Rav Kanievsky Leaves a Legacy for Generations to Come
by Yehudit Garmaise
On Sunday, 750,000 mourners flocked to B’nai Brak to escort HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky zt'l to his final resting place after he suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 94 on Friday.
He was put to rest in the Zichron Meir Cemetery in B’nai Brak near the keverim of his wife, Batsheva Esther Kanievsky, his father, Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, known as the Steipler Gaon, and his uncle, Rabbi Avraham Yeshayohu Karelitz, known as the Chazon Ish.
Rav Chaim, who was revered by frum Jews worldwide, completed Shas every year on Erev Pesach. With great Syata Dishmaya, the extra Adar this year allowed Rav Chaim to finish Shas for the last time on Erev Purim, just before his petirah.
Right after Rav Kanievsky’s levaya, Rav Chiam’s three sons returned to Rechov Rashbam 23, where they grew up, to receive shiva calls, which are coming in the thousands.
HaRav Chaim is survived by three sons: two of whom are roshei Kollel and one was appointed, at the levayah, to serve as the rav of the Lederman shul, which is just steps away from the Kanievsky home.
Rabbi Kanievsky also left behind six daughters. Rebbetzin Leah Kolodetsky is particularly well-known, as she beautifully took on the public role of her much beloved mother, who passed away Succos 2011, after spending her days caring, cooking, and providing heartfelt wisdom, encouragement, love, and brachos to the thousands of Jewish women who were drawn to her.
In addition to learning a reported 20 hours a day, Rav Kaniesky also published tens of thousand of rabbinic responsa and dozens of seforim including Derech Emunah, Derech Chochma, Shoneh Halachos, and Ta'ama D'kra.
Rav Chaim, who was known for his unparalleled range of Torah knowledge, was uniquely qualified in topics as wide-ranging as halacha, lunar cycles, shmitta, and the Talmud Yerushalmi.
Other writings of Rav Kanievsky included patient responses to the hundreds of letters he received each week.
In the last few days, as Rav Chaim's final legacy, dozens of babies throughout the world, including a great-grandchild, now proudly carry the name Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim to honor and elevate the neshama of the Sar HaTorah.