Rabbi Yizhak Aizik Haim Sher

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Rabbi Yizhak Aizik Haim Sher

Hebrew: יצחק אייזיק שר
Birthplace: Halusk
Death: 1952 (76-77)
Immediate Family:

Son of Rav Yosef Chaim Sher and Toube-Dine Esther Leah Sher
Husband of Mariasha Guttel Sher
Father of Chaya Miriam Shulman and Rabbi Yosi (Yosef) Sher
Brother of Chaya Elka Rivka Tikochinsky

Managed by: Eilat Gordin Levitan
Last Updated:

About Rabbi Yizhak Aizik Haim Sher


Rav Yitzchok Eizek Sher, the son of Rav Yosef Chaim Sher, was born in

5635 (1875) in the city of HaluskRav Sher ZT"L

By D. Sofer

This article originally appeared in Yated Neeman, Monsey NY.

The Alter of Slabodka would often ask students what they thought about

certain top bochurim in the yeshiva. His purpose in asking such

questions was to uproot his students' petty jealousy and to mold it

into the purely motivated envy of kinas sofrim.

One time, he asked a group of students, "What do you think of Yitzchok

Eizek Sher?"

"He's very likable and genial," a student replied.

"What do you mean?" another student cried. "Is that all you can say

about Reb Yitzchok Eizek?"

"That's a perfectly fine description," the Alter said with a smile.

"It says far more than you think. A person who finds favor in the eyes

of man, also finds favor in the eyes of Hashem and is obviously a

complete man."

It was very likely Yitzchok Eizek's genial nature that attracted him

to the Alter of Slabodka when the Alter delivered a shiur in Yitzchok

Eizek's hometown of Halusk.

That shiur was based on Chazal's dictum that "one who shows his fellow

whitened teeth [i.e. smiles at him] is greater than one who serves him

milk." The shiur had a profound impact on Yitzchok Eizek, who was

always searching for ways to assist and gladden others.

Immediately after the shiur, Yitzchok Eizek asked the Alter to accept

him into his yeshiva, Knesses Yisroel. As soon as the Alter returned

to Slabodka, Yitzchok Eizek followed him there.

He remained a talmid of Slabodka for the rest of his life, eventually

becoming the rosh yeshiva of its Bnei Brak branch after World War II.


Rav Yitzchok Eizek Sher, the son of Rav Yosef Chaim Sher, was born in

5635 in the Russian city of Halusk. As a child, he not only displayed

unique talents, but also outstanding character traits.

After completing cheder in Halusk, he joined a group of students in

the city 's beis medrash and also attended shiurim given by Rav Boruch

Ber Lebowitz, who was the rav of Halusk at that time.

From Halusk, Yitzchok Eizek went on to study in Volozhin, which was

then headed by the Netziv's son-in-law, Rav Refoel Shapira. In

Volozhin, Yitzchok Eizek gained acclaim as an outstanding lamdan with

unique middos.

( Also studied in Plotzk)

After being inspired by the Alter's speech in Halusk, Yitzchok Eizek

joined Knesses Yisroel. There he studied b'chavrusa with Rav Avrohom

Grodzinski, hy"d, one of the finest students of the yeshiva, who

eventually became its menahel ruchani.

Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg, zt"l, who was a student in Slabodka at

that time, remembered the young Yitzchok Eizek.

"The kindly and brilliant Rav Yitzchok Eizek of Halusk was the

yeshiva's best student," he once remarked. "The Alter would send many

students to him for guidance, and appointed him head of the yeshiva's

Vaad Hamussar."


In 5663, Rav Yitzchok Eizek married the Alter's youngest daughter,

Mariasha Guttel, and moved to Kelm where he continued to learn

diligently. In Kelm, he became close with its baalei mussar,

especially Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv, who played a crucial role in shaping

Rav Yitzchok Eizek's personality. He also studied for a brief period

in the Mir, where his brother-in-law, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel,

served as rosh yeshiva.

A short while later, he returned to Slabodka, where he absorbed the

Alter's teachings, in time becoming the prime advocate of the Alter's


In 5671, the Alter appointed Rav Yitzchok Eizek to the position of

rebbi in the yeshiva. As a rebbi, Rav Yitzchok Eizek was beloved by

his students. Despite his easygoing and amiable nature, he had no

difficulty imposing discipline in the yeshiva. His students obeyed him

out love for him, maintaining an appropriate distance from him even

though he was so genial toward them.

In terms of the yeshiva's policy, Rav Yitzchok Eizek's appointment as

a rebbi was an innovation. It was the first time the very same person

was charged with teaching Gemara and delivering mussar.

The Alter made such an appointment in order uproot the notion that

prevailed in certain circles that profound scholarship in Torah and an

affinity for mussar do not go hand in hand.

Rav Yitzchok Eizek was outstanding in both his Torah scholarship and

his perception of mussar, demonstrating that these two areas are not

separate divisions of Torah, but rather inseparable entities.

It is said that he used the same niggun in his Gemara shiurim and his

mussar shiurim in order to stress the inseparability of the two. He

even entitled his monumental mussar work "Shiurei Mussar," and not

"Sichos Mussar," in order to stress that point.

Many of these mussar discourses involved in-depth analyses of the

greatness of the Avos and other figures in Tanach.

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Rabbi Yizhak Aizik Haim Sher's Timeline

Kaunas, Kauno miesto savivaldybė, Kaunas County, Lithuania
Age 77
Kaunas, Kauno miesto savivaldybė, Kaunas County, Lithuania