Reb Nosson Tzvi Finkel

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Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel

Hebrew: Rav Nosson Tzvi פינקל
Birthplace: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States
Death: Died in Jerusalem, Israel
Immediate Family:

Son of Elihu Meir Finkel and Sara Ita Finkel
Husband of Rachel Leah Finkel
Father of <private> פינקל; <private> Finkel; <private> Finkel; <private> Finkel; <private> Finkel and 9 others
Brother of <private> Finkel and <private> (Carlebach) Finkel

Occupation: Rabbi, Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir in Jerusalem
Managed by: Chana Bongart (Sultan)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • <private> פינקל
    • <private> Finkel
    • <private> Finkel
    • <private> Finkel
    • <private> Finkel
    • <private> Finkel
    • <private> Finkel
    • <private> Finkel
    • <private> Kessler

About Reb Nosson Tzvi Finkel

Nosson Tzvi Finkel (Mir) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not to be confused with Nosson Tzvi Finkel (Slabodka).

Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel Rosh Yeshivas Mir

Position Rosh yeshiva Yeshiva Mir yeshiva (Jerusalem) Began 1990 Ended 8 November 2011 Predecessor Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz, Rabbi Nachum Partzovitz Successor Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel Personal details Birth name Nosson Tzvi Finkel Born 12 March 1943 Chicago, Illinois Died 8 November 2011 (aged 68) Jerusalem, Israel Buried 8 November 2011 Nationality United States, Israel Denomination Haredi Residence Jerusalem, Israel Parents Eliyahu Meir Finkel Sara Schwartz Spouse Rachel Leah Finkel Children Eliezer Yehuda Avraham Shmuel Yeshayahu Yitzchak Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Yehoshua Tanchum 6 daughters[1]

Nosson Tzvi Finkel (12 March 1943 – 8 November 2011) was an American-born Haredi Litvish rabbi and rosh yeshiva (dean) of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel. During his tenure from 1990 until his death in 2011, he built the Mir into the largest yeshiva in Israel with nearly 6,000 undergraduate students[2] and over 1,600 avreichim (married students).[3] Although he suffered from Parkinson's disease for over 20 years, experiencing involuntary spasms and slurred speech, he did not let his illness stop him from learning Torah for long hours, delivering regular shiurim (lectures), and fund-raising for his yeshiva around the world.[1] He raised an estimated USD$500 million for the Mir over the last two decades.[4] He was a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Degel HaTorah[5] and was known for his Torah erudition and his great concern for his students.[2] Contents [hide] 1 Early life 2 Illness 3 Growth of the Mir 4 Death 5 References 6 External links [edit]Early life

Nosson Tzvi Finkel was born in Chicago, Illinois to Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Finkel and his wife, Sara Schwartz, who ran a kosher catering business.[6] He was a great-grandson of the Alter of Slabodka, after whom he was named.[2] He had one brother, Gedaliah, who now teaches at the Mir yeshiva. After his parents moved to Israel in the 1980s, his mother published a best-selling kosher cookbook.[7] Nosson Tzvi grew up as a "typical American Jewish boy" known as Natty[2] who enjoyed playing baseball.[8] He took his secondary education at the co-ed, Modern Orthodox Ida Crown Jewish Academy, where he was a starting centerfielder for the baseball team and president of the student council.[6] During a visit to Israel at the age of 15, his cousin, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel ("Reb Leizer Yudel"), the Mir rosh yeshiva, recognized his ability to think clearly and have patience for studying, and invited him to stay in Jerusalem to pursue advanced Talmudic studies at the Mir. But Nosson Tzvi's mother wanted him to return to Chicago to finish high school. At the age of 18, Finkel returned to Jerusalem to learn at the Mir and Reb Leizer Yudel provided him with top-notch chavrutas (study partners) to develop his skills.[4] He learned diligently for the next six years.[1] With one of his chavrutas, Rabbi Zundel Kroizer, he completed the entire Talmud each year.[1] Finkel married Reb Leizer Yudel's granddaughter, Rachel Leah, the eldest daughter of Rabbi Binyomin Beinush Finkel, who was his second cousin.[9] He and his wife had 11 children.[1] He continued to learn with chavrutas at all hours, stopping at 2 a.m.;[10] his wife would bring their children to visit him at the yeshiva so he wouldn't have to take the time to walk home.[4] Upon the death of his father-in-law in 1990, Finkel was named rosh yeshiva of the Mir[11] together with Rabbi Refoel Shmuelevitz (son of former Mir rosh yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz). Finkel took on the financial responsibility for the yeshiva. [edit]Illness

Finkel was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the late 1980s.[9] Though he experienced much difficulty in walking and talking, and suffered from involuntary tremors and spasms and slurred speech, he continued to learn for hours every day and gave regular shiurim in the yeshiva, as well as embarked on regular fund-raising trips abroad.[11][1] He steeled himself to control his spasms during his learning sedarim (study sessions).[4] In later years, when he felt too weak to sit in a chair during the chaburas (small-group learning sessions) that he organized for students in his home, he would lie down on a couch and encourage the students to begin the session.[9] He refused to take medication for his condition, since the drugs could make his mind foggy or cause memory loss[9] and he didn't want to risk forgetting his Torah studies.[6] [edit]Growth of the Mir

Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (center, in wheelchair) participates in a Simchat Beit HaShoeivah at the Mir in 2006. When Finkel became rosh yeshiva, the Mir had less than 1,000 students.[9] Under his stewardship, the yeshiva grew by leaps and bounds, enrolling nearly 6,000 undergraduate students[2] and over 1,600 married students[3] by the time of his death. This growth is credited to Finkel's open-door policy: whoever wished to learn at the Mir was welcome. Enrollment now includes Litvish, Hasidic, Ashkenazi, Sephardi and baalei teshuva students from Israel, the United States and Europe.[1][3] Finkel was known for his great love and care for his students. Nothwithstanding the Mir's huge enrollment, he tried to remember the name of each student.[2] He made himself available to learn with anyone who asked and went out of his way to help students with their material needs. He also remembered personal details about each of his alumni and donors abroad. His brother-in-law, Rabbi Aharon Lopiansky, rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, said that at Mir dinners, 1,000 people could be waiting to speak with the rosh yeshiva, "and almost every single one on the line was someone he had had a personal connection with".[4] In the late 1990s, Finkel began fund-raising for additional buildings, resulting in the opening of four new sites. He assigned separate battei medrash (study halls) for each group of students, making one for Israeli students, one for Americans, one for those who wished to study without a daily shiur, and so on. As enrollment continued to climb, several students of the main maggidei shiur (lecturers) began delivering shiurim in English, and Finkel raised the funds to open a new beis medrash in 2006 for these shiurim too. Yet another beis medrash was built in recent years.[9] The Mir also opened a branch in the Brachfeld neighborhood of Modi'in Illit for Israeli students, where Finkel gave shiurim and occasional shmuessen (musar talks), and a yeshiva ketana in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem.[1] In an unusual move for a Litvish yeshiva, Finkel accepted 800 Hasidic students and allowed them to learn in their own chabura and follow their own customs, including a fartug (pre-dawn study session) before morning prayers. This group, known as Chaburas Ameilim BaTorah (the "Toiling in Torah" Study Group), was housed in a different neighborhood, but the week before his death, Finkel moved them onto Mir yeshiva premises. He participated in their Thursday-night study sessions as well as their seudot mitzvah (festival meals) marking a siyum, and Hanukkah parties.[1][3] Finkel shouldered the responsibility for raising funds for this giant Torah enterprise. Despite his disease and its side effects, he traveled twice a year to England and the United States.[1] In the past two years, the economic recession saw the yeshiva's debts mounting quicker than they were being met, with salaries and kollel stipends running months behind. Finkel was said to be very upset by this state of affairs.[4][1] [edit]Death

At 6 a.m. in his home on November 8, 2011 (11 Cheshvan 5772), Finkel suddenly lost consciousness. EMS personnel attempted to revive him for 50 minutes while students of the Mir stood outside in the street praying for him. His personal doctor summoned to the home determined that he had died of cardiac arrest.[1] An estimated 100,000 people[5][12] attended his funeral, which began at the Mir yeshiva in Beit Yisrael and continued on foot to Har HaMenuchot,[1] where he was buried next to Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz, a former rosh yeshiva of the Mir.[12] The Edah HaChareidis ordered all Haredi businesses to close during the funeral, and Litvishe Torah leaders Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv and Aharon Leib Shteinman instructed teachers and students of Talmud Torahs, yeshivas, and kollels to join the funeral procession.[5][2] The procession blocked the entrance to the city and halted operations of the Jerusalem Light Rail, as tens of thousands of mourners blocked the tracks on the Jerusalem Chords Bridge en route to the cemetery.[13] Rav Finkel's death was a double blow for the Jerusalem Litvish yeshiva world, coming one day after the death of Rabbi Dov Schwartzman, another respected Litvish rosh yeshiva in Jerusalem. Rabbi Finkel participated in Rabbi Schwartzman's funeral on 7 November.[14] At the funeral it was announced that Finkel's eldest son, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, would succeed his father as rosh yeshiva.[9] [edit]References

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Hagaon Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt"l: Leader of thousands, rebbi to each one". Hamodia, 10 November 2011, pp. A20, A26. ^ a b c d e f g "Jerusalem - Torah Chigri Sak! Hagaon Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Zt"l". Vos Iz Neias?. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011. ^ a b c d Lipschutz, Rabbi Pinchos. "Inspiring a Generation". Yated Ne'eman. Retrieved 28 November 2011. ^ a b c d e f Donn, Yochonon. "'My Everyman Brother-in-Law Who Became a Gadol'". Hamodia, 17 November 2011, p. C3, C6. ^ a b c Ben Gedalyahu, Tzvi (8 November 2011). "Mir Yeshiva Rabbi Finkel Passes Away". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 8 November 2011. ^ a b c Ahren, Raphael (11 November 2011). "Rabbi Finkel, The Inspirational Yeshiva Head Who Grew Up Thoroughly American". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 November 2011. ^ Finkel, Sara (1989). Classic Kosher Cooking. Targum Press. ISBN 0944070140. ^ Adlerstein, Yitzchok (9 November 2011). "R. Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt"l". Cross-currents. Retrieved 28 November 2011. ^ a b c d e f g Heimowitz, Rabbi Yehuda (9 November 2011). "Special Tribute Edition: One Father, Myriads of Orphans". Mishpacha. Retrieved 10 November 2011. ^ "Sar V'gadol Nafal B' Yisrael (A Prince and Great Person Fell in Israel)". Hamodia, 10 November 2011, p. C6. ^ a b "Boruch Dayan Haemes: Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel". Lakewood Local. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011. ^ a b "Photos: 100,000 Attend Levaya of Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt"l". 8 November 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011. ^ "Mir Rosh Yeshiva’s Levaya Halts Jerusalem Light Rail". Yeshiva World News. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011. ^ Sever, Yechiel (8 November 2011). "אלפים רבים בהלוויית הגאון הגדול רבי דב שוורצמן זצוק"ל [Thousands at the Funeral of the Great Torah Genius Rabbi Dov Schwartzman]" (in Hebrew). Yated Ne'eman: p. 1. [edit]External links

" Videos, Photos: Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel Arrives in the US, Speaks in Lakewood" (February 2010) "Blanket of Trust" by Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks

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Reb Nosson Tzvi Finkel's Timeline

March 12, 1943
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States
November 8, 2011
Age 68
Jerusalem, Israel