Rav Yehoshua Yeshaya Neuwirth zt”l, Author of Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasah


rav-yehoshua-yeshaya-neuwirth[Video below.] It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Yehoshua Yeshaya Neuwirth zt”l at the age of 86.

Rav Neuwirth was best known as the author of the classic and groundbreaking seforim “Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasah,” based on the pesakim of his rebbi, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l.

A noted posek, Rav Neuwrith also served as the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ketana Pri Shmuel and Yeshiva Gedolah Chochmas Shlomo in Yerushalayim, as well as Yeshiva Nesivos Hachochmah.

shmiras-shabbos-kehilchasahRav Neuwirth was born on 14 Adar in 1927 in Germany to his parents, Rav Aharon and Tziporah Neuwirth. His father served as a rov and dayan in various communities, including Halberstadt and Amsterdam.

With the onset of war, Rav Neuwirth fled with his parents, two brothers and sister to Holland, where they hid for three years. They ultimately made their way to Eretz Yisroel on a ship out of Marseilles.

During his youth, Rav Neuwirth studied at Yeshiva Kol Torah, where he became a close talmid of Rav Shlomo Zalman.

Rav Neuwirth resided in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Yerushalayim and served as the posek of Shareei Tzedek Medical Center, among other positions he held.

Rav Neuwirth was a leading talmid of Rav Shlomo Zalman, and while Rav Shlomo Zalman issued most of his pesakim rulings orally, Rav Neuwirth publicized many of them in his sefer, first published in Lashon Kodesh in 1965. Additionally, 8 of the 32 perakim of the sefer were devoted to Rav Shlomo Zalman’s rulings on medical halacha.

With the publication of his classic sefer, Rav Neuwirth introduced a new format for learning the halachos of Shabbos. In this sense, Rav Neuwirth was a trailblazer, creating a new genre in published halacha. Previous seforim for the general public were organized according to the Shulchan Aruch, while Rav Neuwirth organized his sefer by topic, providing a clear index, and also embellishing the text with thousands of marei mekomos and comments.

He also authored Chinuch Habonim L’mitzvos V’dinei Kotton, Kitzur Dinei Shmittah Karkaos, Ohel Sarah, and a guide for nurses in hospitals on Shabbosos and Yomim Tovim. His seforim received approbations from Rav Shlomo Zalman, Rav Moshe Feinstein and Dayan Chatzkel Abramsky, zichronam livracha. Rav Neuwirth’s opinion is frequently cited on issues such as genetic screening, brain death, euthanasia, and other medical issues.

Rav Neuwirth had been scheduled to serve as a sandek this morning at the bris of a great-grandchild. The bris has been postponed until after the levaya.

The levaya will take place at 11:30 a.m. at 10 Rechov Rav Bergman in Bayit Vegan and kevurah will follow on Har Hazeisim.

Yehi zichro boruch.


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{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}


  1. Baruch Dayan Emet, but his Sefer will live forever, as will his legacy of making Shmiras Shabbos more widespread.

  2. BDE. What a loss. I review his sefer almost every Shabbos, and it’s been my guide since the English language version came out. He made such a contribution to us. I shared an elevator ride with him once, and for me it was l’havdil like meeting a rock star. Who can replace him? He was a gift to us, just as was R’ Avrohom Blumenkrantz with his Pesach guides.