Rabbi Chaim Yisroel Belsky zt’l, senior halachic consultant for the Orthodox Union, a roshei yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath and a luminary of Orthodox Judaism, passed away on January 28 after a battle with cancer. He was 77.
“We at the Orthodox Union join the rest of the Jewish people in mourning the loss of Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky zt’l,” stated Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union. “We have lost a titan of Torah learning whose all-encompassing knowledge of halacha has helped guide OU Kosher for so long.”
Rabbi Belsky, born in 1938, received his semicha from Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in 1962, and from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt’l in 1965.
“Rabbi Belsky was an irreplaceable man,” said Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the OU Kosher. “His extraordinary knowledge in every area of Torah, wedded to that of his knowledge of other disciplines like mathematics, astronomy and history were invaluable in allowing us to make decisions. His genius, breadth of knowledge, courage and integrity placed him in a class by himself.”
“On a practical level, if not for Rabbi Belsky we wouldn’t be eating fish today,” Rabbi Genack continued. “I will miss him very much.”
The funeral took place on Friday morning at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. An archived video of the funeral can be watched here. Rabbi Belsky’s body was flown to Israel for burial on motzei Shabbat.
Watch: Shaylos in Treifus and Nikkur – Presented by Rav Yisroel Belsky and Reb Shimon Mendlowitz at Cong. Zichron Yaakov in Lakewood, NJ on Motzoei Shabbos, February 16th 2008 as a Harry H. Beren ASK OUTREACH Shiur.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.