Rabbi becomes father at 88; 'it's a happiness like no other, never lose hope'

Rabbi Tzvi Kushelevsky, head of major Jerusalem yeshiva, and wife, 57, welcome firstborn; nephew heaps praise on medical assistance that enabled miraculous birth: 'Doctors are the messengers of the Creator'
At 88 years old, Rabbi Tzvi Kushelevsky, head of the Heichal HaTorah Yeshiva in Jerusalem, experienced the joy of holding his firstborn son for the first time this week. Rabbi Kushelevsky, who lost his first wife at 82 and had no children, remarried a 51-year-old woman about six years ago. This week, she gave birth to their firstborn at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
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In an interview with Ynet, Hanina Kushelevsky, the rabbi's nephew, expressed their immense joy. "This is an unparalleled joy for our family. It's not just our family celebrating, but also the thousands of the rabbi's students in Israel and around the world. From a family perspective, it's a happiness like no other. We embraced the head of the yeshiva out of sheer joy - a feeling we had never experienced before."
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 הרב צבי קושלבסקי ובנו
 הרב צבי קושלבסקי ובנו
Rabbi Tzvi Kushelevsky and his firstborn son
(Photo: Courtesy of the family)
The rabbi's nephew emphasized that despite his advanced age, the revered scholar never lost hope. "He is one of Israel's greats. There was always hope; he never gave up," he said. "This is a message he wants to pass on to the public. Never, ever lose hope. It was a dream, and thank God it has come true. It requires prayers and perseverance."
Hanina further said that Rabbi Kushelevsky often remarked his students were like his children. "We are like his children, the students as his own. Our Sages say that students are like sons, so today we were fortunate for him to have a son. The head of the yeshiva taught us to never give up - in any situation we find ourselves in. Never to despair - always, always to face forward."
Hanina also heaped praise on the medical assistance that enabled the birth of the rabbi's son. "The Torah says 'And you shall surely heal' - we say, if there is a cure - use it. It's our obligation according to the Torah to seek healing and to make every effort, so when it exists medically - it's our duty to do so. Medicine, particularly in the field of fertility, has brought blessings to the world. People who were unable to have children can now embrace their own. This is something very special. Doctors are the messengers of the Creator."
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בנו של הרב צבי קושלבסקי
בנו של הרב צבי קושלבסקי
Rabbi Tzvi Kushelevsky's firstborn son
(Photo: Hadassah Medical Center)
The news was received with much excitement by the rabbi's students at the yeshiva. They welcomed him with song and dance, escorting him into the yeshiva hall, where the celebration continued over the birth of his son.
The joy spread to social media as well. One user commented, "Since this morning, all the email inboxes are flooded with this joyous news, even though most don't know the rabbi personally. This is a phenomenon that only exists in the Haredi community, and that's what makes it so unique."
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