Rav Hillel Zaks zt”l


rav-hillel-zaksIt is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Hillel Zaks zt”l, rov in Kiryat Sefer and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Knesses Hagedolah.  

Rav Hillel was a son of Rav Menachem Mendel Yosef Zaks zt”l, rosh yeshiva in and a son-in-law of the Chofetz Chaim.

Rav Zaks was 83.

He was hospitalized two days ago, and this afternoon his condition worsened. After resuscitation efforts by doctors, Rav Zaks passed away.

The levaya will be held on Rechov Chofetz Chaim in Kiryat Sefer this evening, followed by kevurah in Yerushalayim.

Rav Zaks was born in Poland on Tu B’Shevat 5691. His mother, Faiga Chaya, was the youngest daughter of the Chofetz Chaim. His parents married in 1922.

At the age of eight, following the invasion of Poland by the Red Army, his family moved to the town of Eishishuk and then to Vilna. After receiving US visas, his family crossed through the Soviet Union and then Japan before making it over to the United States.

When he arrived in America at the age of nine, Rav Hillel studied under the posek hador, Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l, at Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim, and then under Rav Shlom Heiman and Rav Reuven Grozovsky at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, and then in Lakewood under Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l. he was a chavrusah of Rav Shneur Kotler zt”l for ten years and with Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky shlit”a for five years.

In the 1950s, he married his wife, Rebbetzin Ahuvah Esther, a daughter of Rav Moshe Chveroni zt”l, rosh Yeshivas Chevron.

After his marriage, he lived in the United States. In 1960, he immigrated to Eretz Yisroel and settled in the Geulah neighborhood, near Chevron Yeshiva. He was ultimately appointed as the rosh yeshiva of the Chevron Yeshiva, together with rav Simcha Zissel Broide and Rav Avrohomk Farbstein.

He subsequently founded Yeshiva Knesses Hagedolah in Modi’in Illit, where his son, Rav Yitzchok Zev Zaks, serves as rosh yeshiva.

For decades, he raised thousands of talmidim in Eretz Yisroel and abroad, being marbitz Torah while being constantly immersed in limud haTorah.

Rav Zaks was a boki in Toras hanigleh and an expert in Kabbolah and the sifrei Ramchal.

He is survived by his brothers, Rav Yisroel Meir Zaks and Rav Yaakov Yehoshua Zaks; his sons, Rav Yitzchok Zev Zaks, Rav Yisroel Meir Zaks, Rav Aharon Zaks, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Zaks, Rav Dovid Zaks, and Rav Menachem Mendel Yosef Zaks; and his sons-in-law, Rav Chaim Mann and Rav Tzvi Wilensky.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}