BDE: HaMashgiach HaTzaddik HaRav Chaim Walkin, Z’tl

HaGaon HaRav Chaim Walkin, z'tl. (Photo: Shuki Lehrer)

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Mourning enveloped the olam haTorah on Sunday morning with the bitter news of the petirah of HaGaon HaTzaddik HaRav Chaim Walkin, z’tl, the Mechaber of Daas Chaim and one of the gedolei haMashgichim in our generation, at the age of 77.

HaRav Walkin, z’tl, the Mashgiach of Yeshivas Ateres Yisrael, collapsed in his home in Bayit Vegan on Wednesday evening. Paramedics called to the scene carried out prolonged resuscitation techniques and rushed him to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where he was sedated and ventilated. The doctors continued to fight for his life but the battle ended on Sunday morning.

The levaya is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sunday evening from Rechov Kasuto in Bayit Vegan toward Har Hamenuchos.

The Mashgiach was born toward the end of World War II in Shanghai, China, where his family fled from the Nazis together with Yeshivas Mir. His father, Rav Shmuel Dovid Walkin, z’tl, a student of the Chofetz Chaim, z’tl, moved his family later that year, to Crown Heights.

As a bochur, HaRav Walkin learned at Yeshivas Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn and then at the Telz yeshivah in Cleveland, Ohio. After he married, he moved to Israel, where he settled in Jerusalem and learned at Yeshivas Mir, where he developed a close relationship with HaGaon HaRav Chaim Shmuelevitz, z’tl.

After about 25 years at the Mir, he was appointed as a Rosh Mesivta at Yeshivas Aish HaTorah and later served as the Mashgiach at Yeshivas Ohr Yisrael in Petach Tikvah, where he battled for Shemiras Shabbos in the city together with the Rav of the city, HaRav Baruch Shimon Salomon, z’tl. In the wake of their actions, the two Rabbanim were prosecuted and sentenced to suspended prison sentences.

Following the petirah of HaGaon HaRav Meir Chodesh, z’tl, HaRav Walkin was appointed as the Mashgiach of Yeshivas Ateres Yisrael. a position he filled until his last day.

HaRav Walkin developed the mussar shitah of Rav Shmuelvitch, z’tl, with an emphasis on a personal relationship with each talmid, leading private mussar ‘vaadim’ for groups of 6-8 talmidim in his home. Over the years, he educated thousands of talmidim in Torah and mussar.

Yehi Zichro Baruch.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)