Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita led a mass procession of
gedolei Torah, roshei yeshivas, rabbonim, dayonim and
marbitzei Torah accompanying the mittoh of
HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg zt"l, author of the
Tzitz Eliezer responsa, who was laid to rest in
Jerusalem last Tuesday 30 Cheshvan at the age of 90.
The levaya set out from Yeshivas Eitz Chaim, where he
was eulogized by HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, HaRav Moshe
Sternbuch, the ravad of the Eida Chareidis, HaRav Avrohom Dov
Auerbach, the rov of Tiberius, his grandson HaRav Yaakov
Waldenberg, rov of the Ezras Torah neighborhood, his nephew
HaRav Yerachmiel Tucker, a ram at Yeshivas Ohr Boruch,
and his grandson HaRav Shlomo Waldenberg.
Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg was born in Jerusalem on 3 Teves
5676 (1916) to HaRav Gedaliah, a leading talmid
chochom in Jerusalem, and Rochel Leah, daughter of HaRav
Nachum Rogoznitzky, one of the heads of the Eitz Chaim
talmud Torah and yeshiva.
While he was being born his father was arrested by the
Turkish authorities as a foreign minor and was unable to take
part in the bris. After serving as sandak,
HaRav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld approached Rebbetzin Waldenberg
and gave her a blessing for "gut Yiddische nachas."
Following the bris the parents had to leave the
country with their children. After a few years in Syria, the
family returned to Eretz Yisroel, and the boy enrolled at
Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim.
Eliezer Yehuda's unusual abilities became apparent at a young
age and while still a boy he was accepted at Yeshivas
Chevron. At the age of 19 his book, Devar Eliezer, was
published. In their approbations the author of Chevel
Yaakov, HaRav Isser Zalman Meltzer, the author of
Marcheshes and Rosh Yeshivas Chevron HaRav Yechezkel
Sarna marveled at the young man's proficiency in the
Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi as well as his
command of the Rishonim and Acharonim.
In 5696 (1936) he married Shoshanoh, the daughter of HaRav
Avrohom Werner, rov of Netanya. A short time later he began
to serve as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Shaarei Tzion.
During this period the first volume of Tzitz Eliezer
was published. Although just 27 years old, HaRav Waldenberg
addressed questions from every area of Torah study and
weighed them with the leading poskim. The Chazon Ish
wrote numerous notations on the proofs and the two had
lengthy exchanges on various halachic matters. HaRav
Waldenberg's rulings and books were held in high esteem by
HaRav Moshe Feinstein and HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach
zt"l, as well as HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv
ylct"a, with whom he spoke and corresponded
For decades he served as av bein din of the Rabbinate
beis din and as a member of the Beis Din Hagodol.
Dayanim around the world would consult with him, especially
regarding gittin and women's names listed on the
As a dayan he was renowned for his firm refusal not to hear a
word from either side outside of the beis din hearing
The 22 volumes of Tzitz Eliezer won praise from
kehillos and poskim around the world,
particularly for their contributions to halachic issues
related to medicine, Shabbos, yichud and mourning.
Years later he served as rov of Shaarei Tzedek Hospital,
where he delivered regularly shiurim to the medical
staff. As his reputation grew he began to receive questions
on medical halochoh from every corner of the globe.
HaRav Waldenberg would set aside time to prepare for
tefilloh and in his hesped HaRav Shmuel
Auerbach said that his prayers came from the depths of a soul
clinging to its Maker.
A year and a half ago his son, HaRav Simchah Bunim, rov of
the Ezras Torah neighborhood, passed away. When he was told
of his only son's petiroh he proceeded to assess all
of the halachic details before he began to grieve over the
After a week at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital, HaRav Eliezer
Waldenberg was summoned to the Yeshiva Shel Maaloh
while dozens of family members surrounded his bedside.
Although the levaya was held on Rosh Chodesh,
hespeidim were permitted in accordance with the
din of a talmid chochom who can answer
questions on every subject without hesitation.
The petiroh of the Tzitz Eliezer, HaRav Eliezer
Yehuda Waldenberg zt"l, represents the loss of one of
the great poskim of our generation.