A RARE GLIMPSE: Rav Chaim to Shas Yiden; ‘I Completed Shas Before Bar Mitzvah’

By: Yehuda Alter

In the week following the passing of the Sar haTorah, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l, much ink has been spilled in an attempt to scratch the surface of the greatness of Rav Chaim and his mastery of kol haTorah kulah.

In this spirit, a short, powerful video clip was unearthed by Kolel Shas Yiden—of which Rav Chaim was the longtime Nasi, and constantly encouraged its growth.

In it, Rav Chaim gives a bracha to a bachur who completed shas at the young age of fifteen. “How old are you,” the Sar Hatorah asked him. “Fifteen,” the bachur answers. 

Rav Chaim, zt”l, smiled approvingly. “I finished Shas before my bar mitzvah,” the gadol conceded shyly...  leaving a rare glimpse into his greatness for posterity.

The incident occurred when the first kolel Shas Yiden, begun 13 years ago with 10 yungeleit in Beit Shemesh, visited Rav Chaim, and the Founder Hagaon Rav Avrohom Eisen, Pozna Rov stands at his side. Since that time, with the constant encouragement of the Sar Hatorah, Nasi of the kolel, the kolel network of Shas Yiden in Eretz Yisroel has grown to six kolelim 99 Avreicheim Goanim. 

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