Heavy mourning settled on chareidi Jewry on the night of
Shabbos Bereishis as news spread about the passing of HaRav
Eliezer Platchinsky zt"l, one of the leading roshei
yeshiva from the previous generation who illuminated our
generation with his teachings.
Eliezer Manoach Platchinsky was born on 28 Cheshvan 5673
(1913) in Vishki, Latvia, a shtetl near the city of Dvinsk,
the hometown of HaRav Meir Simchah Hacohen, author of the
Ohr Somayach, and HaRav Yosef Radin of Rogotchov, to
HaRav Shlomo Yehuda Leib, the son-in-law of the Alter of
Slobodka and the av beis din of Vishki and Dvinsk. At
the age of 10 he went to study in Riga under the rov of the
city, HaRav Menachem Mendel Zak, for over a year. Upon
returning home he learned in his father's home until reaching
the age of bar mitzvah, when he went to Yeshivas Ohr Yisroel
Slobodka, where he learned under HaRav Yechezkel Berstein,
the author of Divrei Yechezkel, and his brother-in-law,
HaRav Yosef Farber, who later became rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
Heichal HaTorah in Tel Aviv, where HaRav Berstein said his
mind did not cease contemplating divrei Torah wherever
During this period the Ohr Somayach passed away and his
father was appointed av beis din of Dvinsk, where he
had a daily learning session with the Rogotchover Rav, who
was very fond of him. This period continued for a decade,
from the petiroh of the Ohr Somayach until the
petiroh of the Rogotchover Rov. HaRav Platchinsky
learned a great deal from him during these years and later
cited his teachings in his seforim.
Afterwards he transferred to Yeshivas Knesses Yisroel
Slobodka, where he stayed for three years, gaining a
reputation as one of the exceptional members of the yeshiva.
He then returned to Yeshivas Riga for a year-and-a-half,
forming a close bond with HaRav Mordechai Pogremansky.
He spent the next four years at Yeshivas Mir, where he
learned bechavrusa with HaRav Leib Mallin and HaRav
Shmuel Rozovsky, later rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh in
In 5697 (1937) HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel selected him to
join the last group of students sent to spend a year studying
under the Brisker Rov along with HaRav Naftoli Wassermann,
the son of HaRav Elchonon Wassermann Hy"d, where they
learned bechavrusa, and with HaRav S. Shepps, later
rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Torah Vodaas. During this period he
studied maseches Nozir every evening with HaRav N.
Wassermann and the Brisker Rov would ask them about their
learning every evening and review his notes. On his way to
study in Brisk he stopped for a few days to visit HaRav
Elchonon Wassermann, who said, "He seems like a bochur
who has already studied at Brisk under the Gavad of Brisk,
not a talmid on his way to Brisk."
Afterwards he returned to Yeshivas Slobodka to learn under
his uncle, HaRav Isaac Sherr, and HaRav Boruch Horovitz, who
served as the rov of the city.
Through tremendous miracles he was spared from the valley of
death in Europe, arriving in Eretz Hakodesh in the year 5700
(1940). In Eretz Yisroel he joined a group with HaRav
S. Kotler, HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth, HaRav A. Goldschmidt and
other gedolei Yisroel.
In 5704 he was chosen to marry the daughter of HaRav Aryeh
Levin, Ettel tlct"a, thereby becoming the brother-in-
law of HaRav Shmuel Aharon Yudelevitz, HaRav Aharon
Yakobovitz and ylct"a HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv.
During this period the Chazon Ish wrote over 80 letters to
him, though the latter was known to avoid engaging in written
exchanges even with gedolei hador. In one letter he
writes, "...I love the omol haTorah I've found in
kovod Toras rabbenu in the best way..."
In 5706 (1946) HaRav Sherr asked him to restart Yeshivas
Slobodka, which perished during the Holocaust, and he set it
up in Bnei Brak.
In 5708 (1948) his father-in-law, HaRav Aryeh Levin, opened
Yeshivas Beis Aryeh, where he spent the next six decades
teaching Torah. He would give mussar talks to groups of
talmidim from Yeshivas Chevron and Yeshivas Mir, many
of whom are among today's leading roshei yeshivos,
including HaRav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Ateres Yisroel, and HaRav Aviezer Piltz, rosh
yeshiva of Yeshivas Tushiyoh-Tifrach, and HaRav S.Y.
Bourstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Kiryas Melech.
During the War of 5708 (1948), while staying in Tel Aviv, he
gave shiurim at Yeshivas Heichal HaTalmud. Later HaRav
Shteinman would recall that during this period the Chazon Ish
sent talmidim, including HaRav Mordechai Shlomo Berman,
to receive from him the correct derech halimud.
His book on Seder Moed was published in 5722 (1962).
Starting in 5732 (1972) he was asked by the rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas HaNegev, HaRav Yissochor Meir, to give a shiur
kloli every Wednesday, and a shiur for the kollel
members every Thursday.
His book on Seder Noshim was published in 5744 (1984).
The remainder of his writings have yet to be published,
although he edited some of them.
The levaya, which was attended by HaRav Eliashiv
shlita, set out from Yeshivas Beis Aryeh. Eulogies were
delivered by HaRav M. Lapidot, rov of Beis Knesses Yotzei
Slobodka in Modi'in Illit, HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, rosh
yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir, HaRav Aryeh Finkel, rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Mir-Brachfeld, HaRav Shmuel Birnbaum, rosh yeshiva
of Yeshivas Mir-USA, HaRav Dov Povarsky, one of the roshei
yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh, HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, HaRav
Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ateres
Yisroel, HaRav Aviezer Piltz, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
Tushiyoh-Tifrach, HaRav Yissochor Meir, rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas HaNegev, HaRav Meir Greuneman, and his son HaRav
Shlomo Platchinsky. He was buried on Monday, 26 Tishrei, at
HaRav Eliezer Manoach Platchinsky zt"l is survived by
his son, HaRav Shlomo, his sons-in-law, HaRav Y. Khan, rosh
yeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Aryeh in New York, HaRav M.
Lapidot, rov of Kehillas Yotzei Slobodka Modi'in Illit and
rosh kollel of Kollel Shaarei Limud, HaRav A. Bachrach, rosh
yeshiva of Yeshivas Givas Rokeach, HaRav L. Lisker, rov of
Kehillas Shaarei Tevuna in New York, HaRav Y. Arnd, a
ram at yeshivas Meoros Hatorah, and HaRav D. Brachfeld,
a ram at Yeshivas Mir-Brachfeld.