Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l, Posek HaDor, a homeschool prodigy

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Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l, 20th century posek hador (Jewish law decisor of our generation), was sought after for his vast knowledge on Torah, Gemara and Halacha.  Rav Elyashiv, zt”l, had a very humble beginning and he started out as a homeschooled child.From Wikipedia:

Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (Hebrew: יוֹסֵף שָׁלוֹם אֶלְיָשִׁיב‎; April 10, 1910 – July 18, 2012) was a Haredi rabbi and posek (arbiter of Jewish law) who lived in Jerusalem, Israel. Until his death at the age of 102, Elyashiv was the paramount leader of both Israel and the DiasporaLithuanian-Haredi community, and many Ashkenazi Jews regarded him as the posek ha-dor, the contemporary leading authority on halakha, or Jewish law.[1]

Rabbi Elyashiv was born as the only living child of his parents, Rabbi Avraham Elyashiv, zt”l and Rebbetzin Chaya Musha, zt”l and the grandchild of the Leshem, also known as Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv, zt”l, a master Kabbalist.  After many years of praying and crying, and receiving a special blessing from her father, the Leshem, Rebbetzin Chaya Musha gave birth to Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv, zt”l.

As a young child, Rabbi Elyashiv went to cheder. One day, he revealed to his mother, after much prodding, that he was bullied in school.  Rebbetzin Chaya Musha immediately removed Yosef from cheder and homeschooled him.  Young Yosef learned with his father, Rabbi Avraham until he was about 12.  But at around age 7, Yosef had already shown his prowess in understanding the Gemara and mastering how to learn alone. From then on, Rabbi Avraham encouraged his son to continue learning.  Learning he did, and he never stopped until his death at 102.

Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv admitted that because of his shyness, he preferred to learn alone.  Rav Yosef, zt”l, maintained a strict learning schedule and discipline for himself throughout his years and remained consistent.  The Rav was sought for his advice on many issues even when he was a young man.

Humble and shy in character, the Rav never sought publicity for himself.  This generation has lost a gadol and unique talmid chacham.  May his merit in shamayim help this generation, low and weak.

To learn more about the day-to-day life of the great Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l, read this book, Learning to Live: An Unforgettable Spiritual Portrait of HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l.


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