He was one of the most prominent poskim and Roshei Yeshiva in America
Edited by: Fern Sidman
Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, the son of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and one of the most prominent poskim and Roshei Yeshiva in America, passed away Friday afternoon at the age of 91. Rabbi Feinstein, a member of the Agudath Yisrael’s Council of Torah Sages and the Rosh Yeshiva of Tifereth Jerusalem, had felt weak recently and had been hospitalized but passed away on Friday, according to a report on the Vois Es Neais web site.
Rabbi Feinstein was known worldwide for his incisive rulings on halachic issues and for his deep humility. He was the author of many books and gave answers to the hundreds of questions which he received daily on a multitude of issues.
VIN reported that Rabbi Feinstein was born in 1929 in Lyuban, Russia, where his father was serving as the rabbi. His parents called him David after Rav Moshe’s father, Rav Dovid, who was a renowned Talmid Chacham and a descendant of Rabbi Avraham, the brother of the Gaon of Vilna. At the age if eight he immigrated to Manhattan with his parents and lived there for the rest of his life.
Rabbi Feinstein represented the authentic and uncompromising stance of Judaism in the American ambience of independence and freedom of religion. His humility coupled with his true greatness made him a lodestar for thousands of American Jews, but he did not take notice of this and continued to act as a simple person without portraying himself as the leading rabbinic figure that he was, as was reported by the VIN web site.
When Rabbi David Feinstein celebrated his Bar Mitzvah, he took on a practice which would change his entire life. He felt that since he was born during the week of Parshas Korach, he had come to the world to fix the sin of Lashon Hara (evil talk). VIN reported that from this time on he took upon himself to speak sparsely and would often shorten his discussions on general topics and would remain silent. However the Satmar Rebbe, who came to console him after the death of his sister, said that “from Rabbi David’s silence I can learn more than any mussar speech I heard in my life.”
VIN reported that Rabbi Dovid devoted his life to Chinuch (education) and spent many years working to obtain funds for proper Jewish education in France. When Rabbi Feinstein was fundraising for another institution he was careful not to involve his own institutions. On one occasion he raised funds for a large kollel for which he served as president. The donor wanted to take half of his donation for Rabbi Dovid’s own institutions but he refused and said that the entire sum belonged to the kollel.
Rabbi Feinstein is survived by three children, two sons and a daughter, and by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A third son died in his youth.
Many Jewish organizations, yeshivas, rabbonim and prominent Jewish leaders expressed their heartfelt condolences on Rabbi Feinstein’s passing.
In a statement on their web site, the Orthodox Union said that they “join the entire Jewish community in mourning the passing of HaRav Dovid Feinstein, zt”l, one of the generation’s leading poskim, decisors of Jewish law.”
They added that “aside from Rav Dovid Feinstein’s celebrated scholarship, his piety and modesty were legendary. Any interaction with him served as a lesson in how one can embrace one’s own humility without diminishing one’s sense of responsibility.
For many decades, the Orthodox Union frequently sought guidance from Rav Feinstein, particularly when confronting novel questions of Jewish law in areas such as Kashruth and NCSY’s approaches to Jewish outreach. The world has lost a gadol beTorah. We will miss his Torah leadership, his astounding and deeply insightful wisdom, as well as his warmth and accessibility.”
Yeshiva University also posted a message on their web site saying that they “mourn the passing of the revered posek, Harav Dovid Feinstein zt”l.”
They added that “Rav Dovid Feinstein was a towering Torah scholar, who published many volumes of substantive and inspiring Torah insights. Rav Feinstein maintained prominent communal positions, including serving as a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Yisrael for many decades.
Moreover, his halachic [Jewish legal] guidance was sought by thousands of people throughout the world, and he maintained a significant leadership role in addressing issues of broader communal policy.
Despite his renowned position within the Jewish world, “Rav Dovid” was known for his unparalleled humility and kindness. May his memory be an eternal blessing.”
The Agudath Israel of America organization said that they were “heartbroken at news of passing of Rabbi Dovid Feinstein–Rosh HaYeshiva of Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem and Chaver Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah. Agudath Israel and the entire Orthodox community have benefited from his Torah wisdom and guidance for decades–the pain and loss overwhelm.”
The Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim said in a statement that “the Jewish people has lost a brilliant scholar, faithful leader, devoted servant and one of the Poskei Hador. The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American Orthodox Rabbis — joins Klal Yisroel in mourning the passing of HaGaon HaRav Dovid Feinstein, ZT’L, the Rosh Yeshivah of Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.”
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, stated, “We at Igud HaRabbonim respected and revered Harav Dovid Feinstein as a world class talmid chacham and a gadol hador. He personified the humility and refined character traits he spent his life teaching. With the passing of HaRav Feinstein, the Jewish people face a void that seems insurmountable, magnified by the pain we are experiencing as we grapple with the reality of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Today, the worldwide Torah community stands as orphans, painfully bereft of the profound wisdom and courageous leadership of HaRav Dovid Feinstein. But we continue with unbending faith that our Father in Heaven will send us proper guidance and salvation, because the children of Israel will never be abandoned. We pray that HaRav Dovid Feinstein serve as a melitz yosher for his family and the entire Klal Yisroel in this time of fear and sorrow.”
The Levaya for HaRav Dovid Feinstein ZT”L will be Sunday morning from 930 AM to 1030 AM in front Of Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim in the Lower East side of Manhattan, 145 East Broadway, and than to Eretz Yisroel. There will be no airport Levaya.
All are encouraged to use mass transit as there will be very limited parking.
The Levaya will be broadcast live at:
Call in Numbers:
212-444-1323 option 9 or 646-726-9977
Announcement from family: In light of the current situation, the Levaya will be live-streamed on multiple platforms, and it will be a greater kovod hameis and kiddush Hashem if people participate in that way.
Anyone participating in person must wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times.
(Vois es Nais contributed to this story. Read more at: https://vosizneias.com)