HaRav Zilberstein Cried: “HaRav Elyashiv Was Dumbfounded By The Rosh Yeshiva, Z’tl”

HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Zilberstein

In a moving hesped delivered by HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Zilberstein for the Rosh Yeshivah, z’tl, the Rav said in a tear-choked voice: “Maran, z’tl, was the greatest of the giants. His midos were astounding and his hasmadah and his love for Torah were boundless. His most prominent midos were emes and anavah.”

“He never got angry. I’ve never seen anyone like this, who never got angry, 100 years and he never got angry. He never insulted anyone. Recently there was someone who deeply insulted him. The Rosh Yeshivah’s first instruction was not to chalilah talk about him – the Rosh Yeshivah, z’tl was a human being that was half a malach.”

HaRav Zilberstein then related a story: “The Rosh Yeshivah, z’tl kept his mother-in-law at home [Rebbetzin Diskind, a’h] when she was ill. The doctor came to me and told me: ‘HaRav Edelstein’s home is like a hospital – everything is for his mother-in-law – everything, it’s a miniature hospital. I went to find him, I went into the kitchen. I saw him sitting there by his shtender, holding papers and writing. What was he writing? A shiur for Yeshivas Ponevezh. How does someone obtain such kochos? He didn’t have an apartment, it was a hospital for his shviger. And he’s sitting in the corner writing chiddushei Torah.'”

HaRav Zilberstein, who is the son-in-law of HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, z’tl, added: “We’re connected by marriage, my grandson with his granddaughter. HaRav Elyashiv, z’tl, told me awesome things about the Rosh Yeshivah, z’tl, what a lofty madreigah he was on. HaRav Elyashiv, z’tl, who could see things – he was kodesh Elokim – was dumbfounded by him. Chaval – a person like this protects the generation. We need a lot of rachamim, they’re preparing there [in Iran] – already three atomic bombs…we need a lot of rachamim. The only thing we can do is cry and plead to HaKadosh Baruch Hu.”

HaRav Zilberstein concluded by asking why we say a bracha on the Torah only when we learn it but for Gedolei Yisrael, we say a bracha merely by seeing them. He explained the answer according to the Gemara, Masechtas Moed Katan, that Rashbi told his son, Rebbi Elazar – to get a bracha from ‘people of form’ – זיל גביהון דליברכוך. There are several perushim about what ‘אנשים של צורה’ means. One perush says that just like when coins are made, they take pieces of metal and stamp a shape on it, so there are people who engrave and stamp a shape on those around them.”

“And therefore just seeing such a person who is a ‘person of form’ requires a bracha because just looking at him instills yiras Shamayim and anavah.”

HaRav Zilberstein concluded: “This is what we cry for, this is what we lost and what’s missing. The Rosh Yeshivah, z’tl, engraved in his form and minted a coin of Torah and yiras Shamayim and anavah on all who saw him. Now a vacuum has been created of anavah and respect for others for he never once scoffed at anyone. We all must fill this vacuum.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. HaRav Zilberstien spoke very nicely and to the point. What a beautiful Hesped.
    Thank you to Yeshiva World for posting this.