Chaim Soloveitchik

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This article is about the founder of the Brisk rabbinical dynasty. For his great-grandson, the Jewish historian, see Haym Soloveitchik.
Reb Chaim Brisker
Ohel of Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin and Chaim Soloveitchik, Jewish cemetery in Warsaw

Chaim (Halevi) Soloveitchik (Hebrew: חיים סולובייצ'יק), also known as Reb Chaim Brisker (1853 – July 30, 1918), was a rabbi and Talmudic scholar credited as the founder of the popular Brisker approach to Talmudic study within Judaism. He was born in Volozhin in 1853, where his father, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik served as a lecturer in the famous Volozhiner Yeshiva. After a few years, his father was appointed as a Rav in Slutzk, where young Chaim was first educated. While still a youngster, his genius and lightning-quick grasp were widely recognized. Eventually, following many years as a senior lecturer in the renowned Volozhiner Yeshiva, he accepted a position as Rav of Brest, Belarus (Brisk in Yiddish), then in Imperial Russia, now in Belarus.[1] A member of the Soloveitchik-family rabbinical dynasty, he is commonly known as Reb Chaim Brisker ("Rabbi Chaim [from] Brisk").

He is considered the founder of the "Brisker method" (in Yiddish: Brisker derech; Hebrew: derekh brisk‎), a method of highly exacting and analytical Talmudical study that focuses on precise definition/s and categorization/s of Jewish law as commanded in the Torah with particular emphasis on the legal writings of Maimonides.

His primary work was Chiddushei Rabbeinu Chaim, a volume of insights on Maimonides' Mishnah Torah which often would suggest novel understandings of the Talmud as well. Based on his teachings and lectures, his students wrote down his insights on the Talmud known as Chiddushi HaGRaCh Al Shas. This book is known as "Reb Chaim's stencils" and contains analytical insights into Talmudical topics.

He married the daughter of Rabbi Refael Shapiro and had two famous sons, Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik (also known as Rabbi Velvel Soloveitchik) who subsequently moved to Israel and Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik who moved to the United States and subsequently served as a Rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Yitzchak Elchonon (YU/RIETS) in New York and who was in turn succeeded by his own son Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903–1993). Rabbi Velvel 's sons, Rabbbis Yosef Dov, Meshulem Dovid, and Meir all head renowned Yeshivas in Jerusalem.

He had six main students; his sons Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik and Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik, Rabbi Baruch Ber Lebowitz, Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, and Rabbi Shimon Shkop.

A witty anecdote serves to illustrate how the three of them differed in their approaches and relation to their teacher: it is said that had Reb Chaim said, "This table is a cow," Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik would say that the table had the same Talmudic laws as a cow, Rabbi Shimon Shkop would say the molecules in a table could be rearranged into a cow, but Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz would attempt to milk the table.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Esti Rosenberg, director of Migdal Oz (seminary)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Yitzchok Lichtenstein, Maggid Shiur at Yeshiva Bais Yosef-Novardok Brooklyn branch; mara d’asrah of Kehillas Bais Avrohom, Monsey, NY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Yosef Dov (Reb Berel) Soloveitchik
 
 
Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Soloveitchik
 
 
 
Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein, Co-Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Meshulam Dovid (Reb Dovid) Soloveitchik
 
 
Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik
 
 
 
Rabbi Mayer Lichtenstein, Rabbi ohel menachem Bet Shemesh
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Yosef Dov (HaLevi) Soloveitchik
author of Beis HaLevi
 
Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik
"Reb Chaim Brisker"
 
 
Rabbi Yitzchak Zev (Reb Velvel) Soloveitchik
"The GRIZ"
The Brisker Rov
 
 
Lifsha Soloveitchik Feinstein
 
 
 
Dr. Tovah Soloveitchik Lichtenstein
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Refael Shapiro, Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin yeshiva
 
Lifsha Shapiro
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Refoel Soloveitchik
 
 
 
Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein
 
 
 
Tzipporah Rosenblatt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik
 
 
 
Dr. Atarah Soloveitchik Twersky
 
 
 
Rabbi Mosheh Twersky, Maggid Shiur at Yeshiva Toras Moshe
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. (Yosef Dov) Soloveitchik
"The Rav"
 
 
 
Rabbi Dr. Isadore Twersky, Talner Rebbe of Boston
 
 
 
Rabbi Mayer Twersky, Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik
 
 
Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Dr. Haym Soloveitchik
 
 
 
Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik, Rosh Yeshivas Brisk (Chicago); Rav of Kehilas Beth Sholom Ahavas Achim
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peshka Feinstein Soloveichik
 
 
Dr. Samuel Soloveichik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Eliyahu Soloveichik, Maggid Shiur at Lander College's Beis Medrash L'Talmud
 
Rabbi Meir Yaakov Soloveichik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shulamit Soloveitchik Meiselman
 
 
Rabbi Moshe Meiselman, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Moshe
 
 
 
Rabbi Yosef Soloveichik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anne Soloveitchik Gerber
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Chayim Soloveichik, Maggid Shiur at Yeshivat Reishit; Morah D’Asrah of Kehillat Ohr Sholom, Ramat Beit Shemesh
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik
 
 
 
Rabbi Shmuel Chaim Soloveitchik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Yitzchok Soloveitchik
 
 
 
Rabbi Yisroel Soloveitchik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Yisroel Gershon Soloveitchik
 
 
Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik
 
 
 
Rabbi Boruch Soloveitchik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Soloveitchik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Daughter Soloveitchik, Wife of Rabbi Shlomo Zev Karlibach
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ishim v'Shittos by S. Y. Zevin, p. 43

External links[edit]