Dr. Ephraim Azriel Shach z”l


ephraim-shachIt is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Ephraim Azriel Shach z”l, the only son of Maran Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh and the rabbon shel kol bnei hagolah.

Dr. Shach was 81 and was niftar at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Yerushalayim. Dr. Shach’s second name, Azriel, was after his grandfather, Rav Azriel Shach zt”l, whose yahrtzeit is today.

Dr. Shach was one of three children, who were all born in Kletsk, Russia, in the 1920s, to Rav Shach and his wife, Rebbetzin Gittel Shach. One daughter, Miriam Raisel Shach, died as a teenager in 1939 of pneumonia. A second daughter, Devorah, married Rav Meir Tzvi Bergman, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Rashbi.

Dr. Shach married Tamara Yarlicht-Kowalsky and had two children, Doron and Emily. He joined the Religious Zionist camp and served in the Israel Defense Forces.

In his youth, Dr. Shach learned at Yeshivas Chevron and then joined the Irgun. At his wedding in Yerushalayim, the mesader kiddushin was Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim.

Dr. Shach went on to study at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and at Yeshiva University, where he earned a degree in Jewish Philosophy and the history of Israel in the Middle Ages.

For many years, he served as a supervisor for the Israel Ministry of Education in various municipalities.

He is survived by his wife, his two children, grandchildren, and his sister, Rebbetzin Devorah Bergman.

The levaya and kevurah were held today at Har Hamenuchos in Yerushalayim.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Rav Dr. Ephraim Shach also had smicha from his great-uncle Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and from Rav Yechezkel Sarna. Yehi zichro baruch.

  2. BDE
    2 Questions
    If the niftar was 81, wasn’t he born after the 1920’s?
    Wasn’t Kletsk in Poland after WWI? (They escaped Slutzk bec it was in the Soviet Union.)

    Rav Shach’s only son and the Steipler’s only daughter in law died 2 days apart, I wonder what’s the message in that?

  3. BDE. I believe that a talmid chacham who has a choshuve smicha and stayed frum his whole life should be referred as HaRav (or Rabbi) even if he didn’t held any position of rabbanus.

  4. Just curious:Why do people feel the need to just write BDE. on a post…it’s rather weird. We all say it to ourselves when we hear news, but it’s funny…Just “had” to share my feelings.

  5. #12
    Its just a way to express yourself through blogging. People feel they have to act on their impulses. Then again what am I doing right now?

  6. Can you or anybody maybe link his Hesped that he said on Moreinu Horav Shach in the Bais Hakvaros. I heard it and it shook me to the core. He said [loosely quoting] Abba we went through alot of difficult tekufos and maybe as a son and Ben Yochid I wasnt what I was supposed to be but Abba look at the thousand of sons that you have that follow in your ways… That was a great moment and his words still reverberate with me. Yehi Zichro Baruch.

  7. It’s been said that Rav Shach Zt”l said of himself in comparing to Mr. Loichi Deutch Z”l who, was either the cook or the bookkeeper in Poniviez. “Why,” said Rav Schach of Mr. Deutch, was he zoche to have five sons who were/are of the velts biggest Talmidei Chachomim and I wasn”t zoche?” Said Rav Shach that at the Deutch Shabbos table he sang zemiros with his children but at my shabbos tabble I sat with a Gemmorra.


  8. While I personally agree with calling Rav Shach, ZTL, Rabban Shel Kol Bnai Hagolah,
    I think Rav Shach’s name speaks for itself. It does not need made-up titles.

  9. Of course he was frum. He might not have been part of the Yeshiva World or Chareidi World, but I know people who knew him and he was frum.

  10. He was a huge Talmud chochom and devoted his career to Jewish Education. For several years he lived in Flatbush where he taught at the Yeshiva of Flatbush HS and was the Rav of the minyan on E 10th and Ave I.

  11. In reply to #17 –

    I have heard that alleged tale as well, but it is not so simple. There are myriads of people who sang zemiros with their children and still didn’t have such great success with them…

    Zemiros isn’t the cure all, Torah is. Chazal say, HKB”H said, borosi yetzer hora, borosi lo Torah tavlin. It doesn’t say borosi lo zemiros tavlin. Maybe there is a makom for zemiros too, but let’s keep things in proper perspective.

  12. the question asked was regarding 2 ppl WHO DO EVERYTHING RIGHT, so why wasn’t his son going in the exact same path. The answer was, that perhaps the son wasn’t getting the attention that he needed, although i’m sure he got plenty, but maybe more would’ve helped. However other ppl, who are flawed in the first place, singing zemiros is just the last of it. This is in essence what is quoted from the CHAZON ISH, that he told someone to give his child “a spoonful of kavod everyday”, and to a young man who smirked at the idea, he told “and by the time you have children, children will be needing a cupful of kavod” (that was way back then).

  13. it is a wonderful kiddush hashem that he grew to become a such a great m’khaneikh, spreading torah and ahavat yisrael throughout the jewish world.

  14. I had the zchut to leaarn Torah with Rav dr. Ephraim shach during the 1960s.He was outstanding !
    Yehi zichro baruch!
    DONNY Gordon