Nissim Karelitz

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Rabbi Nissim Karelitz

Rabbi Shmaryahu Yosef Nissim Karelitz (Hebrew: נסים קרליץ; born 19 July 1926 in Vilnius)[1] is the chairman of the beis din tzedek (rabbinical court) of Bnei Brak.

Rabbi Nissim Karelitz (left) learning after praying in the morning

He is one of the most highly respected Orthodox rabbis in the world and one of the most important leaders of the Haredi world.[2][dead link]

His beis din handles all kinds of matters, such as financial disputes, marriage conflicts, and conversions.

Rabbi Karelitz is a nephew of Rabbi Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz, known as the Chazon Ish. (The latter's sister was Rabbi Nissim's mother).[1] The Chazon Ish was a previous rabbinical spiritual leader of Bnei Brak. From the time of the Chazon Ish until Rabbi Nissim Karelitz it was Rav Elazar Shach who was regarded as the pre-eminent leader.

He is also a member of the Vaad Halacha (Jewish legal council) of the Maayanei Hayeshua Hospital of Bnei Brak[3][dead link] and the av beis din of the Bnei Brak neighborhood of Ramat Aharon.

In his youth, he studied in the Ponevezh Yeshiva. He also studied with his uncles, the Chazon Ish and the Steipler. His wife Leah (d. 2015) was the daughter of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Kopshitz of Jerusalem and the great-granddaughter of Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld.[1][4]


Rabbi Nissim Karelitz's beit din in Israel performs conversions on people who are residing illegally in the state of Israel.[5] This means several things; (1) The conversion process goes against Israeli law which gives the state more reason to reject such conversions. (2) The converts, who often live many years illegally in Israel, are eventually forced to leave (deportation, or due to lack of financial means to support oneself).[6]


Chut Shani[edit]

Hilchos Shmita ViYovel Vol. 1-2


  1. ^ a b c Frankfurter, Yitzchok (12 May 2013). Ami (119): 75–76. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Rebitzen Leah Karelitz A"H". Yeshiva World News. 22 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  5. ^ Mandel, Jonah (13 January 2011). "Bnei Brak rabbi accused of arranging illicit conversions". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  6. ^ "High Court nixes citizenship for 5 foreign nationals who converted outside Rabbinate". The Times of Israel. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2019.