Rabbi Shmuel Wosner.
(photo credit: YESHIVATITRI AT HEBREW WIKIPEDIA)
Rabbi Shmuel Halevi Wosner, one of the most senior and respected figures in the haredi world, died on Friday night at a hospital in Bnei Brak, aged 101.
The rabbi was hospitalized at the beginning of March but suffered a severe deterioration in his condition on Friday. He died shortly after the Passover holiday began.
Wosner was born in Vienna in 1913 in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and emigrated to Mandatory Palestine before the outbreak of the Second World War. His stature as a Torah scholar quickly grew, and after spending time in Jerusalem moved to Bnei Brak and established the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva there, a name taken from a famous pre-Holocaust yeshiva in Poland.
Among Wosner’s works was the multi-volume Shevet Halevi commentary on Jewish law. He was also considered one of the world’s leading arbiters of Jewish law.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau mourned Wosner’s passing, saying the Jewish people had lost one of its greatest rabbinic leaders of recent generations.
“He was known for his great righteousness, and his series of books known as Shevet Halevi, which encompassed all fields of life, was a foundation stone in the world of Jewish law for decades,” Lau said.
“Just three months ago I merited to receive advice with the rabbi on a complicated matter regarding mamzerim [a problematic personal status in Jewish law] and other complex issues.
His death is a great and painful loss to the Jewish people.”
Wosner’s funeral took place on Saturday night in Bnei Brak and was attended by thousands of mourners from the city and beyond.