Rav Chaim Kanievsky Celebrates 91st Birthday

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Rav Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Kanievsky celebrated his 91st birthday by following his regular routine of full-time limud haTorah.

Born on January 8, 1928, in Pinsk, Rav Chaim’s parents were Rav Yaakov Yisroel Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon, and Rebbetzin Miriam Karelitz, a sister of the Chazon Ish.

Rav Chaim was married to Rebbetzin Batsheva Elyashiv, a daughter of Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Rebbetzin Batsheva passed away in 2011.

A gaon and boki of unparalleled proportions, Rav Chaim, recognized as the gadol hador, receives thousands of visitors every year from around the globe seeking p’sak and guidance.

Since his arrival to Eretz Yisroel as a young boy, Rav Chaim has never left the Holy Land to visit other countries.

Rav Chaim is the author of many works law, such as Derech Emunoh on agricultural halachos, Derech Chochmoh on the halachos of the avodas haMikdosh, and Shoneh Halachos, based on Mishnah Berurah.

Other seforim of Rav Chaim’s include Shekel Hakodesh on the halachos of Kiddush Hachodesh; Orchos Yosher, Siach Hasadeh, Nachal Eisan on the halachos of eglah arufah, Ta’ama Dikra, B’sha’ar Hamelech, L’mechase Atik, Kiryas Melech, and commentaries on Maseches Tzitzis, Maseches Avadim, Maseches Kusim, Maseches Geirim, Perek Shira, Baraisa D’Meleches HaMishkan and Baraisa D’Maseches Middos.

Interestingly, during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Rav Chaim, then a talmid at the Lomza Yeshiva in Petach Tikva, was conscripted for temporary army service in the general mobilization. He was assigned to stand guard on a large hill near Yaffo.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}


  1. “Rav Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Kanievsky celebrated his 91st birthday by following his regular routine of full-time limud haTorah.”

    Can we infer from that that מרן שר התורה שליט”א does not hold of ‘birthday celebrations’?

  2. rav chaim himself, when asked about if there is an inyan to make a birthday, said its a “minhag paro”. so to report that he celebrated his birthday wouldnt only be (in rav chaims eyes, and many others) lashon horah, but also rechilus.

  3. The Maven: Your comment is based on good math. BUT, they are certainly referring to his Hebrew birthday. Today was 15 Teves, which 91 years ago was in January of 1928. This year it’s a drop earlier on the secular calendar so it’s in December of 2018.

  4. Isn’t there an ענין that on one’s birthday one has a special כוח to bless and be blessed? If so, that is an appropriate way to “celebrate” one’s birthday. (Of course, all Jews have that כוח, thanks to אברהם אבינו, but this is a bit more powerful.)

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