Reb Chaim Daskal zt”l: “Reb Chaim of Yerushalayim”


reb-chaim-daskalIt is with great sadness that we report the passing of Reb Chaim Daskal of Yerushalayim zt”l, known as “Reb Chaim of Yerushalayim,” one of the great mekarvim of our time who influenced thousands of people to draw closer to their heritage and to theRibono Shel Olam. He was just 52 years old.

Thousands were touched by his Shabbos campaigns, as he and his wife were moser nefesh to offer Jews of all types, from all over, a taste of Shabbos.
In 1972, at the age of 10-1/2, Reb Chaim joined the Mirrer Yeshiva in Flatbush, Brooklyn, where he was greatly influenced by the beloved Rabbi Avi Lieberman zt”l, who inspired Reb Chaim, showing him the sweetness of Torah learning and tapping into his potential. Reb Chaim later dedicated every success of his to Rabbi Lieberman, who was known to Reb Chaim and his fellow talmidim simply as “Reb.”

Rabbi Lieberman enabled Reb Chaim to formulate a method for teaching children – and adults – to love learning. By age 16, Reb Chaim began studying at Yeshiva Bais Yehuda in Southfield, Michigan. The local day school let out at 3 p.m. and many boys were just hanging around, so Reb Chaim organized an after-school program from 3:15 to 4:30. Following that project, with the help of friends from the yeshiva, Reb Chaim built a very successful model of Pirchei Shabbos programs. Ultimately, Reb Chaim became a teacher, principal, mentor and life-coach to literally thousands of students all over the globe.

Reb Chaim’s mother, Sarah, was a daughter of Rebbetzin Yentel, who in turn was a daughter of Rav Shraga Shmuel Shmelka of Tchabeh zt’l, whose father was Rav Boruch Yehuda of Deretchka zt’l.

Reb Chaim was always proud that he descended from the Baal Shem Tov, and that his family descends from Dovid Hamelech, 95 generations from Nachshon Ben Aminodov.

Reb Chaim was a son of Reb Dovid Daskal, a son of Reb Dov Mordechai and Perl of Budapest, Hungary.

After Reb Chaim’s zaida, Rav Boruch Yehuda Lebovits zt”l (after whom he was named) passed away at a young age, his grandmother, Rebbetzin Yentel, married Rav Eliezer Zusia Portugal, the Skulener Rebbe zt”l. Reb Chaim became very close to his grandfather, the Rebbe. He frequented his home and it became his home away from home. Reb Chaim spent many hours studying with the Rebbe and observing the many acts of loving-kindness that made him so well-known throughout the world.

Reb Chaim’s uncles – Rav Naftuli, the Holosher Rebbe, the Krumbacher Rebbe, the Nikolsburger Rebbe and the Karmarneh Rebbe; Reb Mordechai, the Bishtener Rebbe; and Rav Yitzchok – and his aunts, Rebbetzin Chaya and Rebbetzin Devorah, had a big influence on his life.

The specialness of Reb Chaim of Yerushalayim, as he was known, was his ability to reach out to all Jews of all walks of life. He was always the first person to greet someone and share a smile.

In his early years, when he lived in Minnesota, and he helped so many people, and later in Yerushalayim, where he hosted Shabbos meals in the Old City, Reb Chaim was a gatherer of souls. He was a master at understanding all types of people and seeing what they needed.

He encouraged children to learn Mishnayos by heart and to study Torah. Dozens of young married couples went to him for advice and encouragement. When he entered a room, people took notice and wanted to know who this person was. There was a light about him that shone with gladness and kindness.

Reb Chaim will always be known for his holy Shabbos meals, which were open to all types of people. He taught young and old to appreciate the light of Shabbos through singing and Torah. In many cases, he changed people’s lives forever and gave them an experience of Eretz Yisroel that they would never forget.

The world is a darker place without Reb Chaim and his contagious simcha and smile, but his legacy lives on, warming the hearts and souls of so many, inspiring them to keep rising in ruchniyus, just as Reb Chaim would want.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Gavriel Newscenter}


  1. Among exceptional people Reb Chaim would stand out in his unique warmth and genuine love. May his memory be for a blessing and an advocate for the whole community. Reb Chaim exemplified the unity we are experiencing now let his legacy be a continued sense of unity amongst us.

  2. He will be sorely missed by many of his talmidim here In America too. He cared about each and every person like they were his children. Something he learned from Rebs, who was everyone’s Rebbi and best friend. Yehi zichronam baruch

  3. Special person ! Thank you for write upwhat about his family he left over. You didn’t write a thing about that. And how old was he? Was he sick?

  4. I remember when Reb Chaim first came to Detroit. I was one of those boys that he organized (although your scheduling hours are a little off.) We were fairly close later when he resettled in Detroit and davened at the Shtibel of Rav Deutsch, zt’l. His infectuous grin and knack for coming up with a creative diversion, kept us all in smiles.

    Later upon relocating to Yerushalayim, That was when he found his niche, his place to accomplish great things. During that time, he had a strong influence on one of my daughters, among hundreds, maybe thousands of others. I remember when she called me to tell me excitedly, “Do you really know Reb Chaim from Yerushalayim? He said he’s your friend.” Her estimation of me went up a hundred fold, if I was one of Reb Chaim’s old friends.

    More recently I had a chance to meet him when he came to my town to celebrate the kiddush for a daughter born to his daughter (I was a chavrusa of his son in law at the time.) It was an honor and pleasure to see that smile, get that bear hug greeting once more!! Little did I know it would be the last time. He will be sorely missed.

  5. REB CHAIM was pure love. Always lived for another. If you ever came across him. You have a story to tell. he inspired thousands. In his early years when he lived in Minnesota he helped yiddin that came for charity or to heal at the hospital with food, money and chizuk. Later in yerushalayim he hosted shabbos in the old city to thousands from all different backgrounds. There’s so much to tell, but I’m not sure if it could fit in the form of a comment.
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  6. Being in his house for shabbos left an impression on me that i will never forget! He had such a big heart and a massive smile always making people around him feel that they are the best they could possibly be.
    you’ll be terribly missed by all those that met you, knew you and loved you.

  7. BDE

    Niftar at the young age of 52

    non-stop TRAGEDIES in klal yisroel

    can’t say more

    tears rolling down my cheeks…

    TESHUVA I beg us to start….

    May his neshama have an aliya

  8. BDE. He left an impression. He made me better. May he have a lichtiger Gan Eden and be a Meilitz Yosher for all of us, and may he storm the heavens and beseech Hashem to bring Moshiach now!

  9. Loved Rabbi Daskal and his S.O.S. program – Sports on Sunday in Minneapolis.
    Every child woke up early for davening, special treats, alittle learning and lots of sports. His ideas and programming gave the school such life.

  10. When his rebbe Reb Avrohom Lieberman died at a young age he wrote such a beautiful letter to the family, that they printed it in the Sefer they published of Rabbi Lieberman’s divrei Torah. His emotional hakoras hatov was amazing. It takes a really good person to have such appreciation, but he seems to have earned unbelievable admiration from many many talmidim.

  11. Baruch Dayan HeEmes! Reb. Chayim! Reb. Chayim! may your soul find a resting place in Gan Eden with the other tzaddikim from generation to generation who have long ago past on… You’re going to Olam HaEmes, bring us the Mashiach Tzidkeinu! Oy! Reb. Chayim! we will miss you…may HKBH take care of your family and your larger family, which includes thousands upon thousands of neshamos, who depended on you.
    Please, forgive me that I may have not listened to you and doubted your advice…

  12. Reb Chaim was my mentor, friend and teacher. He had a profound influence on my family that set us in motion to be where we are all today. Now I’m learning Michnayos for his Neshama. Sunday’s Daf talked about how the passing of a great person protects Klal Yisroel. We lose Ahron and Miriam in this weeks Parsha. Do I need to say more. What a great loss for Klal Yisroel.

  13. I haven’t seen R. Chaim or been in contact with him in over 30 years, but I cried when I heard the tragic news. His impact on me from before I was even bar mitzvah has left me inspired ever since! Words cannot do justice to my feelings.. Hamakom Yenachem the mishpacha and the many many others who mourn his passing.

  14. didn’t know Reb Chaim well, although i felt the energy in the room whenever i was with him. He is but one of the countless people that was impacted so greatly by Rebs. All the good that has ever come from me is on account of Rebs.

  15. We’ve arranged a fundraiser to help support Reb Chaim’s family. His wife, Devorah, is now a widow with four small children under the age of ten to support. If you can help in any way, or just help get the word out, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Here’s the link to the fundraiser:

  16. Reb Chaim was amazing during his whole life with all he gave to his own family and to others , being able to juggle both and none should be defected .
    The last few month he was Extremely strong with his EMUNA AND BITUCHIN as he was always writing to me how GOOD HASHEM IS TO HIM and how he is taking everything with love from hashem and he is just being taken on a big test and he will make it .
    Even he was really sick he was still strong and every day that he was more and more sick he got stronger by the day full with EMUNA in hashem

    We should learn from his great work that was done by him and y”blcht his wife all the years and make a donation to the new fund for his kids at

    Also if you can learn MISHNIOS for him
    R’ Chaim Burech Yehuda bed r dovid tzvi

    should his neshama have an aliya and he should bring us Moshiach very soon

  17. Although I only saw him sparingly over the last 20-25 years, the time we spent learning together in the same Yeshivah (Yeshiva Gedolah Ateres Mordechai-Detroit) were memories that re-ignited our kinship each time we met.
    He had a certain smile and twinkle in his eyes that bespoke a hidden happiness, almost bordering on mischievousness. (Smile – it makes people wonder what you’re up to.) But he was always up to something good and always connected to Yiddishkeit. After leaving Detroit, we heard of his growth and success in creating additional programs, just like the many he created and ran here in Detroit.
    I never met his second wife, nor any of his “new” children, but I’m sure they got a healthy dose of Chaim’s zest for life before he was “tested”.
    I can’t finish without relating one of Chaim’s great “shtick” that he would often “pull” while in Yeshiva: After learning in the Yeshivah and hearing the Rosh Yeshiva (Reb Leib Bakst ZT”L) he developed the ability to imitate the “Rosh” down to a “T”. Whenever Chaim felt a Bochur was in need of Mussar (coming late to davening, smoking, etc.) he would call the yeshivah dorm phone, ask for the bocher and proceed to give him Mussar! The Bocher could not tell the difference and thought that the “Rosh” had specifically called him to give him Mussar!
    I am sure he’s enjoying the company of the Great Souls in Shamayim. Ye’hi Zichro Baruch