TORAH TORAH CHIGRI SAK: אבל בעולם התורה • הגאון רבי רפאל שמואלביץ זצ”ל • Rav Refoel Shmulevitz zt”l

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rav Refoel is saddened to report the passing of Maran Rav Refoel Shmulevitz zt”l, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas MirYerushalayim. He was just 78 years old.

Rav Shmulevitz had been hospitalized at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Yerushalayim last night after he began suffering from a high fever. With fear of him having contracted an infection, doctors at the hospital immediately began antibiotic treatment. However, Rav Shmulevitz’s condition deteriorated as the hours passed and his neshamah ascended to Shomayim a short while ago.

In recent years, Rav Shmulevitz has been hospitalized several times, especially as he suffered from ALS. He experienced some improvement with a trial treatment, but experienced great yissurim as a result of the illness.

Rav Refoel was a son of Rav Chaim Shmulevitz zt”l, the legendary rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim. He was well-known as one of the most brilliant Torah minds of the generation. As previously reported by on several occasions, Rav Refoel was one of the few individuals tasked with reviewing the monumental Encyclopedia Talmudis, whose volumes did not go to print without his review and approval.

Rav Shmulevitz was born in Poland on 16 Kislev tof reish tzadi ches (1937) to his parents, Rav Chaim and Rebbetzin Chana Miriam.  Rebbetzin Chana Leah was a daughter of Rav Eliezer Yehuda FInkel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir.

Rav Refoel was a descendant of both the Alter of Novardok and the Alter of Slabodka.

As a talmid at Yeshivas Mir decades ago, after his family immigrated from Europe to Eretz Yisroel, Rav Refoel was a close friend and roommate of Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l, later rosh yeshiva of the yeshiva. In 1962, Rav Refoel married his rebbetzin, Ednah, a daughter of Rav Avrohom Farbstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chevron.

Until Rav Chaim Shmulevitz’s petirah in 1979, Rav Refoel served as a R”M at Yeshivas Chevron in Yerushalayim. He was appointed as a rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir along with Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel in 1990 with the petirah of Rav Beinish Finkel.

When the Yeshivas Mir branch opened in Brachfeld, Rav Refoel began delivering shiurei klali there once a month and would spend Shabbosos in the yeshiva.

Together with his friend, Rav S. M. Diskin, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Kol Torah, Rav Refoel was from the rabbinic leaders of Ramat Shlomo in Yerushalayim, guiding its growth and expansion.

As mentioned earlier, Rav Refoel’s gaonus, his breadth of Torah knowledge and his penetrating shiurim were well-known. Rav Refoel has left behind thousands of documents of his Torah writing, including many of his shiurim which have been published in volumes of Shiurei Rav Refoel on Shas.

Rav Refoel is survived by his sons, Rav Yaakov, a rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Mir; Rav Bentzion Yosef, Rav Eliezer, Rav Nosson Tzvi and Rav Yechezkel; and his daughters, the husbands of Rav Avrohom Segal, R”M at Yeshivas Mir Brachfeld; Rav Yosef Pines, Rav Shmuel Wolf and Rav Yisroel Meir Weiss, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Nachlas Haleviim.

The levayah will be held tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim in the Bais Yisroel neighborhood of Yerushalayim, followed by kevurah on Har Hamenuchos.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. The article does not mention – in addition to his renown Geonos- what an Anav he was, and his exalted middos.
    What a loss for the dor

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