Rabbi Gershon Edelstein dies at 100

The spiritual leader of the non-Hasidic Ashkenazi haredi community in Israel was the head of the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak
Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, the spiritual leader of the non-Hasidic Ashkenazi haredi community in Israel, has died at the age of 100.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter >>
Read more:
The rabbi had been hospitalized at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak since last week, after he began experiencing shortness of breath. Edelstein was the head of the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak and the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Degel HaTorah political party, which is part of the United Torah Judaism coalition, succeeding Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky after his death earlier this year.
1 View gallery
הרב גרשון אדלשטיין
הרב גרשון אדלשטיין
Rabbi Gershon Edelstein has died at the age of 100
(Photo: AFP)
Edelstein was born in the town of Shumyatch, near Smolensk, in the former Soviet Union, and came from a line of rabbis. His mother died of typhus when he was very young. Edelstein, together with his brother and his father, arrived in Palestine in 1934, eventually settling in Ramat Hasharon, where his father served as the city's rabbi. In 1944, he became one of the first students at the new Ponevezh yeshiva. He later began teaching in the yeshiva and, following struggles over succession at the yeshiva in the mid-1990s, became the de facto head of the yeshiva in 2000. Due to the dispute, the yeshiva split in two, though it occupies the same complex.
Edelstein was one of three top ultra-Orthodox rabbis who recommended that their communities get vaccinated against the coronavirus, even though he initially opposed government efforts to close yeshivas and refused to endorse social distancing measures and the shutting of synagogues and other religious venues at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Rabbi Edelstein was imbued with love of Israel for everyone. His sensitive attention to the challenges of the generation led him to guide, direct, strengthen and encourage," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. "I was fortunate to meet with Rabbi Edelstein several months ago, and the light that shone in his eyes was full of understanding; Jewish wisdom left an indelible mark in him. The importance of instilling the heritage of Israel in the children of Israel sprang from the depths of his soul."
His funeral is scheduled for 3:30 in Bnei Brak and tens of thousands are expected to attend.
First published: 10:35, 05.30.23
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.