Chaim Kanievsky

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Chaim Kanievsky
הגר"ח קנייבסקי בשמחת פורים.jpg
Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Kanievsky
שמריהו יוסף חיים קַניֶבסקִי

(1928-01-08) January 8, 1928 (age 91)
SpouseBatsheva Esther Kanievsky
ChildrenChana Steinman,
Leah Koledetski,
Rabbi Avraham Yeshayah Kanievsky,
Rutie Tzivion,
Rabbi Shlomo Kanievsky,
Brachah Braverman,
Deena Epstein,
Rabbi Yitzchak Shaul (Shuki) Kanievsky[1]:24
ParentsRabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky
Miriam Karelitz
rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, 2007

Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Kanievsky (b. 1928) is an Israeli rabbi and posek living in Bnei Brak, Israel.[2] Kanievsky is considered a leading authority in Haredi Jewish society.[3][4][5]


A visitor seeking the rabbi's advice

Kanievsky was born January 8, 1928, in Pinsk, Second Polish Republic, to Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon, and Rebbitzen Miriam Karelitz, sister of Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, the Chazon Ish. He married Batsheva Elyashiv, daughter of Rabbi Yosef Sholom Eliashiv.[2]

During the Israeli War of Independence, Kanievsky, then a student at the Lomza Yeshiva, was conscripted for temporary army service in the general mobilization. He was assigned to stand guard on a large hill near Jaffa.[1]:376

Rabbi Kanievsky's wife died in 2011. He lives in Bnei Brak, and receives thousands of visitors every year from Jews seeking religious advice.[6] Kanievsky is the official rabbi and spiritual guide for the non-profit organization Belev Echad, which was founded in Israel on 2011 and is dedicated to assist sick and disabled children and adults.[7]

Since the passing of Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman in December 2017, Rabbi Kanievsky, along with Ponevezh Yeshiva head Rav Gershon Edelstein, is widely considered to be one of the leaders of the Israeli Haredi community.[8][9][10]

Since his arrival to Israel as a young boy, Rabbi Kanievsky has never left the Holy Land to visit other countries.[citation needed]

Statements and rulings[edit]

In 2012, Rav Kanievsky ruled that it is forbidden to possess or use a smartphone without individual permission from a halakhic authority, and that owners are not allowed to sell their phones, but should instead burn them.[11][12][13][14][15] In 2015, he instructed United Hatzalah paramedics that in the event of a terrorist attack, they should not treat the terrorists before the victims, even if the terrorist is more seriously injured, and could even leave the terrorist to die.[16][17]

In 2016, Rav Chaim declared that medicinal cannabis was kosher for Passover.[18]

He ruled in 2017 that reporting instances of sexual child abuse to the police is consistent with Jewish law.[19][20]

Rav Kanievsky has made several statements that indicate he feels the coming of the Messiah is imminent.[21][22][23]

Published works[edit]

Rav Chaim Kanievsky is the author of many works of Jewish law, such as Derech Emunoh ("The Path of Faith"), on agricultural laws, Derech Chochmoh ("The Path of Wisdom"), on the laws of the Jewish temple rites, and Shoneh Halachos (a systematic presentation of the popular work Mishnah Berurah). His halakhic rulings on prayer are recorded in Ishei Yisroel, and rulings pertaining to Shiluach haken are recorded in Shaleiach T'Shalach.


  1. ^ a b Weinberger, Naftali; Weinberger, Naomi; Indig, Nina (2012). Scherman, Nosson; Zlotowitz, Meir (eds.). Rebbetzin Kanievsky: A Legendary Mother to All (2nd ed.). Mesorah Publications. ISBN 9781422612064. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "About Rabbi Chaim". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Biography of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (born 1928) and his relationship to the Rabbi Meir Baal Haneis charity in Israel". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  7. ^ "Letter by R. Hayyim Kanievsky".
  8. ^ "Jerusalem - Analysis: After Rav Shteinman Passing Who Will Lead The Haredim". Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  9. ^ "R. Hayim Kanievsky's 'Instant Responsa'". Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  10. ^ "94-year-old Rabbi's Eulogy Signals He Is Heir Apparent to Shteinman, Late Leader of Israel's ultra-Orthodox". Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  11. ^ Ari, Judah (2012-09-23). "Burn your iPhones, top rabbi orders". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  12. ^ "Apple's Jerusalem Problem". The Huffington Post. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  13. ^ Nathan JeffaySeptember 18, 2013 (2013-09-18). "Kosher Smart Phone Arrives as Ultra-Orthodox Tech Taboo Shifts - News –". Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  14. ^ Ravidyesterday, Barak (2014-04-07). "Haredi users of 'non-kosher' phones revealed through security loophole - News - Haaretz - Israel News". Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  15. ^ "Rabbi: Never Marry a Man With an iPhone - Israel Today | Israel News". Israel Today. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  16. ^ Contact Editor Hezki Baruch, 31/12/15 15:54. "Rabbi Kanievsky instructs paramedics: Don't save terrorists". Israel National News. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  17. ^ "Israeli medics are leaving wounded Palestinians to bleed to death – Mondoweiss". 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  18. ^ Elsa Vulliamy (2016-04-22). "Marijuana is kosher for Passover, leading rabbi rules". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  19. ^ "Leading haredi rabbi says sexual abuse should be reported to police". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  20. ^ ralph (2015-02-26). "Video: Rav Chaim Kanievsky on Molester: "Logically, He Should Be Reported to Police"". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  21. ^ "Ynetnews Jewish Scene - 'Arab unrest signals Messiah's coming'". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  22. ^ "Leading Israeli Rabbi Kanievsky Gives New Clue to Final Messianic Coming - Israel News". 2015-08-19. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  23. ^ Title * (2016-12-16). "Rav Chaim Kanievsky Speaks About Moshiach". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  24. ^ קניבסקי, שמריהו יוסף חיים, 1928. "דרך חכמה - קניבסקי, שמריהו יוסף חיים, 1928- (page 1 of 123)". Retrieved 2017-02-13.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]