Petira of HaGaon HaRav Nosson Kamenetzky ZATZAL


HaGaon HaRav Nosson Kamenetzky ZT”L, son of HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Kamenetzky ZT”L, one of the Gedolei Hador of the previous generation in the United States, was niftar in Yerushalayim on Shabbos.

Rav Kamenetzky was niftar at his home on Sorotzkin Street. The Rav was hospitalized on numerous occasions during recent months.

The rav was born 89 years ago to Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky in Europe, and immigrated with the family to Brooklyn, NY and learned in Yeshivas Torah Vodaas. He made aliyah to Eretz Yisrael at the age of 40, and he was among the founders of Yeshiva Itri in Yerushalayim.

His sefer ‘Making of a Godol’ “גידולו של גדול” was published about 17 years ago, dealing with Gedolei Torah over a period of 150 years from Rav Yisrael Salanter until the beginning of World War I.

The niftar was a brother of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Kamenetzky Shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Philadelphia, and a member of the Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah.

The levaya took place on motzei Shavuos at 11:30PM from Yeshivas Torah Ohr to Har Menuchos.

תהא נשמתו צרורה בצרור החיים

Published on Isru Chag Shavuos from Jerusalem.


  1. A tzaddik and gadol ba’torah whose truthful accounts of masei ha’gedolim did not correspond to the established hagiography. for that he was forced to suffer. so few truthful connections are still remaining.

  2. It’s rather odd starting the levaya from Yeshivas Torah Ohr after the previous Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Scheinberg, was supposedly one of the ten signatories to the ban on Rav Kamenetzky’s book, The Making of a Gadol.

  3. @arizona: Just goes to show you that sometimes people can forgive & forget.

    @DrYidd: on the mark 100%, thank you.

    Rav Nasan zt”l will be sorely missed, but he has left us his amazing children. Rav Reuven Kamenetsky gives an amazing Gemara shiur in Har Nof that’s hard to beat!!!

  4. Arizona, he lived two buildings away from the Yeshiva. And i don’t think R’ Scheinberg was against him personally, just the book.

  5. Rav Nosson zt’l realized publishing the book was a mistake and therefore he withdrew it from the market. First he republished a second edition removing some of the inappropriate material, but the rabbonim told him that even the redacted second edition was problematic.

    Rav Nosson zt’l always deferred to the Gedolim and knew that they are correct and can see the wider impact better than laymen. He did not so much as question their decision. As he immediately complied with it.

    He went so far that after he withdrew the book he consistently refused to give permission to anyone to copy it or otherwise obtain a copy of it, saying that if the Gedolei Rabbonim consider it incorrect to publish, he fully accepts their judgement and decision and will in no way whatsoever be party to allowing anyone to obtain even a single copy of it after the rabbonim said no.

    And as a result of his own efforts, it is close to impossible to obtain a copy of the book until this day.

  6. Tht fact that the levaya was in Yeshivas Torah Ohr clearly demonstrates that he fully accepted the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Scheinberg’s decision and Rav Nosson continued to affiliate with Yeshivas Torah Ohr.

    No differently then if Rav Scheinberg paskened that Rav Nosson’s chicken was treif and had to be thrown out despite any monetary loss, he would do so happyily and thankfully for the Psak saving him from tarfus, so too he viewed the decision regarding the book.

  7. @joseph,

    Your chutzpah is outstanding. R’ Nosson is gone for just 24 hours and you have already completely distorted his views to suit your own agenda. His views on the ban are public. Go listen to his lecture on it and then ask mechila.

  8. Hate to break it to you Joseph but your understanding of the matter is incorrect. For instance he strongly and vocally disagreed with the ban on his books, not out disrespect for the gedolim, but because 9/10 of them couldn’t read English, and and the remaining 1/10 (Rav Scheinberg zt”l) didn’t read it. They all followed Rav Elyashiv’s signing it, which was based on testimony of liars. This is all his account, which is available for download on YUTorah

  9. @joseph that’s false.
    While he did stop selling it in stores he would sell them to anyone who came by his home, and would give out a book detailing the ban called ‘Anatomy of a Ban’.
    Less than 2 months ago Reb Nosson reprinted it again, which he sold in his home.
    Volumes 2 and 3 and ‘Anatomy’ he said he would not put out till long after he’s gone

  10. One of the scary things about fake news is that *anyone*, for example Joseph, can make up absolutely anything and write it somewhere. Of course some people will know that it’s false, but many people either won’t look at followup posts, or else won’t care since they respect Joseph, and suddenly you have a large group of people that “know” something that of course can’t be known, since it’s not true! The new world of facebook, blogs, etc, are open to allow people to post their opinions, both reasonable and unreasonable, but many people don’t have enough experience and judgement to have a good guess of when something is true or not. It’s a huge problem as Joseph’s post highlights. I wonder wether YWN can do anything to mitigate this issue at least in its own site.

  11. Jo,

    His sefer ‘Making of a Godol’ “גידולו של גדול” was written in the same style that ALL books in pre-war Europe were.
    Nowadays, its a matter of PC to edit all. Those day – if you were writing about a Gadol – you write all.

    It was a bunch of keNayim that made an issue of it.

    I can show you plenty of sefrorim written by gadolim that were much worse than his, and NO ONE had an issue with ! But we live in a Achshir Doro situation…were Kenoim have the say.

  12. @GAON,

    Fascinating. What are those sefarim? Everyone knows about Mekor Boruch. What else is out there? Who read them? Thank you.