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The yahrtzeit of the Chazon Ish Zt”l

This Shabbat, Parashat Vaira 15th of Cheshvan is the Yahrtzeit of Maran Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz Ben Reb Shmaryahu Yosef the Chazon Ish Zt”l, who passed away on 15th of Cheshvan 1953 and left no viable seed behind.

Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya testified about himself: “The oral Torah remains as it is… but in each generation Hashem sits with the Torah sages and continues to write it together.”
This is the examination of the “Chazon Ish”, who prepared himself by his extreme perseverance in the Torah and his devotion to it at every moment.
Born in Kosova in the land of Lithuania in the year 1878 to his father Rabbi Shmaryahu Yosef Karelitz, the rabbi of Kosova, Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya asked as a child only to sit and study Torah for its own sake. After the private teacher his father took for him saw how the little boy grew in Torah possessions at an enormous speed, he returned him to his father. His father scheduled a lesson with him every day, and during the rest of the day he sat in the beit midrash alone and studied the Torah.
On the day of his bar mitzvah, Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya vowed that he would study Torah for the sake of it all his days. Despite the trials of life, for the next sixty-two years he fulfilled his vow.
From that time until he entered into the marriage covenant and moved to the city of Koydan, he continued to learn Torah, studying a daily lesson with his father and with a Chavruta in the Beit Midrash, of course at a higher level. At the age of seventeen he studied together with his older brother Rabbi Meir Karelitz and Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Quint for six consecutive hours. When they were having difficulty with the Tosfot, they would open a book of Tehilim and pray that God would open their eyes to true Torah.
In this period, he was struck with weakness, as happened to the ‘Chafetz Chaim’ in his youth, and on the doctor’s advice he studied moderately for a year until he returned to himself. In those days, Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya began to write his innovations and send them to the Torah magazines: “HaPeles” and “HaMasaf”, which appeared in Vilna at the initiative of Rabbi Yitzhak Blazer. He signed his name with the nickname “Ish MeKosova”, the meaning of the word Ish is Avraham Yeshayah. Through these writings his name will become known as a Gaon, and Rabbi Chaim Ozer from Vilna said on him: “Already now Providence is preparing a light for the next generation.”
In 1911, when he was thirty years old, he published his first book, “Chazon Ish”, on the laws of Orach Chaim, Nida and Holy Matters, which earned him a worldwide reputation. His special method is clear in it, which was like the way of the Gra, that walks in the depth of the simple, clear and true halacha. Later in his life, Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya bequeathed to the generations the writings of “Chazon Ish”, which contain 23 volumes. In addition to this, he left behind a collection of “קובץ אגרות”, and the book “אמונה וביטחון”.
During the First World War, the “Chazon Ish” and his wife emigrated to several places. In the city of Stoivetz, he wrote (at the end of his his innovations on Gemara Erubin): “This innovation was written in the basement in Stoivetz, when death bullets were flying over my head.” There he received the title of “rabbi” for a year, so that he would be released from the obligation to enlist in the Russian army. After that he moved to Minsk, a city visited by Torah greats such as Rabbi Chaim of Brisk and his son Rabbi Velvel Soloveitchik, and Rabbi Yerucham of Mir.
After the war, when the Bolshevik Iron Curtain came down on Russia, Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya made many efforts to escape, and in the year 1920 he arrived in Vilna, where he lived for thirteen years until he immigrated to Eretz Yisrael. There he published three more volumes of “Chazon Ish” (on Eruvin, Gitin and Kiddoshin.) Every time he printed a new book, it made him supremely happy, he expressed himself like this: “When my book is published, I am very happy, like a man who leads his son to the Chupa”. Since he had no children, his intention was from the bottom of his heart.

In Vilna he had close ties with Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, rabbi of Vilna, who highly valued the “Chazon Ish” and consulted him on various matters. Rabbi Moshe Blau, also became friendly with him.
In the year 1933, Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya came to Eretz Israel. At first he lived in Tel Aviv, after three weeks he moved to a two-room apartment in Bnei Brak, and there he settled in Bnei Brak until his last day. The change of place affected him and a change in his lifestyle – now he stopped hiding, and began to bear the burden the public

His residence became a Tel Talpiot for every Jew – from the wise men of the generation to a poor widow. His house was open to anyone at any hour. When he saw a breach in the wall of religion, Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya set out like a lion to plug it, like using electricity on Shabbat, or the “היתר המכירה” on Shemita.
His influence grew until within a short time the “Chazon Ish” was considered the Gadol Hador. Not only as a pillar of halacha in practice that they turned to, but also as a pillar of grace and guidance for Torah children. They flocked to him from all circles. It is known that expert doctors marveled at his knowledge even though he never studied in medical books, and his decisions saved people from death.
He was friendly with the Rebbe of vizhnitz, Rabbi Chaim Meir Hagar. Once the Stipler, Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, entered to him late at night to ask something, and was amazed to see the “Chazon Ish” immersed in his studies and a sort of crown of light surrounding him.
Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya also spoke in an enlightening manner about the matters of time. When the state was established in 1948, he said: “This is not the beginning of the Geola, but the end of the Galut.”
On the night of Shabbat Kodesh, 15th of Ceshvan, his light went out, and he was seventy-five years old. At two o’clock after midnight, the “Chazon Ish” woke up the young man who was sleeping in his room and told him that he was not feeling well. The young man looked for the medicine in the dark, but did not find it, he immediately woke up the Stipler who was sleeping in the next room,when he noticed that his condition was so serious, he turned on the light without any hesitation to look for the medicine, and ordered the guy to run to get the private doctor of the “Chazon Ish”. However, his soul departed to Genzi Marum before the doctor arrived, while the Stipler was left alone with him.
He was buried on Sunday in the Beit HaChaim of Bnei Brak, as thousands followed his bed. His right will protect us Amen.

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