R' Avraham Yeshayohu Karelitz, the "Chazon Ish"

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R' Avraham Yeshayohu Karelitz, the "Chazon Ish"

Hebrew: הרב אברהם ישעיהו קרליץ, ה"חזון איש"
Also Known As: "חזון איש"
Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Kosava, Ivatsevichy District, Brest Region, Belarus
Death: October 24, 1953 (74)
Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv District, Israel (דום לב)
Place of Burial: Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv District, Israel
Immediate Family:

Son of Eliyahu Shmaryahu Yosef Karelitz and Rasha Leah Karelitz
Husband of Basha/Batya Karelitz
Brother of Harav Meir Karelitz; Tsivya Greiniman; Bdana Karelitz; Henya Chaya Swiatycki; Rabbi Yitzhak Karelitz and 3 others

Occupation: Rabbi. The "Chazon Ish", Leader of the Haredi Judaism in Israel
Managed by: Lisa Beth Liel
Last Updated:

About R' Avraham Yeshayohu Karelitz, the "Chazon Ish"

Wikipedia: Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz & אברהם_ישעיהו_קרליץ. ______________________________________________________

Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, The “Hazon Ish” (1878-1953)

An outstanding Talmud scholar, Karelitz was educated by his father, Av Bet Din (head of the rabbinical court) in Kossow, Poland. His first work on several parts of the Shulhan Aruch was published anonymously in Vilna in 1911 under the title Hazon Ish (visionary), by which name he became known. He moved to Vilna about 1920 and moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1933, settling in Bnei B'rak. He became a teacher and guide for thousands while maintaining his extreme modesty. He wrote more than 40 books on religious topics, all of which are known for their lucid, uncomplicated style.

From an early age, Karelitz showed unusual talent. He devoted his life to Torah study, but was also versed in sciences ranging from astronomy, anatomy, mathematics and botany. After his marriage, he led an extremely modest life, allowing his wife to prove for their needs while he studied day and night.

His first book, established his reputation as a scholar with vast knowledge and profound insight. When he lived in Vilna, he was frequently consulted on religious and community matters by Rav Hayyim Ozer Grodzinski. He had a reputation for saintliness which brought a constant stream of people to seek his opinion or to receive his blessing.

After moving to Israel, he became recognized as an authority of all matters relating to Jewish law and life. He had strong influence on religious life and institutions, despite the fact that he was not head of any yeshiva. He became a halachic authority without publishing many responsa. He was once consulted by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on the question of drafting young women to the Israel Defense Forces. A lover of Zion, he was not an official member of the Zionist movement. Neither was he a Hassid nor an extremist. He considered study of Jewish law and attainment of a maximum degree of perfection in religious observance as man's duty in life. Although principally an academic scholar, he applied himself to practical problems such as the use of milking machines on Shabbat and the cultivation of hydroponics during the sabbatical year, when it is forbidden to cultivate land in Eretz Yisrael.


Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz אברהם ישעיהו קרליץ (b. 7 November 1878 – 24 October 1953), popularly known by the name of his magnum opus, Chazon Ish, was a Belarusian born Orthodox rabbi who later became one of the leaders of Haredi Judaism in Israel, where his final 20 years, from 1933 to 1953, were spent.

Early life

He was born in Kosava (now Brest Voblast), the eldest son of Rabbi Shmaryahu Yosef Karelitz, the Rav of Kosova; his mother was Rasha, the daughter of Rabbi Shaul Katzenelbogen. His younger brothers were Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Yitzchak, and Rabbi Moshe. Rabbi Yitzchak Karelitz succeeded their father as the Rav of Kosova; he and his wife and daughter were shot to death in their home by the Germans in mid-1942. A sister, Miriam, would eventually marry Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon. The Steipler referred to his brother-in-law, Rabbi Avrohom Yeshaya, as his mentor as long as the latter was alive. As a youth, Rabbi Karelitz was sent to study under Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk. He did not take to the Brisker method of study, and later it became clear that he actually opposed it. After two years, he returned home and continued his education, learning with his father who was head of the local Beth din. He married Bashe Bei.

Emigration to Eretz Israel

He moved to Vilna in about 1920, and became close to Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, consulting with him in all religious and communal matters. Encouraged by Rabbi Grodzinski and with Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook’s help, the Chazon Ish settled in Eretz Israel, then the British Mandate of Palestine, in 1933. His house in Bnei Brak became the address for thousands who sought his guidance.

Rav Karelitz manifested unusual talent and diligence from an early age. He devoted his life to the study of Torah while simultaneously gaining knowledge in secular sciences such as astronomy, anatomy, mathematics, and botany. After his marriage, he continued to lead an extremely modest life, his wife providing for their needs while he spent day and night studying Torah in-depth. He did not have any children.


Though he held no official position, the Chazon Ish nevertheless became a recognized worldwide authority on many matters relating to Jewish law and life. He was not appointed as communal leader, yet his positions and rulings influenced the life and institutions of religious Jewry, especially in Israel. He did not publish many responsa, yet still achieved recognition as a leading authority on halakha.

He declined to participate in any of the religious-political movements which were very active prior to, and during the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. Yet, he had an immense influence on Haredi Judaism in Israel, whose formative period coincided with his years in Israel.

In recognition of his deep insight and broad awareness and interest in many fields of study, many sought his guidance on social and political issues. David Ben-Gurion, the prime minister of Israel, and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who became the second president of Israel, visited him once to discuss political-religious issues. The story is told that the Chazon Ish argued that the secular community's needs should defer to those of the religious community. He used the Talmudic discussion (Sanhedrin 32b) of two camels which meet on a narrow mountain pass as a metaphor. A camel without goods was expected to defer to a camel laden with goods; similarly, the Chazon Ish contended secular society should defer to religious society, which bore the "goods" of tradition.


In 1911, he published his first work on Orach Chayim and other parts of the Shulchan Aruch in Vilna, anonymously under the title Chazon Ish, meaning "Vision of Man", the word Ish alluding to the first letters of his two names, the title by which he became almost exclusively known.

Although essentially an academic scholar, he applied himself to practical problems, devoting much effort to the strengthening of religious life and institutions. His rulings on the use of the milking machine on Shabbat and on cultivation by hydroponics during the sabbatical year are two illustrations of his practical approach. Chazon Ish wrote over 40 books in clear Hebrew.

In contrast to other great Achronim such as R. Chaim Soloveitchik, the Chazon Ish is known for avoiding formulaic or methodical analysis of Talmudic passages, instead preferring a more varied and intuitive approach similar to that of the Rishonim. The Chazon Ish also discounted the need to delve into Musar as a formal study, feeling that a life dedicated to traditional Torah study would guide one toward the proper path. He particularly rejected elements of the Novardok philosophy, such as their extreme self-effacement and anti-social behaviors.

In one of his regular lectures, Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman spoke about studying Kabbalah, and related that the Chazon Ish had vast knowledge in Kabbalah. The Chazon Ish studied with a secret kabbalist known as “The Baker of Kosovo.”


משפחת החזו״א

על ידי סוקולקה » ה' אוגוסט 03, 2017 10:50 pm

אגב, הופיע בתקופה אחרונה באתר JewishGen רשומים מהעיר קוסובה, מופיע שמה משפחת החזון איש. אביו רשום בשם "אליהו שמריהו" ולא שמריהו יוסף, נולד תרט"ז ולא תרי"ב כפי שרגילים לכתוב. גם רשום על הסבא רבא של החזון איש ר' שמריהו קרליץ שהוא בן ר' זונדל בן ר' זליג קרליץ. בייחוסו למשפחת אפשטיין רגילים לכתוב ר' שמריהו בן ר' גרשון זליג וכנראה היה חסר כאן דור...

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R' Avraham Yeshayohu Karelitz, the "Chazon Ish"'s Timeline

November 7, 1878
Kosava, Ivatsevichy District, Brest Region, Belarus
October 24, 1953
Age 74
Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv District, Israel
Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv District, Israel