With profound sadness, the Orthodox Union joins the entire Jewish community in mourning the passing of Moreinu HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l, at the age of 94. Fondly known to one and all as “Rav Chaim,” he was revered as the Gadol haDor (outstanding Torah scholar of the generation) and was the preeminent leader of the Haredi community in both Israel and the diaspora.
Rav Chaim served as both a model and a guide. His diligence and consistency in Torah study was legendary, resulting in a stunningly encyclopedic knowledge of the vast corpus of Torah literature. He lived very simply and – despite the premium he placed on using every available moment for Torah study – generously opened his home and gave of his time to the thousands who would seek his Halachic rulings, his counsel, his prayers, his blessings, or simply a word of encouragement and the opportunity to meet him.
Despite his apparent preference for anonymity, the esteem accorded Rav Chaim was such that his approval and blessing was a prerequisite for proceeding on any meaningful undertaking in the Haredi community.
We are all in mourning as the world has lost a unique “gadol beTorah,” a giant of Torah scholarship and a model of piety, humility, and kindness. Rav Chaim’s outstanding example will continue to inspire all of us to aspire to greater heights in the service of G-d, the study of Torah, and the care and kindness we extend to each other.
The levaya can be livestreamed here beginning on Sunday, March 20 at 6:00 AM EDT
Yehi zichro baruch. May his memory be a blessing.