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Elazar Shach
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/* Life in Europe */
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{{For|the 17th century commentator on the [[Shulchan Aruch]] [[Yoreh De'ah]] known as "the Shach"|Shabbatai HaKohen}} {{Infobox Jewish leader | honorific-prefix = Rabbi | name = Elazar Shach | honorific-suffix = Z"L | title = Rav Shach | image = Elazar Shach.jpg | caption = Elazar Shach at the [[Ponevezh Yeshiva]] | synagogue = | synagogueposition = | yeshiva = [[Ponevezh Yeshiva]] | yeshivaposition = Co-[[Rosh yeshiva]] | organisation = | organisationposition = | began = | ended = | predecessor = | successor = | rabbi = | rebbe = | kohan = | hazzan = | rank = | other_post = <!---------- Personal details ----------> | birth_name = Elazar Menachem Man Shach | birth_date = January 1, 1899 | birth_place = [[Vabalninkas|Vaboilnik]], northern [[Lithuania]] | death_date = {{Death date and age|2001|11|2|1899|1|1}} | death_place = | buried = [[Bnei Brak]] | nationality = | denomination = | residence = | dynasty = | parents = Rabbi Ezriel Shach, Batsheva Shach | spouse = Guttel Schach | children = Miriam Raisel, Devorah, and Ephraim | occupation = | profession = | alma_mater = | semicha = | signature = }} '''Elazar Menachem Man Shach''' ({{lang-he|אלעזר מנחם מן שך}}) also spelled Eliezer Schach, or Elazar Shach, (January 1, 1899 [[Old Style and New Style dates|O.S.]] – November 2, 2001) was a leading [[Lithuanian Jews|Lithuanian]]-born and educated [[Haredi Judaism|Haredi]] [[rabbi]] in [[Bnei Brak]], [[Israel]]. He also served as one of three [[Rosh yeshiva|co-deans]] of the [[Ponevezh yeshiva]] in Bnei Brak along with Rabbis [[Shmuel Rozovsky]] and [[Dovid Povarsky]]. Due to his differences with the [[Hasidic Judaism|Hasidic]] leadership of the [[Agudat Yisrael]] in 1984 he [[Shas#History|allied with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef]] who had founded the [[Shas]] party. Later, in 1988, Shach sharply criticized Ovadia Yosef and said that "[[Sepharadim]] are not yet ready for leadership positions",<ref>'Haaretz' daily newspaper, Shachar Ilan, November 2, 2001</ref> and subsequently [[Degel HaTorah#History|founded the Degel HaTorah]] political party representing [[Lithuanian Jews|Lithuanian]] non-Hasidic [[Ashkenazi Jews]] in the Israeli [[Knesset]]. He was an ideologue and a zealot who repeatedly led his followers into ideological battles.<ref>'Haaretz' November 2, 2001 "Rabbi Shach – a man of wars and battles"</ref> == Life in Europe == [[File:Schach passport photo.jpg|thumb|185px|Passport photo (1920s)]] Elazar Menachem Man Shach was born in [[Vabalninkas]] (Vaboilnik in [[Yiddish language|Yiddish]]), a rural village in northern [[Lithuania]] to Rabbi Ezriel and Batsheva Shach. The Shach family had been merchants for generations, but Batsheva's family, the Levitans, were religious scholars who served various Lithuanian communities. Batsheva's brother, Rabbi Osher Nisan Levitan, later became an important figure in the [[Union of Orthodox Rabbis]] in the United States. Elazar was an ''[[illui]]'' (child prodigy).<ref>''Rabbi Eliezer Schach, Torah giant, dies at age 103'' Ilan, Shahar. Canadian Jewish News. Nov 8, 2001. Vol. 31, Iss. 46; pg. 41</ref> In 1909, at the age of 11, Shach went to study at the [[Ponevezh Yeshiva]], which at the time was located in the city of [[Panevėžys]], Lithuania, and was headed by Rabbi [[Isaac Jacob Rabinowitz]], known as Rav Itzele Ponovezer. In 1913, Shach started studying in [[Yeshivas Knesses Yisrael (Slabodka)]]. It was in this yeshiva that he had the opportunity to hear [[Talmud]] classes from its ''rosh yeshiva'', Rabbi [[Moshe Mordechai Epstein]]. 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 [[Torah study|study Torah]]. In 1915, following the advice of Rabbi [[Yechezkel Bernstein]] (author of ''Divrei Yechezkel''), Shach traveled to [[Slutsk]] to study at the yeshiva there. It was in Slutsk that he met Rabbi [[Isser Zalman Meltzer]], and this was the beginning of a close lifelong relationship between the two. Shach also met Rabbi [[Yosef Yozel Horwitz]] (head of the [[Novardok yeshiva]]), who had come to visit the yeshiva in order to introduce its students to the study of ''mussar'' (see [[Musar movement]]). Around this time he also met for the first time Rabbi [[Moshe Feinstein]], as Feinstein would often visit Meltzer at his house in Slutsk. In 1921, as a result of regional political changes, the Slutsk yeshiva split up. Rabbi [[Isser Zalman Meltzer]] stayed in the city of Slutsk, while Meltzer's son-in-law, Rabbi [[Aharon Kotler]], took his students and started a yeshiva in the town of [[Kletsk]]. Shach joined Kotler in Kletsk, and subsequently was appointed by Kotler as a [[maggid shiur]] ("lecturer [in [[Talmud]]]") in the yeshiva. In 1923, Shach married Meltzer's niece, Guttel Gilmovski. After the marriage, Shach and his wife moved to [[Mir, Belarus]], the residence of his father-in-law. It was in Mir that Shach established a lifelong relationship with the town's rabbi, Rabbi [[Avraham Tzvi Hirsch Kamai]]. The two would often discuss Torah together, and even after Shach later moved to Israel he continued to correspond with Kamai. (These letters were later printed in Shach's ''Avi Ezri'' magnum opus). After spending some time in the city of Mir, Shach moved back to Kletsk to join the yeshiva again. In 1925, his wife's uncle, Rabbi Meltzer, moved to Israel, and it was at this point that Shach became significantly more involved in the daily running of the yeshiva. It was around this time that Rabbi [[Yechezkel Levenstein]] joined the yeshiva to become its [[mashgiach ruchani]] ("spiritual guide"), and thus began a lifelong relationship of mutual respect between Shach and Levenstein. After the passing of Rabbi [[Meir Shapiro]], head of the [[Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva]], Rabbi [[Chaim Ozer Grodzinski]] sent the yeshivah's administrators a letter, recommending Shach for the position. After delivering a discourse at the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, Shach traveled to [[Vilnius|Vilna]] to consult with Grodzinski about the wisdom of taking on the new position, and upon hearing the various aspects of the question, Grodzinski advised Shach to turn down the offer.<ref name="Elazar Menachem Man Shach 1953 pg. 262"/> In 1934, Shach was appointed ''[[rosh yeshiva]]'' of the [[Novardok yeshiva]]. This came about as a result of the recommendation of Rabbi [[Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz]] (known as the [[Chazon Ish]]) to one of the yeshiva's founders, Rabbi Bentzion Brook.<ref>''Path to Greatness – The Life of Maran Harav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, Vol I: Vaboilnik to Bnei Brak (1899–1953)'' – pg. 454</ref> During this time in Shach's life, the rest of his family stayed in Kletsk while he stayed in the Novardok yeshiva for extended periods of time. After approximately two years, Shach left the yeshiva, because, in his own words, "this is not the place for me for many reasons."<ref>Letter to a student.</ref> In 1935 Shach became rosh yeshiva at the Hasidic [[Karlin (Hasidic dynasty)|Karlin]] yeshiva in [[Łuniniec|Luninets]]. He also functioned as the [[mashgiach ruchani]] of the yeshiva, giving customary mussar sermons to the yeshiva students. Shach remained at the yeshiva until the outbreak of [[World War II]]. == Escaping to the British Mandate of Palestine == Shortly before the start of [[World War II]] and [[the Holocaust]], several yeshivas began considering evacuating their rabbis, students and families. [[Aharon Kotler#World War II and move to the United States|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 [[Vilnius|Vilna]], where he stayed with Rabbi [[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, Rabbi Aron Levitan, had helped Kotler get emigration visas to the United States, but Shach, after consulting with Rabbi [[Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik]] and Rabbi [[Chaim Ozer Grodzinski]],<ref>''Harav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado'' by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989. page 56</ref> decided instead to go to [[British Mandate of Palestine|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. Several years after the re-establishment of the Ponevezh yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Shach was asked by Rabbi [[Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman]] to be one of its deans. Shach first discussed the proposal with Rabbi [[Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik]] and was encouraged by the latter to take the position.<ref>''Harav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado'' by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989. page 60</ref> Shach served in that capacity 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. == Rabbinical career == Shach received [[Semikhah|rabbinical ordination]] from Rabbi [[Isser Zalman Meltzer]],<ref name="Elazar Menachem Man Shach 1953 pg. 262">''Path to Greatness – The Life of Maran Harav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, Vol I: Vaboilnik to Bnei Brak (1899–1953)'' – pg. 262</ref> and served as chairman of [[Chinuch Atzmai]] and Va'ad HaYeshivos.<ref>''In Their Shadow: Wisdom and Guidance of the Gedolim Volume One: Chazon Ish, Brisker Rav, Rav Shach'' pg. 282</ref> From 1970 until his death, Shach was generally recognized by Lithuanian Haredim and some other Haredi circles as the ''Gadol Ha-Dor''.<ref>Encyclopedia Judaica – Macmillan Reference USA; Second edition (2006)</ref> During his lifetime, Shach was a revered spiritual mentor of more than 100,000 Orthodox Jews,<ref>{{cite news| url=http://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/27/world/orthodox-leader-in-israel-appears-to-spurn-peres.html?scp=3&sq=Eliezer%20Schach&st=cse | work=The New York Times | title=Orthodox Leader in Israel Appears to Spurn Peres | first=Joel | last=Brinkley | date=March 27, 1990 | accessdate=May 1, 2010}}</ref> 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 [[yeshiva]]s and [[kollel]]s full-time gained popularity. Although this type of setup was unprecedented in Jewish history,<ref>Jweekly November 9, 2001 David Landau JTA</ref> 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 ''[[Baal teshuva|ba'alei teshuvah]]'' who will be the one's to bring ''Mashiach''.<ref>''Raising Roses Among the Thorns'' by Noach Orlowek, pg. 345</ref> == View of the Holocaust == Shach taught that events like [[the Holocaust]] occurred because the [[Jewish views on sin|sins of the Jewish people]] accumulated, and they needed to be punished in order to rectify them. He said that "God kept count of each and every sin, in a running count over hundreds of years, until the count amounted to six million Jews, and that is how the Holocaust occurred. So must a Jew believe, and if a Jew does not completely believe this, he is a [[Heresy in Orthodox Judaism|heretic]], and if we do not accept this as a punishment then it is as if we don't believe in The Holy One, Blessed be He..."<ref>Yated Neeman 29/12/90. ''Mussar Iru'ay HaTekufah'' (מוסר אירועי התקופה)(2011) - pg. 36 - http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=52045&st=&pgnum=35</ref> == Views on education == Shach held that any secular education, at any level whatsoever, including high-school, was absolutely forbidden by the Torah. He wrote that any secular studies were banned by the sages of the Talmud, and that specially the study of [[psychology]] and [[history]] is pure heresy. He also wrote that learning a [[Craft|trade]] before it became an immediate need, is forbidden.<ref>Michtavim vMamarim volumes 1 pg. 109,pg.128,3 pg.31&39,4 pg.35,107</ref> When Shach was asked about opening a yeshiva exclusively for gifted boys, he said that it is impossible to know beforehand who will grow in Torah knowledge and who will not, and that all boys should therefore be given equal opportunities.<ref>''Relevance: Pirkei Avos for the twenty-first century'' by Dan Roth – Page 133</ref> == Political life == For Shach, battling [[secularism]] and [[Zionism]] was not enough. During the years of his leadership, he also waged bitter wars against anybody he suspected of deviation from the [[Haredi Judaism|Haredi]] path.<ref>http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/1,7340,L-1268268,00.html</ref> At the behest of Rabbi [[Aharon Kotler]], Shach joined the [[Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah]].<ref>''The Legacy Of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler'' by Yitzchok Dershowitz, Feldheim Publishers (2006) – pg. 137. http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=50717&st=&pgnum=180</ref> When Rabbi [[Zalman Sorotzkin]] died in 1966, Shach became president of the [[Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah]] until he resigned from the Moetzes after the other leading rabbis refused to follow him.<ref name="HAYESHIVA RAV ELAZAR MENACHEM MAN SHACH 2001">''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</ref> 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.<ref name="HAYESHIVA RAV ELAZAR MENACHEM MAN SHACH 2001"/> [[File:PikiWiki Israel 9440 harav-shach.jpg|thumb|230px|Elazar Shach (late 1980s), seated center, looking down, holding book]] Shas ran for the [[Knesset#Composition of the 11th Knesset Assembly (elected 1984)|11th Knesset]] in 1984, and Shach called upon his "[[Lithuanian Jews|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 (Israel)|Labor]] party in the 13th Knesset in 1992. On the eve of the [[Israeli legislative election, 1988|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 the [[Lubavitch]]er Rebbe, Rabbi [[Menachem Mendel Schneerson]]. Shach criticized Schneerson for his presumed messianic aspirations. Shach wanted the Aguda party to oppose Lubavitch, however all but one ([[Belz (Hasidic dynasty)|Belz]]) of the Hasidic sects within the party refused to back him. Shach and his followers then formed the [[Degel HaTorah]] ("Flag of Torah") party to represent the non-Hasidic [[Ashkenazi Jews|Ashkenazi]] Haredim.{{citation needed|date=December 2013}} Following a personal visit by Shach to the halachic decisors and leading rabbis of the generation, Rabbis [[Yosef Shalom Eliashiv]] and Rabbi [[Shlomo Zalman Auerbach]] in Jerusalem to seek their support for the new party, they agreed to lend support to the new party.<ref>''Davar'' – 02/10/1988 – pg. 3 – Noach Zvuluny - http://www.ranaz.co.il/articles/article2971_19881002.asp</ref> Schneerson mobilized his followers to support the Agudat Yisrael party. While Agudat Yisrael secured nearly three times the amount of votes it had in 1984, and increased its Knesset representation from two seats to five, Degel HaTorah won two seats.<ref>{{cite book|title=Israel, Land of Tradition and Conflict |first1=Bernard |last1=Reich |first2= Gershon R. Kieval |publisher=Westview Press |year=1993}}</ref> After the bitter contest in the 1988 elections, Degel HaTorah agreed to work together with Agudat Yisrael and combine forces in the 1992 elections, under the name of [[United Torah Judaism]] (UTJ) ''Yahadut HaTorah HaMeukhedet'' in [[Hebrew language|Hebrew]], an agreement which has continued to the present. In a speech delivered prior to the 1992 elections, Shach said that [[Sephardi Jews|Sephardim]] were still not fit for leadership, and aroused great anger among Sephardi voters. Following the elections Shach instructed [[Shas]] not to join the government, while [[Ovadia Yosef]] instructed them to join that precipitated an open rift between the parties. Shach then declared that [[Shas]] had removed itself from the Jewish community when it joined the wicked...<ref>'Haaretz', Shachar Ilan, November 2, 2001</ref> 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 Rabbis [[Yosef Shalom Eliashiv]] (d. 2012) and continued by [[Aharon Leib Shteinman]]. Shach was deeply opposed to [[Zionism]], both secular and religious. He was fiercely dismissive of secular [[Israel]]is and their culture. For example, during a 1990 speech he lambasted [[kibbutz]]niks as "breeders of rabbits and pigs" who did not "know what [[Yom Kippur]] is". In the same speech he said that the [[Labour (Israel)|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.<ref>Los Angeles Times – November 3, 2001 from the Associated Press.</ref> 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!"<ref>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 [http://www.shofar.net/site/emedia.asp?id=757&Category=3&Prourl=http://oldserver.shofar-tv.com/MEDIA/Documentation_Movies/shach128k.wmv# here] 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</ref> Shach was also critical of [[democracy]], once referring to it as a "cancer", adding that "only the sacred Torah is the true democracy."<ref>[http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/767598.html How do you like your halakha?] (''[[Haaretz]]'') September 28, 2006.</ref> Shach supported the withdrawal from land under Israeli control, basing it upon the [[Halakha|Halakhic]] principle of ''[[Pikuach Nefesh]]'' ("[the] saving [of a] life"), in which the preservation of Jewish lives takes precedence over nearly all other obligations in the Torah, including those pertaining to the sanctity of land,<ref>See ''Mictavim Umaamarim'' Volume 1: Letter 6</ref> though Shach's position was later questioned by Rabbi Shmuel Tuvia Stern who wondered why Shach hadn't provided halachic references supporting his opinion.<ref name="ReferenceA">Shmuel Tuvia Stern ''''Shaalot uTeshuvot HaShabit'''' vol.7</ref> He also criticized [[Israeli settlement]]s in the [[West Bank]] and [[Gaza Strip]] as "a blatant attempt to provoke the international community", and called on [[Haredi Judaism|Haredi Jews]] to avoid moving to such communities. ===Position on serving in the Israeli Army=== {{Main|Israel Defense Forces}} In May 1998, following talk of a political compromise which would allow [[Haredi Judaism|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."<ref>The Jewish Week, May 29, 1998 'From Yeshiva To Army'</ref> This is a case, Shach said, in which, halachically, one must "be killed rather than transgress".<ref>''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</ref> This position was expressed in large ads placed in all three of Israel's daily newspapers on May 22, 1998.<ref>''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</ref> 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)."<ref>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/</ref> and that “those who are not learning jeopardize the position of those who are learning as they should”.<ref>http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=57944</ref> ===Position on territorial compromise=== Shach's often said that for true peace it was "permitted and necessary to compromise on even half of the Land of Israel". When Rabbi [[Yitzchak Hutner]] was asked to support this position, he refused and stated that "agreement to other-than-biblical borders was tantamount to denial of the Torah".<ref>Shlomo Lorincz in ''''Miluei Shlomo'''' pages 296-297, Feldheim publishing, Jerusalem</ref> Shach's position was also questioned by Rabbi Shmuel Tuvia Stern who wondered why Shach hadn't provided halachic references supporting his opinion.<ref name="ReferenceA"/> ===Opposition to the Lubavitcher Rebbe=== {{Main|Menachem Mendel Schneerson}} Shach launched a number of public attacks against the [[Chabad|Lubavitcher]] Rebbe, Rabbi [[Menachem Mendel Schneerson]], from the 1970s through Schneerson's death in 1994.<ref>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: http://hamercaz.com/hamercaz/pics/database/aoi/223_myFile.pdf</ref> He accused Schneerson's followers of [[False messiah#Judaism|false Messianism]], and Schneerson of fomenting a cult of crypto-messianism around himself.<ref>Independent, The (London), Nov 10, 2001 by David Landau. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20011110/ai_n14431755</ref> He objected to Schneerson's call for "demanding" the Messiah's appearance. When some of Schneerson's followers proclaimed him the Messiah, Shach called for a complete boycott of Chabad, its institutions and projects by its constituents.<ref name="Fate pg. 340">Faith and Fate: The Story of the Jewish People in the 20th century, Berel Wein, 2001 by Shaar Press. pg. 340</ref> In 1988 Shach explicitly denounced Schneerson as a ''meshiach sheker'' (false messiah).<ref>"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. http://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"</ref> Shach also compared Chabad and Schneerson to the followers of the 17th century false messiah [[Sabbatai Zevi]].<ref>[http://www.culteducation.com/reference/lubavitch/lubavitch6.html Summer of the Messiah] (''[[Jerusalem Report]]'') February 14, 2001.</ref> Pointing to a statement by Schneerson that a rebbe is "the Essence and Being [of God] clothed a body", Shach described this as nothing short of [[idolatry]]. His followers refused to eat meat slaughtered by Lubavitch [[Shechita|shochetim]] or to recognize Chabad Hasidim as adherents of authentic Judaism.<ref>''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.</ref> Shach once described Schneerson as "the madman who sits in [[New York City|New York]] and drives the whole world crazy.".<ref>''The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidim Past and Present'', M. Avrum Ehrlich, Chapter 10, notes, KTAV Publishing, ISBN 0-88125-836-9</ref> In addition to Shach's objections to certain Chabad members proclaiming Schneerson to be the Messiah, he also argued against the Chabad position on many other issues. Schneerson, citing case law in the [[Shulchan Aruch]] strongly opposed both [[Peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict|peace talks with the Palestinians]] and relinquishing [[Palestinian territories|territory]] to them under any circumstances, while Shach supported the [[land for peace]] approach, though Shach's position was questioned by Rabbi Shmuel Tuvia Stern who wondered why Shach hadn't provided halachic references supporting his opinion.<ref name="ReferenceA"/> . During the 1988 elections, Schneerson endorsed [[Agudat Yisrael]] over Shach's newly formed [[Degel HaTorah]] party, and instructed Israeli Chabad to campaign for it. ===Opposition to other Orthodox rabbis and groups=== In addition to his criticism of Schneerson, Shach attacked the following rabbis: '''Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik''' In a lengthy attack on Rav [[Joseph B. Soloveitchik]] (d. 1993) of [[Yeshiva University]], Shach accused him of writing "things that are forbidden to hear" <ref>Letter of Shach – Michtavim U-Ma’amarim, 4:320:page 36</ref> as well as "...endangering the survival of Torah-true Judaism by indoctrinating the masses with actual words of heresy".<ref>Speech of Shach (transcribed by a listener) – Michtavim U-Ma’amarim, 4:370:page 107</ref> '''The Gerer Rebbe''' Shach resigned from the [[Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah#In Israel|Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah]] ("Council of Torah Greats") following tensions between him and the [[Ger (Hasidic dynasty)|Gerer Rebbe]], Rabbi [[Simcha Bunim Alter]] (d. 1992). In the [[Israeli legislative election, 1984|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 reemergence of the dissent between [[Hasidic Judaism|Hasidim]] and [[Misnagdim|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 <ref>Friedman, Menachem jcpa.org/jl/vp104.htm</ref> '''Rav Adin Steinsaltz''' Rav [[Adin Steinsaltz]] (Even-Yisrael) (b. 1937), 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."<ref>Michtavim U-Ma’amarim. vol. 4 pp. 67</ref> In the summer of 1989, a group of rabbis including Elazar Shach placed a ban on three of Steinsaltz's books.<ref>Davar – 4/08/1989 – pg. 3 – Noach Zvuluny (Can be read online here :http://www.ranaz.co.il/articles/article3071_19890804.asp)</ref> '''The Modern Orthodox and Yeshiva University''' Shach wrote that [[Yeshiva University]] (YU) type institutions are an entirely negative phenomenon posing a threat to the very endurance of authentic Judaism. When opposing having such an institution in Israel,<ref>Letter printed in ''Zichru Torah Moshe Avdi''(Shulzinger, 2006) - http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=47977&st=&pgnum=84</ref> 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)..." <ref>Michtavim Umamarim Vol. 4 No. 319</ref> 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<ref>Michtavim Umamarim vols. 1–2, p.109, and letter no. 53. Vol. 4 no. 76</ref> 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."<ref name="Fate pg. 340"/> ===Position regarding Hasidim and Hasidism in general=== {{Main|Hasidic Judaism}} Shach wrote<ref>Michtavim U'Maamaromim 5:533 (pg. 137). See also Jerusalem Post – Mar 4, 1992 – SCHACH'S ATTACKS 'MEANT ONLY FOR LUBAVITCHERS, NOT ALL HASSIDIM'</ref> that he was not at all opposed to Hasidim and Hasidism (including Hasidism of Chabad from the previous generations<ref>Michtavim U'Maamorim 2:23 (pg. 31) 1986 edition.</ref>); he said he recognized them as "''yera'im''" and "''shlaymim''" (God-fearing and wholesome) and full of Torah and [[Mitzvah|Mitzvos]] and fear of heaven.<ref>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</ref> Regarding his opposition to the present day Chabad movement, someone mentioned to Shach that "after 120 years, when you go to Heaven, you will merit a warm handshake from the [[Vilna Gaon]]." Shach responded, "The Vilna Gaon will shake my hand!? The [[Baal HaTanya]] will be the one to shake my hand!"<ref>''Harav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado'' by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989. page 105</ref> On several occasions Shach said to his students that it pained him deep inside over the ''sheim ra'' ["bad name"] he had acquired as a "hater of Hasidim". This was "total ''sheker'' ["lie"] he said resolutely. "We are fighting against secularism in the yeshivas. Today, ''besiyata deShmaya'' ["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 ''bochurim'' ["unmarried male students"]." <ref>''Dos Yiddishe Vort''- #368 – 5762 – pg. 11 - http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=50175&st=&pgnum=11</ref> ===Support from Haredi leaders=== In 1982, the honor and standing of Rabbi Shach were challenged by various segments of the Orthodox press. A group of leading rabbis, including Rabbis ([[Yaakov Kamenetsky]], [[Shimon Schwab]], [[Mordechai Gifter]], [[Shneur Kotler]], [[Avraham Yaakov Pam]], [[Aharon Schechter]], [[Henoch Leibowitz]], [[Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman]], and [[Elya Svei]]) decided that a public protest for the honor of Shach was necessary.<ref>''Dreams: A Chodesh Av Perspective'' by Aryeh Z. Ginsberg. Mishpacha Magazine #370, Thursday, August 4, 2011. http://www.mishpacha.com/Browse/Article/1364/Dreams-A-Chodesh-Av-Perspective http://www.5tjt.com/local-news/11146-dreams</ref> One protest was held at Kaminetz Yeshiva in New York, and another at [[Yeshivas Ner Yisroel]] in Baltimore.<ref>See Dos Yiddishe Vort, 5742:229, pg. 13 – http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=24449&st=&pgnum=13</ref> ==Death and funeral== [[File:Grave of Rabbi Elazar Shach.JPG|thumb|Grave of Rabbi Elazar Shach in Bnei Brak]] Shach died on November 2, 2001 and was buried in Bnai Brak. He was almost 103 years of age, having being born on January 1, 1899. Approximately 200,000 people attended Shach's funeral,<ref>Wein, Berel (November 16, 2001). ''Final Journeys''. The Jerusalem Post; Rosenblum, Jonathan (November 16, 2001). ''How to get 200,000 people to a funeral''. The Jerusalem Post; ''Living Jewish: values, practices and traditions'' By Berel Wein, page 31;</ref> and after his death, Prime Minister [[Ariel Sharon]] noted appreciation for his work, saying "There is no doubt that we have lost an important person who made his mark over many years."<ref>http://archive.is/7e9V http://www.ourjerusalem.com/news/story/news20011106a.html</ref> == Family == Shach had three children, all born in Kletsk in the 1920s: Miriam Raisel, Devorah, and Ephraim. Miriam Raisel died as a teenager in 1939 of [[pneumonia]]. Devorah married Rabbi [[Meir Tzvi Bergman]], and had 9 children. Ephraim was unsatisfied with the Haredi lifestyle{{Citation needed|date=April 2009}} and eventually joined the [[Religious Zionism|Religious Zionist]] camp. Rav Shach's wife, Guttel Schach died in 1969 from complications connected to [[diabetes]]. Dr. Ephraim Shach served in the [[Israel Defense Forces]], received a [[Doctor of Philosophy|doctorate]] in [[history]] and [[philosophy]] from the [[Bernard Revel Graduate School]] of [[Yeshiva University]], and worked as a supervisor for the [[Ministry of Education (Israel)|Israel Ministry of Education]]. He married Tamara Yarlicht-Kowalsky and had 2 children. He died October 17, 2011, at the age of 81. == Works == *''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 == *''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. ==References== {{Reflist|2}} == External links == Eulogies and Articles about Rabbi Shach: * [http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/502/090.html (Hebrew) Interview with Dr. Ephraim Shach about his father, Rabbi Elazar Shach] * [http://www.shofar.net/site/ARDetile.asp?id=4453 Tzava'a of Rabbi Shach (in Hebrew)] Text: * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21194&st=&pgnum=347 Shiurim (Hebrew) from Rabbi Shach on various masechtos] * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=46420&st=&pgnum=257 Chiddushim (Hebrew) from Rabbi Shach on various talmudic topics] * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=12544&st=&pgnum=19 Speech] at the Sixth ''Knessiah Gedolah'' of [[World Agudath Israel]] in 1980 in Jerusalem * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=15039&pgnum=73 Speech] at eighth [[Siyum HaShas]] in 1982 * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=24449&pgnum=9 Speech] at Agudah convention in 1982 Videos: * [http://www.shofar.net/site/emedia.asp?id=757&Category=3&Prourl=http://oldserver.shofar-tv.com/MEDIA/Documentation_Movies/shach128k.wmv Video of Rabbi Shach speaking at Degel Hatorah convention] at [[Binyanei HaUma]], and convention at [[Yad Eliyahu Arena]] (17 minutes into video) on March 26, 1990. * [http://www.kolhalashon.com/New/Media/ShowJwPlayer.aspx?English=True&RavID=1510&RavName=Zatzal,%20Rav%20Shach&Title=%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%97%D7%99%20%D7%9B%D7%9C%D7%94%20%D7%90%D7%91%20%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95,%20%D7%99%D7%91%20%D7%90%D7%91,%20%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95&Path=Hebrew|Yeshivot|Iun|ShiurimRasheyYeshivotZtl|R1510|VideoSpecial&Lang=Hebrew&ShiurNum=2&Order=194199&VideoOnly=True&NewOrder=New2Old&NoCart=True&Source=1510-19860817-010101-%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%97%D7%99_%D7%9B%D7%9C%D7%94_%D7%90%D7%91_%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95.wmv Video] of Rabbi Shach speaking at [[Kallah]] at [[Ponevezh Yeshiva]] * [http://www.kolhalashon.com/New/Media/ShowJwPlayer.aspx?English=True&RavID=1510&RavName=Zatzal,%20Rav%20Shach&Title=%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%95%D7%99%D7%AA%20%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91%20%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%94%20%D7%A4%D7%99%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%A9%D7%98%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9F%20%D7%A9%D7%95%D7%A9%D7%9F%20%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%9D%20%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95,%20%D7%98%D7%95%20%D7%90%D7%93%D7%A8%20%D7%91,%20%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95&Path=Hebrew|Yeshivot|Iun|ShiurimRasheyYeshivotZtl|R1510|VideoSpecial&Lang=Hebrew&ShiurNum=3&Order=194198&VideoOnly=True&NewOrder=New2Old&NoCart=True&Source=1510-19860326-010101-%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%95%D7%99%D7%AA_%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91_%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%94_%D7%A4%D7%99%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%A9%D7%98%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9F_%D7%A9%D7%95%D7%A9%D7%9F_%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%9D_%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95.wmv Video] of Rabbi Shach giving eulogy for Rabbi [[Moshe Feinstein]] at [[Etz Chaim Yeshiva]] {{Ponevezh Yeshiva}} {{Authority control|VIAF=33396184}} {{Persondata <!-- Metadata: see [[Wikipedia:Persondata]]. --> | NAME = Shach, Elazar | ALTERNATIVE NAMES = | SHORT DESCRIPTION = Israeli rabbi | DATE OF BIRTH = January 1, 1899 | PLACE OF BIRTH = Wabolninkas ([[Vabalninkas]], pronounced Vaboilnik in Yiddish), northern [[Lithuania]] | DATE OF DEATH = November 2, 2001 | PLACE OF DEATH = }} {{DEFAULTSORT:Shach, Elazar}} [[Category:1899 births]] [[Category:2001 deaths]] [[Category:Haredi rabbis in Israel]] [[Category:Israeli centenarians]] [[Category:Israeli people of Lithuanian-Jewish descent]] [[Category:Lithuanian Jews]] [[Category:Orthodox Jewish Anti-Zionism]] [[Category:People from Bnei Brak]] [[Category:People from Vabalninkas]] [[Category:Ponevezh Rosh yeshivas]] [[Category:Rabbis in Mandatory Palestine]]
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{{For|the 17th century commentator on the [[Shulchan Aruch]] [[Yoreh De'ah]] known as "the Shach"|Shabbatai HaKohen}} {{Infobox Jewish leader | honorific-prefix = Rabbi | name = Elazar Shach | honorific-suffix = Z"L | title = Rav Shach | image = Elazar Shach.jpg | caption = Elazar Shach at the [[Ponevezh Yeshiva]] | synagogue = | synagogueposition = | yeshiva = [[Ponevezh Yeshiva]] | yeshivaposition = Co-[[Rosh yeshiva]] | organisation = | organisationposition = | began = | ended = | predecessor = | successor = | rabbi = | rebbe = | kohan = | hazzan = | rank = | other_post = <!---------- Personal details ----------> | birth_name = Elazar Menachem Man Shach | birth_date = January 1, 1899 | birth_place = [[Vabalninkas|Vaboilnik]], northern [[Lithuania]] | death_date = {{Death date and age|2001|11|2|1899|1|1}} | death_place = | buried = [[Bnei Brak]] | nationality = | denomination = | residence = | dynasty = | parents = Rabbi Ezriel Shach, Batsheva Shach | spouse = Guttel Schach | children = Miriam Raisel, Devorah, and Ephraim | occupation = | profession = | alma_mater = | semicha = | signature = }} '''Elazar Menachem Man Shach''' ({{lang-he|אלעזר מנחם מן שך}}) also spelled Eliezer Schach, or Elazar Shach, (January 1, 1899 [[Old Style and New Style dates|O.S.]] – November 2, 2001) was a leading [[Lithuanian Jews|Lithuanian]]-born and educated [[Haredi Judaism|Haredi]] [[rabbi]] in [[Bnei Brak]], [[Israel]]. He also served as one of three [[Rosh yeshiva|co-deans]] of the [[Ponevezh yeshiva]] in Bnei Brak along with Rabbis [[Shmuel Rozovsky]] and [[Dovid Povarsky]]. Due to his differences with the [[Hasidic Judaism|Hasidic]] leadership of the [[Agudat Yisrael]] in 1984 he [[Shas#History|allied with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef]] who had founded the [[Shas]] party. Later, in 1988, Shach sharply criticized Ovadia Yosef and said that "[[Sepharadim]] are not yet ready for leadership positions",<ref>'Haaretz' daily newspaper, Shachar Ilan, November 2, 2001</ref> and subsequently [[Degel HaTorah#History|founded the Degel HaTorah]] political party representing [[Lithuanian Jews|Lithuanian]] non-Hasidic [[Ashkenazi Jews]] in the Israeli [[Knesset]]. He was an ideologue and a zealot who repeatedly led his followers into ideological battles.<ref>'Haaretz' November 2, 2001 "Rabbi Shach – a man of wars and battles"</ref> ==Audio Lectures== *[http://torahdownloads.com/s-191-rabbi-elazar-menachem-shach.html Click here to download shiurim by Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach] == Life in Europe == [[File:Schach passport photo.jpg|thumb|185px|Passport photo (1920s)]] Elazar Menachem Man Shach was born in [[Vabalninkas]] (Vaboilnik in [[Yiddish language|Yiddish]]), a rural village in northern [[Lithuania]] to Rabbi Ezriel and Batsheva Shach. The Shach family had been merchants for generations, but Batsheva's family, the Levitans, were religious scholars who served various Lithuanian communities. Batsheva's brother, Rabbi Osher Nisan Levitan, later became an important figure in the [[Union of Orthodox Rabbis]] in the United States. Elazar was an ''[[illui]]'' (child prodigy).<ref>''Rabbi Eliezer Schach, Torah giant, dies at age 103'' Ilan, Shahar. Canadian Jewish News. Nov 8, 2001. Vol. 31, Iss. 46; pg. 41</ref> In 1909, at the age of 11, Shach went to study at the [[Ponevezh Yeshiva]], which at the time was located in the city of [[Panevėžys]], Lithuania, and was headed by Rabbi [[Isaac Jacob Rabinowitz]], known as Rav Itzele Ponovezer. In 1913, Shach started studying in [[Yeshivas Knesses Yisrael (Slabodka)]]. It was in this yeshiva that he had the opportunity to hear [[Talmud]] classes from its ''rosh yeshiva'', Rabbi [[Moshe Mordechai Epstein]]. 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 [[Torah study|study Torah]]. In 1915, following the advice of Rabbi [[Yechezkel Bernstein]] (author of ''Divrei Yechezkel''), Shach traveled to [[Slutsk]] to study at the yeshiva there. It was in Slutsk that he met Rabbi [[Isser Zalman Meltzer]], and this was the beginning of a close lifelong relationship between the two. Shach also met Rabbi [[Yosef Yozel Horwitz]] (head of the [[Novardok yeshiva]]), who had come to visit the yeshiva in order to introduce its students to the study of ''mussar'' (see [[Musar movement]]). Around this time he also met for the first time Rabbi [[Moshe Feinstein]], as Feinstein would often visit Meltzer at his house in Slutsk. In 1921, as a result of regional political changes, the Slutsk yeshiva split up. Rabbi [[Isser Zalman Meltzer]] stayed in the city of Slutsk, while Meltzer's son-in-law, Rabbi [[Aharon Kotler]], took his students and started a yeshiva in the town of [[Kletsk]]. Shach joined Kotler in Kletsk, and subsequently was appointed by Kotler as a [[maggid shiur]] ("lecturer [in [[Talmud]]]") in the yeshiva. In 1923, Shach married Meltzer's niece, Guttel Gilmovski. After the marriage, Shach and his wife moved to [[Mir, Belarus]], the residence of his father-in-law. It was in Mir that Shach established a lifelong relationship with the town's rabbi, Rabbi [[Avraham Tzvi Hirsch Kamai]]. The two would often discuss Torah together, and even after Shach later moved to Israel he continued to correspond with Kamai. (These letters were later printed in Shach's ''Avi Ezri'' magnum opus). After spending some time in the city of Mir, Shach moved back to Kletsk to join the yeshiva again. In 1925, his wife's uncle, Rabbi Meltzer, moved to Israel, and it was at this point that Shach became significantly more involved in the daily running of the yeshiva. It was around this time that Rabbi [[Yechezkel Levenstein]] joined the yeshiva to become its [[mashgiach ruchani]] ("spiritual guide"), and thus began a lifelong relationship of mutual respect between Shach and Levenstein. After the passing of Rabbi [[Meir Shapiro]], head of the [[Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva]], Rabbi [[Chaim Ozer Grodzinski]] sent the yeshivah's administrators a letter, recommending Shach for the position. After delivering a discourse at the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, Shach traveled to [[Vilnius|Vilna]] to consult with Grodzinski about the wisdom of taking on the new position, and upon hearing the various aspects of the question, Grodzinski advised Shach to turn down the offer.<ref name="Elazar Menachem Man Shach 1953 pg. 262"/> In 1934, Shach was appointed ''[[rosh yeshiva]]'' of the [[Novardok yeshiva]]. This came about as a result of the recommendation of Rabbi [[Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz]] (known as the [[Chazon Ish]]) to one of the yeshiva's founders, Rabbi Bentzion Brook.<ref>''Path to Greatness – The Life of Maran Harav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, Vol I: Vaboilnik to Bnei Brak (1899–1953)'' – pg. 454</ref> During this time in Shach's life, the rest of his family stayed in Kletsk while he stayed in the Novardok yeshiva for extended periods of time. After approximately two years, Shach left the yeshiva, because, in his own words, "this is not the place for me for many reasons."<ref>Letter to a student.</ref> In 1935 Shach became rosh yeshiva at the Hasidic [[Karlin (Hasidic dynasty)|Karlin]] yeshiva in [[Łuniniec|Luninets]]. He also functioned as the [[mashgiach ruchani]] of the yeshiva, giving customary mussar sermons to the yeshiva students. Shach remained at the yeshiva until the outbreak of [[World War II]]. == Escaping to the British Mandate of Palestine == Shortly before the start of [[World War II]] and [[the Holocaust]], several yeshivas began considering evacuating their rabbis, students and families. [[Aharon Kotler#World War II and move to the United States|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 [[Vilnius|Vilna]], where he stayed with Rabbi [[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, Rabbi Aron Levitan, had helped Kotler get emigration visas to the United States, but Shach, after consulting with Rabbi [[Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik]] and Rabbi [[Chaim Ozer Grodzinski]],<ref>''Harav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado'' by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989. page 56</ref> decided instead to go to [[British Mandate of Palestine|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. Several years after the re-establishment of the Ponevezh yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Shach was asked by Rabbi [[Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman]] to be one of its deans. Shach first discussed the proposal with Rabbi [[Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik]] and was encouraged by the latter to take the position.<ref>''Harav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado'' by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989. page 60</ref> Shach served in that capacity 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. == Rabbinical career == Shach received [[Semikhah|rabbinical ordination]] from Rabbi [[Isser Zalman Meltzer]],<ref name="Elazar Menachem Man Shach 1953 pg. 262">''Path to Greatness – The Life of Maran Harav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, Vol I: Vaboilnik to Bnei Brak (1899–1953)'' – pg. 262</ref> and served as chairman of [[Chinuch Atzmai]] and Va'ad HaYeshivos.<ref>''In Their Shadow: Wisdom and Guidance of the Gedolim Volume One: Chazon Ish, Brisker Rav, Rav Shach'' pg. 282</ref> From 1970 until his death, Shach was generally recognized by Lithuanian Haredim and some other Haredi circles as the ''Gadol Ha-Dor''.<ref>Encyclopedia Judaica – Macmillan Reference USA; Second edition (2006)</ref> During his lifetime, Shach was a revered spiritual mentor of more than 100,000 Orthodox Jews,<ref>{{cite news| url=http://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/27/world/orthodox-leader-in-israel-appears-to-spurn-peres.html?scp=3&sq=Eliezer%20Schach&st=cse | work=The New York Times | title=Orthodox Leader in Israel Appears to Spurn Peres | first=Joel | last=Brinkley | date=March 27, 1990 | accessdate=May 1, 2010}}</ref> 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 [[yeshiva]]s and [[kollel]]s full-time gained popularity. Although this type of setup was unprecedented in Jewish history,<ref>Jweekly November 9, 2001 David Landau JTA</ref> 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 ''[[Baal teshuva|ba'alei teshuvah]]'' who will be the one's to bring ''Mashiach''.<ref>''Raising Roses Among the Thorns'' by Noach Orlowek, pg. 345</ref> == View of the Holocaust == Shach taught that events like [[the Holocaust]] occurred because the [[Jewish views on sin|sins of the Jewish people]] accumulated, and they needed to be punished in order to rectify them. He said that "God kept count of each and every sin, in a running count over hundreds of years, until the count amounted to six million Jews, and that is how the Holocaust occurred. So must a Jew believe, and if a Jew does not completely believe this, he is a [[Heresy in Orthodox Judaism|heretic]], and if we do not accept this as a punishment then it is as if we don't believe in The Holy One, Blessed be He..."<ref>Yated Neeman 29/12/90. ''Mussar Iru'ay HaTekufah'' (מוסר אירועי התקופה)(2011) - pg. 36 - http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=52045&st=&pgnum=35</ref> == Views on education == Shach held that any secular education, at any level whatsoever, including high-school, was absolutely forbidden by the Torah. He wrote that any secular studies were banned by the sages of the Talmud, and that specially the study of [[psychology]] and [[history]] is pure heresy. He also wrote that learning a [[Craft|trade]] before it became an immediate need, is forbidden.<ref>Michtavim vMamarim volumes 1 pg. 109,pg.128,3 pg.31&39,4 pg.35,107</ref> When Shach was asked about opening a yeshiva exclusively for gifted boys, he said that it is impossible to know beforehand who will grow in Torah knowledge and who will not, and that all boys should therefore be given equal opportunities.<ref>''Relevance: Pirkei Avos for the twenty-first century'' by Dan Roth – Page 133</ref> == Political life == For Shach, battling [[secularism]] and [[Zionism]] was not enough. During the years of his leadership, he also waged bitter wars against anybody he suspected of deviation from the [[Haredi Judaism|Haredi]] path.<ref>http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/1,7340,L-1268268,00.html</ref> At the behest of Rabbi [[Aharon Kotler]], Shach joined the [[Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah]].<ref>''The Legacy Of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler'' by Yitzchok Dershowitz, Feldheim Publishers (2006) – pg. 137. http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=50717&st=&pgnum=180</ref> When Rabbi [[Zalman Sorotzkin]] died in 1966, Shach became president of the [[Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah]] until he resigned from the Moetzes after the other leading rabbis refused to follow him.<ref name="HAYESHIVA RAV ELAZAR MENACHEM MAN SHACH 2001">''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</ref> 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.<ref name="HAYESHIVA RAV ELAZAR MENACHEM MAN SHACH 2001"/> [[File:PikiWiki Israel 9440 harav-shach.jpg|thumb|230px|Elazar Shach (late 1980s), seated center, looking down, holding book]] Shas ran for the [[Knesset#Composition of the 11th Knesset Assembly (elected 1984)|11th Knesset]] in 1984, and Shach called upon his "[[Lithuanian Jews|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 (Israel)|Labor]] party in the 13th Knesset in 1992. On the eve of the [[Israeli legislative election, 1988|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 the [[Lubavitch]]er Rebbe, Rabbi [[Menachem Mendel Schneerson]]. Shach criticized Schneerson for his presumed messianic aspirations. Shach wanted the Aguda party to oppose Lubavitch, however all but one ([[Belz (Hasidic dynasty)|Belz]]) of the Hasidic sects within the party refused to back him. Shach and his followers then formed the [[Degel HaTorah]] ("Flag of Torah") party to represent the non-Hasidic [[Ashkenazi Jews|Ashkenazi]] Haredim.{{citation needed|date=December 2013}} Following a personal visit by Shach to the halachic decisors and leading rabbis of the generation, Rabbis [[Yosef Shalom Eliashiv]] and Rabbi [[Shlomo Zalman Auerbach]] in Jerusalem to seek their support for the new party, they agreed to lend support to the new party.<ref>''Davar'' – 02/10/1988 – pg. 3 – Noach Zvuluny - http://www.ranaz.co.il/articles/article2971_19881002.asp</ref> Schneerson mobilized his followers to support the Agudat Yisrael party. While Agudat Yisrael secured nearly three times the amount of votes it had in 1984, and increased its Knesset representation from two seats to five, Degel HaTorah won two seats.<ref>{{cite book|title=Israel, Land of Tradition and Conflict |first1=Bernard |last1=Reich |first2= Gershon R. Kieval |publisher=Westview Press |year=1993}}</ref> After the bitter contest in the 1988 elections, Degel HaTorah agreed to work together with Agudat Yisrael and combine forces in the 1992 elections, under the name of [[United Torah Judaism]] (UTJ) ''Yahadut HaTorah HaMeukhedet'' in [[Hebrew language|Hebrew]], an agreement which has continued to the present. In a speech delivered prior to the 1992 elections, Shach said that [[Sephardi Jews|Sephardim]] were still not fit for leadership, and aroused great anger among Sephardi voters. Following the elections Shach instructed [[Shas]] not to join the government, while [[Ovadia Yosef]] instructed them to join that precipitated an open rift between the parties. Shach then declared that [[Shas]] had removed itself from the Jewish community when it joined the wicked...<ref>'Haaretz', Shachar Ilan, November 2, 2001</ref> 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 Rabbis [[Yosef Shalom Eliashiv]] (d. 2012) and continued by [[Aharon Leib Shteinman]]. Shach was deeply opposed to [[Zionism]], both secular and religious. He was fiercely dismissive of secular [[Israel]]is and their culture. For example, during a 1990 speech he lambasted [[kibbutz]]niks as "breeders of rabbits and pigs" who did not "know what [[Yom Kippur]] is". In the same speech he said that the [[Labour (Israel)|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.<ref>Los Angeles Times – November 3, 2001 from the Associated Press.</ref> 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!"<ref>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 [http://www.shofar.net/site/emedia.asp?id=757&Category=3&Prourl=http://oldserver.shofar-tv.com/MEDIA/Documentation_Movies/shach128k.wmv# here] 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</ref> Shach was also critical of [[democracy]], once referring to it as a "cancer", adding that "only the sacred Torah is the true democracy."<ref>[http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/767598.html How do you like your halakha?] (''[[Haaretz]]'') September 28, 2006.</ref> Shach supported the withdrawal from land under Israeli control, basing it upon the [[Halakha|Halakhic]] principle of ''[[Pikuach Nefesh]]'' ("[the] saving [of a] life"), in which the preservation of Jewish lives takes precedence over nearly all other obligations in the Torah, including those pertaining to the sanctity of land,<ref>See ''Mictavim Umaamarim'' Volume 1: Letter 6</ref> though Shach's position was later questioned by Rabbi Shmuel Tuvia Stern who wondered why Shach hadn't provided halachic references supporting his opinion.<ref name="ReferenceA">Shmuel Tuvia Stern ''''Shaalot uTeshuvot HaShabit'''' vol.7</ref> He also criticized [[Israeli settlement]]s in the [[West Bank]] and [[Gaza Strip]] as "a blatant attempt to provoke the international community", and called on [[Haredi Judaism|Haredi Jews]] to avoid moving to such communities. ===Position on serving in the Israeli Army=== {{Main|Israel Defense Forces}} In May 1998, following talk of a political compromise which would allow [[Haredi Judaism|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."<ref>The Jewish Week, May 29, 1998 'From Yeshiva To Army'</ref> This is a case, Shach said, in which, halachically, one must "be killed rather than transgress".<ref>''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</ref> This position was expressed in large ads placed in all three of Israel's daily newspapers on May 22, 1998.<ref>''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</ref> 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)."<ref>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/</ref> and that “those who are not learning jeopardize the position of those who are learning as they should”.<ref>http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=57944</ref> ===Position on territorial compromise=== Shach's often said that for true peace it was "permitted and necessary to compromise on even half of the Land of Israel". When Rabbi [[Yitzchak Hutner]] was asked to support this position, he refused and stated that "agreement to other-than-biblical borders was tantamount to denial of the Torah".<ref>Shlomo Lorincz in ''''Miluei Shlomo'''' pages 296-297, Feldheim publishing, Jerusalem</ref> Shach's position was also questioned by Rabbi Shmuel Tuvia Stern who wondered why Shach hadn't provided halachic references supporting his opinion.<ref name="ReferenceA"/> ===Opposition to the Lubavitcher Rebbe=== {{Main|Menachem Mendel Schneerson}} Shach launched a number of public attacks against the [[Chabad|Lubavitcher]] Rebbe, Rabbi [[Menachem Mendel Schneerson]], from the 1970s through Schneerson's death in 1994.<ref>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: http://hamercaz.com/hamercaz/pics/database/aoi/223_myFile.pdf</ref> He accused Schneerson's followers of [[False messiah#Judaism|false Messianism]], and Schneerson of fomenting a cult of crypto-messianism around himself.<ref>Independent, The (London), Nov 10, 2001 by David Landau. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20011110/ai_n14431755</ref> He objected to Schneerson's call for "demanding" the Messiah's appearance. When some of Schneerson's followers proclaimed him the Messiah, Shach called for a complete boycott of Chabad, its institutions and projects by its constituents.<ref name="Fate pg. 340">Faith and Fate: The Story of the Jewish People in the 20th century, Berel Wein, 2001 by Shaar Press. pg. 340</ref> In 1988 Shach explicitly denounced Schneerson as a ''meshiach sheker'' (false messiah).<ref>"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. http://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"</ref> Shach also compared Chabad and Schneerson to the followers of the 17th century false messiah [[Sabbatai Zevi]].<ref>[http://www.culteducation.com/reference/lubavitch/lubavitch6.html Summer of the Messiah] (''[[Jerusalem Report]]'') February 14, 2001.</ref> Pointing to a statement by Schneerson that a rebbe is "the Essence and Being [of God] clothed a body", Shach described this as nothing short of [[idolatry]]. His followers refused to eat meat slaughtered by Lubavitch [[Shechita|shochetim]] or to recognize Chabad Hasidim as adherents of authentic Judaism.<ref>''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.</ref> Shach once described Schneerson as "the madman who sits in [[New York City|New York]] and drives the whole world crazy.".<ref>''The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidim Past and Present'', M. Avrum Ehrlich, Chapter 10, notes, KTAV Publishing, ISBN 0-88125-836-9</ref> In addition to Shach's objections to certain Chabad members proclaiming Schneerson to be the Messiah, he also argued against the Chabad position on many other issues. Schneerson, citing case law in the [[Shulchan Aruch]] strongly opposed both [[Peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict|peace talks with the Palestinians]] and relinquishing [[Palestinian territories|territory]] to them under any circumstances, while Shach supported the [[land for peace]] approach, though Shach's position was questioned by Rabbi Shmuel Tuvia Stern who wondered why Shach hadn't provided halachic references supporting his opinion.<ref name="ReferenceA"/> . During the 1988 elections, Schneerson endorsed [[Agudat Yisrael]] over Shach's newly formed [[Degel HaTorah]] party, and instructed Israeli Chabad to campaign for it. ===Opposition to other Orthodox rabbis and groups=== In addition to his criticism of Schneerson, Shach attacked the following rabbis: '''Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik''' In a lengthy attack on Rav [[Joseph B. Soloveitchik]] (d. 1993) of [[Yeshiva University]], Shach accused him of writing "things that are forbidden to hear" <ref>Letter of Shach – Michtavim U-Ma’amarim, 4:320:page 36</ref> as well as "...endangering the survival of Torah-true Judaism by indoctrinating the masses with actual words of heresy".<ref>Speech of Shach (transcribed by a listener) – Michtavim U-Ma’amarim, 4:370:page 107</ref> '''The Gerer Rebbe''' Shach resigned from the [[Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah#In Israel|Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah]] ("Council of Torah Greats") following tensions between him and the [[Ger (Hasidic dynasty)|Gerer Rebbe]], Rabbi [[Simcha Bunim Alter]] (d. 1992). In the [[Israeli legislative election, 1984|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 reemergence of the dissent between [[Hasidic Judaism|Hasidim]] and [[Misnagdim|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 <ref>Friedman, Menachem jcpa.org/jl/vp104.htm</ref> '''Rav Adin Steinsaltz''' Rav [[Adin Steinsaltz]] (Even-Yisrael) (b. 1937), 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."<ref>Michtavim U-Ma’amarim. vol. 4 pp. 67</ref> In the summer of 1989, a group of rabbis including Elazar Shach placed a ban on three of Steinsaltz's books.<ref>Davar – 4/08/1989 – pg. 3 – Noach Zvuluny (Can be read online here :http://www.ranaz.co.il/articles/article3071_19890804.asp)</ref> '''The Modern Orthodox and Yeshiva University''' Shach wrote that [[Yeshiva University]] (YU) type institutions are an entirely negative phenomenon posing a threat to the very endurance of authentic Judaism. When opposing having such an institution in Israel,<ref>Letter printed in ''Zichru Torah Moshe Avdi''(Shulzinger, 2006) - http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=47977&st=&pgnum=84</ref> 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)..." <ref>Michtavim Umamarim Vol. 4 No. 319</ref> 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<ref>Michtavim Umamarim vols. 1–2, p.109, and letter no. 53. Vol. 4 no. 76</ref> 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."<ref name="Fate pg. 340"/> ===Position regarding Hasidim and Hasidism in general=== {{Main|Hasidic Judaism}} Shach wrote<ref>Michtavim U'Maamaromim 5:533 (pg. 137). See also Jerusalem Post – Mar 4, 1992 – SCHACH'S ATTACKS 'MEANT ONLY FOR LUBAVITCHERS, NOT ALL HASSIDIM'</ref> that he was not at all opposed to Hasidim and Hasidism (including Hasidism of Chabad from the previous generations<ref>Michtavim U'Maamorim 2:23 (pg. 31) 1986 edition.</ref>); he said he recognized them as "''yera'im''" and "''shlaymim''" (God-fearing and wholesome) and full of Torah and [[Mitzvah|Mitzvos]] and fear of heaven.<ref>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</ref> Regarding his opposition to the present day Chabad movement, someone mentioned to Shach that "after 120 years, when you go to Heaven, you will merit a warm handshake from the [[Vilna Gaon]]." Shach responded, "The Vilna Gaon will shake my hand!? The [[Baal HaTanya]] will be the one to shake my hand!"<ref>''Harav Schach: Shehamafteach B'yado'' by Moshe Horovitz. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem. 1989. page 105</ref> On several occasions Shach said to his students that it pained him deep inside over the ''sheim ra'' ["bad name"] he had acquired as a "hater of Hasidim". This was "total ''sheker'' ["lie"] he said resolutely. "We are fighting against secularism in the yeshivas. Today, ''besiyata deShmaya'' ["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 ''bochurim'' ["unmarried male students"]." <ref>''Dos Yiddishe Vort''- #368 – 5762 – pg. 11 - http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=50175&st=&pgnum=11</ref> ===Support from Haredi leaders=== In 1982, the honor and standing of Rabbi Shach were challenged by various segments of the Orthodox press. A group of leading rabbis, including Rabbis ([[Yaakov Kamenetsky]], [[Shimon Schwab]], [[Mordechai Gifter]], [[Shneur Kotler]], [[Avraham Yaakov Pam]], [[Aharon Schechter]], [[Henoch Leibowitz]], [[Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman]], and [[Elya Svei]]) decided that a public protest for the honor of Shach was necessary.<ref>''Dreams: A Chodesh Av Perspective'' by Aryeh Z. Ginsberg. Mishpacha Magazine #370, Thursday, August 4, 2011. http://www.mishpacha.com/Browse/Article/1364/Dreams-A-Chodesh-Av-Perspective http://www.5tjt.com/local-news/11146-dreams</ref> One protest was held at Kaminetz Yeshiva in New York, and another at [[Yeshivas Ner Yisroel]] in Baltimore.<ref>See Dos Yiddishe Vort, 5742:229, pg. 13 – http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=24449&st=&pgnum=13</ref> ==Death and funeral== [[File:Grave of Rabbi Elazar Shach.JPG|thumb|Grave of Rabbi Elazar Shach in Bnei Brak]] Shach died on November 2, 2001 and was buried in Bnai Brak. He was almost 103 years of age, having being born on January 1, 1899. Approximately 200,000 people attended Shach's funeral,<ref>Wein, Berel (November 16, 2001). ''Final Journeys''. The Jerusalem Post; Rosenblum, Jonathan (November 16, 2001). ''How to get 200,000 people to a funeral''. The Jerusalem Post; ''Living Jewish: values, practices and traditions'' By Berel Wein, page 31;</ref> and after his death, Prime Minister [[Ariel Sharon]] noted appreciation for his work, saying "There is no doubt that we have lost an important person who made his mark over many years."<ref>http://archive.is/7e9V http://www.ourjerusalem.com/news/story/news20011106a.html</ref> == Family == Shach had three children, all born in Kletsk in the 1920s: Miriam Raisel, Devorah, and Ephraim. Miriam Raisel died as a teenager in 1939 of [[pneumonia]]. Devorah married Rabbi [[Meir Tzvi Bergman]], and had 9 children. Ephraim was unsatisfied with the Haredi lifestyle{{Citation needed|date=April 2009}} and eventually joined the [[Religious Zionism|Religious Zionist]] camp. Rav Shach's wife, Guttel Schach died in 1969 from complications connected to [[diabetes]]. Dr. Ephraim Shach served in the [[Israel Defense Forces]], received a [[Doctor of Philosophy|doctorate]] in [[history]] and [[philosophy]] from the [[Bernard Revel Graduate School]] of [[Yeshiva University]], and worked as a supervisor for the [[Ministry of Education (Israel)|Israel Ministry of Education]]. He married Tamara Yarlicht-Kowalsky and had 2 children. He died October 17, 2011, at the age of 81. == Works == *''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 == *''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. ==References== {{Reflist|2}} == External links == Eulogies and Articles about Rabbi Shach: * [http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/502/090.html (Hebrew) Interview with Dr. Ephraim Shach about his father, Rabbi Elazar Shach] * [http://www.shofar.net/site/ARDetile.asp?id=4453 Tzava'a of Rabbi Shach (in Hebrew)] Text: * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21194&st=&pgnum=347 Shiurim (Hebrew) from Rabbi Shach on various masechtos] * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=46420&st=&pgnum=257 Chiddushim (Hebrew) from Rabbi Shach on various talmudic topics] * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=12544&st=&pgnum=19 Speech] at the Sixth ''Knessiah Gedolah'' of [[World Agudath Israel]] in 1980 in Jerusalem * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=15039&pgnum=73 Speech] at eighth [[Siyum HaShas]] in 1982 * [http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=24449&pgnum=9 Speech] at Agudah convention in 1982 Videos: * [http://www.shofar.net/site/emedia.asp?id=757&Category=3&Prourl=http://oldserver.shofar-tv.com/MEDIA/Documentation_Movies/shach128k.wmv Video of Rabbi Shach speaking at Degel Hatorah convention] at [[Binyanei HaUma]], and convention at [[Yad Eliyahu Arena]] (17 minutes into video) on March 26, 1990. * [http://www.kolhalashon.com/New/Media/ShowJwPlayer.aspx?English=True&RavID=1510&RavName=Zatzal,%20Rav%20Shach&Title=%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%97%D7%99%20%D7%9B%D7%9C%D7%94%20%D7%90%D7%91%20%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95,%20%D7%99%D7%91%20%D7%90%D7%91,%20%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95&Path=Hebrew|Yeshivot|Iun|ShiurimRasheyYeshivotZtl|R1510|VideoSpecial&Lang=Hebrew&ShiurNum=2&Order=194199&VideoOnly=True&NewOrder=New2Old&NoCart=True&Source=1510-19860817-010101-%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%97%D7%99_%D7%9B%D7%9C%D7%94_%D7%90%D7%91_%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95.wmv Video] of Rabbi Shach speaking at [[Kallah]] at [[Ponevezh Yeshiva]] * [http://www.kolhalashon.com/New/Media/ShowJwPlayer.aspx?English=True&RavID=1510&RavName=Zatzal,%20Rav%20Shach&Title=%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%95%D7%99%D7%AA%20%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91%20%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%94%20%D7%A4%D7%99%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%A9%D7%98%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9F%20%D7%A9%D7%95%D7%A9%D7%9F%20%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%9D%20%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95,%20%D7%98%D7%95%20%D7%90%D7%93%D7%A8%20%D7%91,%20%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95&Path=Hebrew|Yeshivot|Iun|ShiurimRasheyYeshivotZtl|R1510|VideoSpecial&Lang=Hebrew&ShiurNum=3&Order=194198&VideoOnly=True&NewOrder=New2Old&NoCart=True&Source=1510-19860326-010101-%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%95%D7%99%D7%AA_%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91_%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%94_%D7%A4%D7%99%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%A9%D7%98%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9F_%D7%A9%D7%95%D7%A9%D7%9F_%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%9D_%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%95.wmv Video] of Rabbi Shach giving eulogy for Rabbi [[Moshe Feinstein]] at [[Etz Chaim Yeshiva]] {{Ponevezh Yeshiva}} {{Authority control|VIAF=33396184}} {{Persondata <!-- Metadata: see [[Wikipedia:Persondata]]. --> | NAME = Shach, Elazar | ALTERNATIVE NAMES = | SHORT DESCRIPTION = Israeli rabbi | DATE OF BIRTH = January 1, 1899 | PLACE OF BIRTH = Wabolninkas ([[Vabalninkas]], pronounced Vaboilnik in Yiddish), northern [[Lithuania]] | DATE OF DEATH = November 2, 2001 | PLACE OF DEATH = }} {{DEFAULTSORT:Shach, Elazar}} [[Category:1899 births]] [[Category:2001 deaths]] [[Category:Haredi rabbis in Israel]] [[Category:Israeli centenarians]] [[Category:Israeli people of Lithuanian-Jewish descent]] [[Category:Lithuanian Jews]] [[Category:Orthodox Jewish Anti-Zionism]] [[Category:People from Bnei Brak]] [[Category:People from Vabalninkas]] [[Category:Ponevezh Rosh yeshivas]] [[Category:Rabbis in Mandatory Palestine]]
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@@ -47,6 +47,9 @@ Due to his differences with the [[Hasidic Judaism|Hasidic]] leadership of the [[Agudat Yisrael]] in 1984 he [[Shas#History|allied with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef]] who had founded the [[Shas]] party. Later, in 1988, Shach sharply criticized Ovadia Yosef and said that "[[Sepharadim]] are not yet ready for leadership positions",<ref>'Haaretz' daily newspaper, Shachar Ilan, November 2, 2001</ref> and subsequently [[Degel HaTorah#History|founded the Degel HaTorah]] political party representing [[Lithuanian Jews|Lithuanian]] non-Hasidic [[Ashkenazi Jews]] in the Israeli [[Knesset]]. He was an ideologue and a zealot who repeatedly led his followers into ideological battles.<ref>'Haaretz' November 2, 2001 "Rabbi Shach – a man of wars and battles"</ref> +==Audio Lectures== +*[http://torahdownloads.com/s-191-rabbi-elazar-menachem-shach.html Click here to download shiurim by Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach] + == Life in Europe == [[File:Schach passport photo.jpg|thumb|185px|Passport photo (1920s)]]
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==Audio Lectures== *[http://torahdownloads.com/s-191-rabbi-elazar-menachem-shach.html Click here to download shiurim by Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach]
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