Elazar Shach

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Elazar Shach
Elazar Shach.jpg
Elazar Shach at the Ponevezh Yeshiva
TitleThe Shach
Elazar Menachem Man Shach

January 1, 1899
DiedNovember 2, 2001(2001-11-02) (aged 102)
SpouseGuttel Gilmovsky
ChildrenMiriam Raisel, Devorah, Ephraim
ParentsEzriel and Batsheva Shach
Alma materSlabodka Yeshiva
YeshivaPonevezh Yeshiva
BuriedBnei Brak, Israel
SemichaIsser Zalman Meltzer

Elazar Menachem Man Shach (Hebrew: אלעזר מנחם מן שך, Elazar Shach; January 1, 1899 O.S. – November 2, 2001) was a prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbi, heading the non-Hasidic Litvak ultra-Orthodox from the early 1970s until his death. He served as chair of the Council of Sages, and as one of three co-deans of the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, along with Shmuel Rozovsky and Dovid Povarsky. Due to his differences with the Hasidic leadership of the Agudat Yisrael political party, he allied with Ovadia Yosef, with whom he founded the Shas party in 1984. Later, in 1988, Shach sharply criticized Ovadia Yosef, saying that, "Sepharadim are not yet ready for leadership positions",[1] and subsequently founded the Degel HaTorah political party representing the Litvaks in the Israeli Knesset.

Early life[edit]

Elazar Menachem Man Shach was born in Vabalninkas (Vaboilnik in Yiddish), a rural village in northern Lithuania, to Ezriel and Batsheva Shach (nee Levitan). The Shach family had been merchants for generations, while the Levitans were religious scholars who served various Lithuanian communities.[2] As a child, Shach was considered an illui (child prodigy)[3] and in 1909, aged 11, went to Panevėžys to study at the Ponevezh Yeshiva which was then headed by Isaac Jacob Rabinowitz.[4] In 1913 he enrolled at Yeshivas Knesses Yisrael in Slabodka.

When World War I began in 1914, many of the Slabodka yeshiva students were dispersed across Europe. Shach initially returned to his family, but then began traveling across Lithuania from town to town, sleeping and eating wherever he could, while continuing to study Torah. During this period he described suffering considerable deprivation, living with inadequate sanitation and being compelled to wear tattered clothing and worn out shoes.[5] He reportedly sequestered himself in an attic for two years not knowing where his parents were.[6] In 1915, following the advice of Yechezkel Bernstein (author of Divrei Yechezkel), Shach traveled to Slutsk to study at the yeshiva there.

Escaping to the British Mandate of Palestine[edit]

Shortly before the start of World War II and the Holocaust, several yeshivas began considering evacuating their rabbis, students, and families. Aharon Kotler escaped to the United States, traveling across Siberia and arriving in the United States during the war. In 1939, Shach first went to Vilna, where he stayed with Chaim Ozer Grodzinski. Later that year, both Shach's mother and his eldest daughter fell ill, and died. In early 1940, the Shach family decided to leave Lithuania. Shach's maternal uncle, Aron Levitan, had helped Kotler get emigration visas to the United States, but Shach, after consulting with Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik and Grodzinski,[7] decided instead to go to Mandatory Palestine, where Meltzer was serving as rosh yeshiva at Etz Chaim Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Shach would later serve as the rosh yeshiva there as well. His uncle helped him and his family get immigration certificates, and took them in after they arrived at his doorstep in a destitute condition.

Ponevezh yeshiva[edit]

Several years after the re-establishment of the Ponevezh yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Shach was invited by Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman to become one of its deans, and, after discussing the proposal with Soloveitchik, he accepted the offer.[8] Shach served in that capacity from 1954 until his death. At this yeshiva, Shach delivered a lecture on the Talmud every Tuesday, and also occasionally gave other classes to the student body of the yeshiva.

Shach received semikhah (rabbinical ordination) from Isser Zalman Meltzer,[9] and served as chairman of Chinuch Atzmai and Va'ad HaYeshivos.[10] In the mid-1960s, Samuel Belkin offered Shach the position of senior rosh yeshivah at Yeshiva University in New York, which he politely declined.[11] Shach's wife died in 1969 from complications connected to diabetes. From 1970 until his death, Shach was generally recognized by Lithuanian Haredim and some other Haredi circles as the Gadol Ha-Dor (great one of the generation).[12] During his lifetime, Shach was a revered spiritual mentor to more than 100,000 Orthodox Jews,[13] and was credited by many with promoting the concept of the "society of learners" in the post-war Haredi world. Under his aegis, the phenomenon of Haredi men studying the Talmud in yeshivas and kollels full-time gained popularity. Although this type of set-up was unprecedented in Jewish history,[14] it became the norm in some Haredi communities in Israel and the United States, with some financial backing and donations from Haredi communities, as well as subsidies to young families with many children from the Israeli government. Shach is also quoted as saying that although the yeshivas are the heart of the Jewish people, it is the ba'alei teshuvah (returnees to Judaism) who will be the ones to bring Mashiach.[15]

Political life[edit]

During the years of his leadership, more than just secularism and Zionism, Shach waged bitter wars against anybody he suspected of deviation from the classical Haredi path.[16] At the behest of Aharon Kotler, Shach joined the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah.[17] When Zalman Sorotzkin died in 1966, Shach became president of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, before later resigning from the Moetzes after the other leading rabbis refused to follow him.[18] Shach wrote strongly in support of every observant citizen voting. He felt that a vote not cast for the right party or candidate was effectively a vote for the wrong party and candidate. This theme is consistent in his writings from the time that the State of Israel was established.[18]

Elazar Shach (late 1980s), seated right, looking down, holding book. Yosef Shalom Eliashiv and Chaim Kanievsky are seated to his left.

Shas ran for the 11th Knesset in 1984, and Shach called upon his "Lithuanian" followers to vote for it in the polls, a move that many saw as key political and religious move in Shach's split with the Hasidic-controlled Agudat Yisrael. While initially, Shas was largely under the aegis of Shach, Ovadia Yosef gradually exerted control over the party, culminating in Shas' decision to support the Labor party in the 13th Knesset in 1992.[citation needed]

On the eve of the November 1988 election, Shach officially broke away from Agudat Israel in protest at Hamodia publishing, as paid advertisements, a series of articles based on the teachings of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (the Lubavitcher Rebbe). Shach criticized Schneerson for his presumed messianic aspirations. Shach wanted the Aguda party to oppose Lubavitch; however, all but one (Belz) of the Hasidic groups within the party refused to back him. Shach and his followers then formed the Degel HaTorah ("Flag of the Torah") party to represent the non-Hasidic Ashkenazi Haredim.[citation needed] Following a personal visit by Shach in Jerusalem to the leading rabbis and halachic decisors of the day, Yosef Shalom Eliashiv and Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, in order to seek their support for the new party, they agreed to lend support to it.[19] Schneerson's followers mobilized to support the Agudat Yisrael party. In the end, Agudat Yisrael secured nearly three times the number of votes it had in 1984, and increased its Knesset representation from two seats to five, while Degel HaTorah only picked up two seats.[20] After the bitter contest in the 1988 elections, Degel HaTorah conceded, and agreed to work together with Agudat Yisrael. They combined forces in the 1992 elections under the name of United Torah Judaism, an agreement which has continued to the present.

In a speech delivered prior to the 1992 elections, Shach said that Sephardim were still not fit for leadership, and aroused great anger among Sephardi voters.[1] Following the elections, Shach instructed Shas not to join the government, while Ovadia Yosef instructed them to join; this precipitated an open rift between the parties. Shach then claimed that Shas had "removed itself from the Jewish community when it joined the wicked...".[21]

Around 1995, Shach's political activity diminished, following deterioration in his health, before later ceasing altogether. After that, the two main leaders of the Degel HaTorah party were Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, followed by Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman.

Shach was deeply opposed to Zionism, both secular and religious. He was fiercely dismissive of secular Israelis and their culture. For example, during a 1990 speech, he lambasted secular kibbutzniks as "breeders of rabbits and pigs" who did not "know what Yom Kippur is". In the same speech, he said that the Labor Party had cut themselves off from their Jewish past and wished to "seek a new Torah". Labor Party politician Yossi Beilin said Shach's speech had set back relations between religious and secular Israelis by decades.[22]

In 1985, four years after the Labor Party supported a liberalized abortion law, Shach refused to meet with Shimon Peres, since he would not even speak with a "murderer of fetuses".[23]

In Haaretz, Shahar Ilan described him as "an ideologue" and "a zealot who repeatedly led his followers into ideological battles".[24]

Shach never seemed concerned over the discord his harsh statements might cause, saying that, "There is no need to worry about machlokes [dispute], because if it is done for the sake of Heaven, in the end, it will endure... One is obligated to be a baal-machlokes [disputant]. It is no feat to be in agreement with everybody!"[25]

Shach was also critical of Western democracy, once referring to it as a "cancer", adding that, "Only the sacred Torah is the true democracy."[26]

The Holocaust[edit]

Shach taught that the Holocaust was a divine punishment for the sins of the Jewish people, and for the abandoning of religious observance for the enlightenment.[27] He caused outrage in the secular Israeli media when he stated that "the Holy One, blessed be He, kept score for hundreds of years until it added up to six million Jews".[28][29] In his defence, Haredi MKs said his comments had been misconstrued, and were not meant to justify Nazi atrocities.[30] Shach believed that the secularism of some Israelis would cause another Holocaust,[31] and he once said that if the Education Ministry were to be placed in the hands of Meretz MK Shulamit Aloni, it would result in "over a million Israeli children being forced into apostasy, and that would be worse than what had happened to Jewish children during the Holocaust".[32] Wishing to prevent deviation from the established order of prayers, he opposed the composition of new prayers to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.[33]

Position on serving in the Israeli military[edit]

In May 1998, following talk of a political compromise which would allow Haredim to perform national service by guarding holy places, Shach told his followers in a public statement that it is forbidden to serve in the army, and that "it is necessary to die for this".[34] This is a case, Shach said, in which, halachically, one must "be killed, rather than transgress".[35] This position was expressed in large ads placed in all three of Israel's daily newspapers on May 22, 1998.[36] Shach is quoted as saying that, "Any yeshiva student who cheats the authorities and uses the exemption from service for anything other than real engagement in Torah study is a rodef (someone who threatens the lives of others)",[37] and that "those who are not learning jeopardize the position of those who are learning as they should".[38]

Position on territorial compromise[edit]

Shach supported the withdrawal from land under Israeli control, basing it upon the halakhic principle of pikuach nefesh ("[the] saving [of a] life"), in which the preservation of lives takes precedence over nearly all other obligations in the Torah, including those pertaining to the sanctity of land,[39] though Shach's position was later questioned by Shmuel Tuvia Stern, who wondered why Shach hadn't provided halakhic references supporting his opinion.[40] Shach also criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as "a blatant attempt to provoke the international community",[41] and called on Haredi Jews to avoid moving to such communities. Shach often said that for true peace, it was "permitted and necessary to compromise on even half of the Land of Israel", and wrote that, "It is forbidden for the Israeli government to be stubborn about these things, as this will add fuel to the fire of anti-Semitism".[42] When Yitzchak Hutner was asked to support this position, he refused, saying that, "agreement to other-than-biblical borders was tantamount to denial of the entire Torah".[43]

Chabad and the Lubavitcher Rebbe[edit]

Shach was undoubtedly the greatest antagonist of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn and the only major Lithuanian rabbi to come out in force against the Chabad movement and its leader.[44] From the 1970s onwards, Shach was publicly critical of Schneerson,[45] accusing Chabad of false Messianism by claiming Schneerson had created a cult of crypto-messianism around himself.[46][47] He objected to Schneerson's calling upon the Messiah to appear, and when some of Schneerson's followers proclaimed him the Messiah, Shach called for a boycott of Chabad and its institutions.[48] In 1988, Shach denounced Schneerson as a meshiach sheker (false messiah),[49] and compared Chabad Hasidim to the followers of the 17th century Sabbatai Zevi,[50] branding as idolatrous Schneerson's statement that a rebbe is "the essence and being of God clothed in a body". Followers of Shach refused to eat meat slaughtered by Chabad Hasidim, refusing to recognize them as adherents of authentic Judaism.[51] Shach also opposed Chabad's Tefillin Campaign,[52] and once described Schneerson as "the madman who sits in New York and drives the whole world crazy".[53] He nevertheless prayed for his recovery, explaining that "I pray for the rebbe's recovery, and simultaneously also pray that he abandon his invalid way".[54]

Schneerson, citing case law in the Shulchan Aruch, strongly opposed both peace talks with the Palestinians and relinquishing territory to them under any circumstances, while Shach supported the "land for peace" approach.

Attacks on other Orthodox rabbis and groups[edit]

In addition to his criticism of Schneerson, Shach attacked the following rabbis:

Joseph B. Soloveitchik

In a lengthy attack on Joseph B. Soloveitchik (d. 1993) of Yeshiva University, Shach accused him of writing "things that are forbidden to hear",[55] as well as of "... endangering the survival of Torah-true Judaism by indoctrinating the masses with actual words of heresy".[56]

The Gerer Rebbe

Shach resigned from the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah ("Council of Torah Greats") following tensions between him and the Gerer Rebbe, Simcha Bunim Alter. In the Eleventh Knesset elections of 1984, Shach had already told his supporters to vote for Shas, instead of Agudat Yisrael. Some perceived the schism as the re-emergence of the dissent between Hasidim and Mitnagdim, as Shach represented the Lithuanian Torah world, while the Gerer Rebbe was among the most important Hasidic Rebbes and represented the most significant Hasidic court in Agudat Yisrael. However, it would not be accurate to base the entire conflict on a renewal of the historic dispute between Hasidim and Mitnagdim which began in the latter half of the eighteenth century.[57]

Adin Steinsaltz

Adin Steinsaltz was likewise accused of heresy by Shach, who, in a letter written September 10, 1988, wrote that "... and similarly, all his other works contain heresy. It is forbidden to debate with Steinsaltz, because, as a heretic, all the debates will only cause him to degenerate more. He is not a genuine person (ein tocho ke-baro), and everyone is obliged to distance themselves from him. This is the duty of the hour (mitzvah be-sha'atah). It will generate merit for the forthcoming Day of Judgement."[58]

In summer 1989, a group of rabbis, including Shach, placed a ban on three of Steinsaltz's books.[59]

The Modern Orthodox and Yeshiva University

Shach wrote that Yeshiva University-type institutions are an entirely negative phenomenon, posing a threat to the very endurance of authentic Judaism. Shach said that these modern conceptions were "an absolute disaster, causing the destruction of our Holy Torah. Even the so-called 'Touro College' in the USA is a terrible disaster, a ' churban ha-das ' (destruction of the Jewish religion)..." [60]

Shach further writes that the success of those people who were able to achieve greatness in Torah, despite their involvement in secular studies, are "ma'aseh satan" (the work of the satanic forces), for the existence of such role models will entice others to follow suit, only to be doomed.[61]

In a conversation that he had with an American rabbi in the 1980s, Shach stated, "The Americans think that I am too controversial and divisive. But in a time when no one else is willing to speak up on behalf of our true tradition, I feel myself impelled to do so."[48]

Hasidic Judaism[edit]

Shach wrote that he was not opposed to Hasidic Judaism, saying he recognized Hasidism as "yera'im" and "shlaymim" (God-fearing and wholesome), and full of Torah and mitzvos and fear of Heaven.[62][63] Shach denied that he was a hater of Hasidim: "We are fighting against secularism in the yeshivas. Today, with the help of Heaven, people are learning Torah in both Hasidic and Lithuanian yeshivos. In my view, there is no difference between them; all of them are important and dear to me. In fact, go ahead, and ask your Hasidic friends with us at Ponevezh if I distinguish between Hasidic and Lithuanian students."[64]


Grave of Rabbi Elazar Shach in Bnei Brak

Shach died on November 2, 2001, two months short of his 103rd birthday (although other reports put his age at 108). His funeral in Bnei Brak was attended by up to 400,000 people.[65][66] PM Ariel Sharon said: "There is no doubt that we have lost an important person who made his mark over many years."[67] Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said Shach's most important contribution were his efforts in restoring Jewish scholarship after the Holocaust.[68] Haaretz described him as "an ideologue", and "a zealot who repeatedly led his followers into ideological battles".[24] David Landau wrote that his "uniqueness lay in the authority he wielded", and that "perhaps not since the Gaon Elijah of Vilna, who lived in the latter part of the 18th century, has there been a rabbinical figure of such unchallenged power over the Orthodox world".[69] Avi Shafran of Agudath Israel of America said: "His pronouncements and his talks when he was active would regularly capture the rapt attention of the entire Orthodox world."[69] A dispute subsequently arose as to whether Yosef Shalom Eliashiv or Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman should succeed him.[70] The towns of Bnei Brak and Beitar Illit have streets named after him.

Shach was survived by his daughter Devorah, who had nine children with Meir Tzvi Bergman, and his son Ephraim, who rejected the Haredi lifestyle[71] and joined the Religious Zionist movement. Ephraim Shach served in the Israel Defense Forces, received a doctorate in history and philosophy from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University, and worked as a supervisor for the Israel Ministry of Education. He married Tamara Yarlicht-Kowalsky, and they had two children. He died on October 17, 2011, at the age of 81.


  • Avi Ezri – Insights and expositions on various concepts in the Yad HaChazaka of the Rambam
  • Michtavim u'Maamarim – a collection of Shach's letters published in various editions of 4–6 volumes.

Further reading[edit]

  • Harav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989.
  • The Man of Vision: The Ultra-Orthodox Ideology of Rabbi Shach (Ish HaHashkafah: HaIdeologia HaHaredit al pi HaRav Shach), by Avishay Ben Haim, Mosaica Publishers
  • Maran Rosh HaYyeshiva Rav Shach – (designed for youth readers) by Rabbi Yechiel Michel Stern. The first comprehensive biographical sketch to appear in Hebrew after the demise of Rabbi Shach – Published by Israel Book Shop
  • Path to Greatness – The Life of Maran Harav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, Vol I: Vaboilnik to Bnei Brak (1899–1953) by Asher Bergman, translated by Yocheved Lavon. Feldheim Publishers 634 pages.


  1. ^ a b 'Haaretz' daily newspaper, Shachar Ilan, November 2, 2001
  2. ^ Batsheva's brother, Osher Nisan Levitan, later became an important figure in the Union of Orthodox Rabbis in the United States.
  3. ^ Rabbi Eliezer Schach, Torah giant, dies at age 103 Ilan, Shahar. Canadian Jewish News. Nov 8, 2001. Vol. 31, Iss. 46; pg. 41
  4. ^ Also known as Rav Itzele Ponovezer.
  5. ^ Englander, Yakir Yacov (19 Aug 2015). "The "Jewish Knight" of Slobodka honor culture and the image of the body in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish context". Religion. Taylor and Francis. 46 2016 (2): 186–208. doi:10.1080/0048721X.2015.1061064. S2CID 147305135. My shoes were too small for my feet, and my toes protruded from them; I had no towels for washing; my hair, uncut for a whole year and a half, stuck together in long strands, absent any norm of human hygiene. My trousers were torn, and the scrapes on my legs were exposed, so that I was obliged to reverse the trousers, to make the rip less obvious, and to wear them like that
  6. ^ Kamenetzky, Mordechai (February 2002). "A Biographical Appreiciation" (PDF). The Jewish Observer. XXXV (2) (February 2002): 6–15.
  7. ^ Harav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989. page 56
  8. ^ HaRav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989. page 60
  9. ^ Path to Greatness – The Life of Maran Harav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, Vol I: Vaboilnik to Bnei Brak (1899–1953) – pg. 262
  10. ^ In Their Shadow: Wisdom and Guidance of the Gedolim Volume One: Chazon Ish, Brisker Rav, Rav Shach pg. 282
  11. ^ Geller, Victor (2003). Orthodoxy Awakens: The Belkin Era and Yeshiva University. Jerusalem, Israel: Urim Publications. pp. 161–162. ISBN 965-7108-47-0.
  12. ^ Encyclopedia Judaica – Macmillan Reference USA; Second edition (2006)
  13. ^ Brinkley, Joel (March 27, 1990). "Orthodox Leader in Israel Appears to Spurn Peres". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Jweekly November 9, 2001 David Landau JTA
  15. ^ Raising Roses Among the Thorns by Noach Orlowek, pg. 345
  16. ^ "הרב שך: האם באמת גדול הדור?". Ynet.
  17. ^ The Legacy Of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler by Yitzchok Dershowitz, Feldheim Publishers (2006) – pg. 137. https://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=50717&st=&pgnum=180
  18. ^ a b PONOVEZER ROSH HAYESHIVA RAV ELAZAR MENACHEM MAN SHACH, ZT"L (1894–2001) The Jewish Press – Saturday, December 08 2001 – by Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum with Rabbi Yaakov Klass
  19. ^ Davar – 02/10/1988 – pg. 3 – Noach Zvuluny - http://www.ranaz.co.il/articles/article2971_19881002.asp
  20. ^ Reich, Bernard; Kieval, Gershon R. (1993). Israel, Land of Tradition and Conflict. Westview Press.
  21. ^ 'Haaretz', Shachar Ilan, November 2, 2001
  22. ^ Los Angeles Times – November 3, 2001, from the Associated Press.
  23. ^ Yair Sheleg: Chabad's Lost Son Ha'aretz, December 26, 2002.
  24. ^ a b 'Haaretz' November 2, 2001 "Rabbi Shach – a man of wars and battles"
  25. ^ http://www.nrg.co.il/online/11/ART/936/156.html and The Man of Vision: The Ultra-Orthodox Ideology of Rabbi Shach (Ish HaHashkafah: HaIdeologia HaHaredit al pi HaRav Shach) by Avishay Ben Haim, pg. 17. Entire context of statement can be seen in video here Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine and in print in Vezarach Hashemesh:Yesodah Umishnatah shel Agudat ha-Charedim—Degel ha-Torah (Bene Beraḳ:Ha-Makhon le-tiʻud hisṭori, 1990) pages 136–139
  26. ^ How do you like your halakha? (Haaretz) September 28, 2006.
  27. ^ Jerome Mintz (August 19, 1998). "Notes to Page 48-52". Hasidic People. Harvard University Press. p. 377. ISBN 978-0-674-04109-7. Schach has maintained that the Holocaust was the result of God's anger toward the Jews for their failure to abide by the mitzvot, and their falling under the spell of the enlightenment.
  28. ^ Chaim Miller (2014). Turning Judaism Outward: A Biography of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson the Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. Kol Menachem. p. 392. ISBN 978-1-934152-36-2. In December 1990, the Israeli media was outraged after Shach declared the Holocaust as "definitely a punishment. The Holy One, Blessed Be He, kept score for hundreds of years until it added up to six million Jews." Convinced that G-d has enacted retribution on sinful Jews for violating the Sabbath and eating pork...
  29. ^ Yated Neeman 29/12/90. Mussar Iru'ay HaTekufah (מוסר אירועי התקופה) (2011). pg. 36
  30. ^ Ami Ayalon (December 30, 1993). Middle East Contemporary Survey, Volume Xv: 1991. The Moshe Dayan Center. p. 467. ISBN 978-0-8133-1869-1. One such instance, early in the year, was when 93-year-old Rabbi Eliezer Schach, spiritual leader of Israel's ultra-Orthodox "Haredi" community, declared that the Holocaust had occurred only because Jews had failed to adhere to the commandments of the Torah, and predicted that if Israel's Jews, under their secular leadership, were to persist in ignoring the dictates of the Bible, a further holocaust was likely to befall them. This statement, aroused an uproar of protest among the secular community. Labor MK Shevah Weiss, a Holocaust survivor, accused Shach of suggesting that Hitler and his Nazi followers, who had so brutally slaughtered the Jewish people, had acted as emissaries of the Almighty. During the bitter parliamentary debate which ensued, Haredi MKs defended the rabbi's statement by claiming that by virtue of its ignorance, the secular community had incorrectly interpreted their leader's statement, which had only sought to explain that Judaism provides both reward and punishment. Was it even conceivable, asked Rabbi Schach's defenders, that, having lost his own family in the Holocaust, he would justify the Nazis' deeds?
  31. ^ David Landau (1993). Piety and Power: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism. Secker & Warburg. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-436-24156-7. It was in this context that Rabbi Shach fired off one of his controversial broadsides in December 1990: "Another Holocaust could befall us tomorrow", he warned, because of the secularism of Israel society. "Remember what an old Jew is telling you. God is patient. But he keeps a tally. And one day, his patience runs out, as it ran out then, when six million died."
  32. ^ Mordecai Richler (1994). This Year in Jerusalem. Chatto & Windus. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7011-6272-6. Ms. Aloni's assumption of that portfolio, said Schach, would result in over a million Israeli children being forced into apostasy, and that was worse than what had happened to Jewish children during the Holocaust.
  33. ^ Arye Edrei (2007). "Holocaust Memorial". In Doron Mendels (ed.). On Memory: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Peter Lang. p. 51. ISBN 978-3-03911-064-3. Rabbi Shach also gave explicit expression to this view in strongly opposing the recitation of elegies for the Holocaust on the ninth of Av: "This constitutes a breaking of boundaries and provides a precedent for those who wish to restructure and reform to utilize for justifying further reforms."
  34. ^ The Jewish Week, May 29, 1998 'From Yeshiva To Army'
  35. ^ Israel and the Politics of Jewish Identity: The Secular-Religious Impasse by Asher Cohen and Bernard Susser. The Johns Hopkins University Press (May 24, 2000) - pg. 83
  36. ^ Israel and the Politics of Jewish Identity: The Secular-Religious Impasse by Asher Cohen and Bernard Susser (May 24, 2000) – note 19 on page 148
  37. ^ The Jewish Press - Secular Fear of Haredim Drove Court's Rule on Service Deferments, by Yori Yanover - February 22nd, 2012 - http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/secular-fear-of-haredim-drove-courts-rule-on-service-deferments/
  38. ^ "Is the IDF's Netzach Yehuda a Success?". 13 May 2010.
  39. ^ See Mictavim Umaamarim Volume 1: Letter 6
  40. ^ Shmuel Tuvia Stern 'Shaalot uTeshuvot HaShabit' vol.7
  41. ^ Greenberg, Joel (3 November 2001). "Rabbi Eliezer Schach, 103; Leader of Orthodox in Israel". The New York Times.
  42. ^ The Rebbe of Lubavitch: Death of a leader, Kobi Bleich, page 3, Maariv, June 13, 1994
  43. ^ Shlomo Lorincz in 'Miluei Shlomo' pages 296-297, Feldheim publishing, Jerusalem
  44. ^ The Rebbe of Lubavitch: Death of a leader, Kobi Bleich, page 2, Maariv, June 13, 1994
  45. ^ See Mechtavim v'Ma'amorim [Letters and Speeches of Rabbi Shach in Hebrew. Bnei Brak, Israel. 03-574-5006]: Volume 1, Letter 6 (page 15), Letter 8 (page 19). Volume 3, Statements on pages 100–101, Letter on page 102. Volume 4, letter 349(page 69), letter 351 (page 71). Volume 5, letter 533 (page 137), letter 535 (page 139), speech 569 (page 173), statement 570 (page 174). See also here: "על המסיתים להתגרות באומות ועל לשונות העוקרים את ה"אני מאמין" בביאת המשיח" (PDF) (in Hebrew). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
  46. ^ Independent, The (London), November 10, 2001, by David Landau.
  47. ^ Briton Hadden (1992). Time. 9-17. Vol. 139. Time Incorporated. p. 42. Eliezer Schach, one of Israel's leading ultra-Orthodox rabbis, has publicly called Schneerson "insane", an "infidel", and "a false Messiah". The local papers carried Schach's outrageous charge that Schneerson's followers are "eaters of trayf", food such as pork that is forbidden to Jews.
  48. ^ a b Faith and Fate: The Story of the Jewish People in the 20th century, Berel Wein, 2001 by Shaar Press. pg. 340
  49. ^ "A Historian's Polemic Against 'The Madness of False Messianism'" By Allan Nadler. See also "Toward the Millennium: Messianic Expectations from the Bible to Waco" By Peter Schäfer, Mark R. Cohen. 1998. pg. 404, footnote 56. https://books.google.com/books?id=AT8GF9EciLEC. See also Michtavim U'maamarim [5:569 (173)]. See also Jerusalem Post, Jan 31, 1993: "Schach says Schneerson is a False Messiah"
  50. ^ Summer of the Messiah (Jerusalem Report) February 14, 2001.
  51. ^ The Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference by David Berger, 2001, published by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization of Portland. Page 7.
  52. ^ Chaim Miller (2014). "Notes for pages 349-359". Turning Judaism Outward: A Biography of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson the Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. Kol Menachem. p. 514. ISBN 978-1-934152-36-2. Rabbi Shach objected to Chabad outreach campaigns such as Neshek (Shabbat candles), Tefilin, Rambam study, children's parades on Lag B'Omer, and the Noahide Laws.
  53. ^ The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidim Past and Present, M. Avrum Ehrlich, Chapter 10, notes, KTAV Publishing, ISBN 0-88125-836-9
  54. ^ Shlomo Lorincz (August 9, 2006). HaRav Shach's Battle Against False Messianism, Dei'ah Vedibur.
  55. ^ Letter of Shach – Michtavim U-Ma’amarim, 4:320:page 36
  56. ^ Speech of Shach (transcribed by a listener) – Michtavim U-Ma’amarim, 4:370:page 107
  57. ^ Friedman, Menachem jcpa.org/jl/vp104.htm
  58. ^ Michtavim U-Ma'amarim. vol. 4 pp. 67
  59. ^ Davar – 4/08/1989 – pg. 3 – Noach Zvuluny (Can be read online here :"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2012-12-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link))
  60. ^ Michtavim Umamarim Vol. 4 No. 319
  61. ^ Michtavim Umamarim vols. 1–2, p. 109, and letter no. 53. Vol. 4 no. 76
  62. ^ Michtavim U'Maamaromim 5:533 (pg. 137). See also Jerusalem Post – Mar 4, 1992 – Schach's Attacks "Meant Only for Lubavitchers, Not All Hasidim"
  63. ^ Michtavim U'Maamaromim 5:534 (pg. 138). See also Shach's letters quoted in Yeshurun Vol. 11 Elul 5762 - pg. 932 - http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21194&st=&pgnum=932
  64. ^ Dos Yiddishe Vort- #368 – 5762 – pg. 11 - http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=50175&st=&pgnum=11
  65. ^ David Landau (November 3, 2001). "400,000 mourn elderly rabbi who shaped Israeli politics". Irish Times. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  66. ^ Yair Sheleg (November 3, 2001). "Rabbi Schach, 103, Laid to Rest - Hundreds of thousands attend Friday-morning funeral". Haaretz. Retrieved May 26, 2020. Although it is difficult to estimate how many people attended the funeral, the number could have been in the hundreds of thousands (especially considering that some 300,000 attended the funeral of Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Auerbach seven years ago).
  67. ^ https://archive.today/20120529194409/http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Archive/Cabinet/2001/11/Spokesman4356.htm "Document: Cabinet communication dropping all previous conditions for withdrawal from Area A". Archived from the original on 2005-03-02. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  68. ^ "Influential Israeli rabbi dies at 103". BBC. November 2, 2001. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  69. ^ a b David Landau; Julie Wiener (November 2, 2001). "Rabbi Shach, giant of fervently Orthodox Jewry, dies". JTA. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  70. ^ Fred Skolnik; Michael Berenbaum (2007). Encyclopaedia Judaica. Macmillan Reference USA. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-02-865949-7. Shach's death in 2001 left a void. The dispute over whether Rabbi Elyashiv or Rabbi Steineman would become Shach's recognized successor was also played out in Yated Neeman. The editors became divided, with the daily edition, edited by Grossman, identifying with Rabbi Elyashiv and the Sabbath edition identifying with Rabbi Steineman.
  71. ^ https://www.srugim.co.il/14570-[dead link]

External links[edit]

Eulogies and articles about Rabbi Shach: