of Rav Chaim, but not approach worship.

  2. @HungryHippo, sorry but you are dead wrong.

    as Rav Shternbuch said; we can’t even know how many gezerios HaRav Chaim, z’tl thwarted.

    scary times…