Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik

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Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik

Hebrew: הרב יוסף דוב סולוביצ'יק, הלוי
Also Known As: "Beis HaLevi", "R' yoshe ber"
Birthplace: Minsk Province, Belarus
Death: May 01, 1892 (71-72)
Brest Province, Belarus
Immediate Family:

Son of Yitzchok Zeev Soloveitchik and Rivka Shapira
Husband of Tzirel Soloveitchik and Esther Baila Rubinlicht-Soleveitchik
Ex-husband of 1st Wife Soloveitchik
Father of Menia Wilner; Shaindel Kraines; R' Avrohom Boruch Soloveitchik; Rabbi Chaim "Brisker" Soloveitchik; Relka (Rella) Pocker and 4 others
Brother of Godes Soloveitchik; Breina Korobchinsky; Sora Soloveitchik; R' Chaim Simcha Soloveitchik; Relia Soloveitchik and 2 others

Occupation: Rabbi, בית הלוי
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik

Author of Beis Halevi


(Click on link to see complete family tree)

Yosef Dov Soloveitchik (b.1820 in Nesvizh, Minsk Voblast, Belarus; d.1892 in Brest-Litovsk, Hrodna Voblast, Belarus was the author of Beis Halevi, by which name he is better known among Talmudic scholars.

He was the great-grandson of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin.

The Soloveitchik dynasty

The Soloveitchik family includes many significant rabbinical forebears, most notably Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner, famed Talmudist and founder of the Volozhin yeshiva.

Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner ( 1749-1821) was a student of the Vilna Gaon, and thus some students of Brisk talk of a line of tradition extending

"from Moses at Sinai, to Joshua, to the Elders ... to the Vilna Gaon, to Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner, and then to the Soloveitchik dynasty."

Most scholars, however, begin the Soloveitchik dynasty with Rabbi Joseph Dov (HaLevi) Soloveitchik known as the Beis HaLevi (see below), as he was the first rabbi of Brisk surnamed Soloveitchik. More significantly, the "Brisker style" described below can already be found to some degree in the Beis HaLevi's works, which is not the case for earlier ancestors.

http://www.geni.com/profile/index/6000000003686991414 (click on to see diagram of the family tree including the earliest progenitor of this venerable lineage, R'Hayim c 1700 )

All members of the Soloveitchik family are descended from the tribe of Levi and thus sometimes go by the descriptor "HaLevi".

The surname "Soloveitchik", in fact, is Polish for "nightingale"; it was chosen by the family because the primary duty of the Levites in the Temple in Jerusalem was singing. (Note that the surname "Soloveitchik" can be spelled either as presented, or as "Soloveichik", without the "t".

Other distinguished family Yeshiva founders and illustrious rabbis.

Rav Chaim of Volozhin

Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (The Netziv of Volozhin)

Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan


Early years

In his youth Yosef Dov lived in Brod. One anecdote illustrates his early mastery of rabbinic learning. Rabbi Shlomo Kluger, the rabbi of Brod, enjoyed engaging in Talmud studies with him. When Yosef Dov was about to leave Brod, Rabbi Shlomo is reputed to have said to him, “You have always resolved my kushyos (difficult Talmudic questions). But I have one difficulty you cannot resolve. How will I manage to part from you?”

Rosh yeshiva

Yosef Dov Soloveitchik was reputed to have one the great minds of his time. In 1854 was invited to become co-rosh yeshiva of Volozhin yeshiva, together with Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin. However, they were temperamentally incompatible and, after ten years, Soloveitchik decided to leave.


In 1865 Yosef Dov became Rabbi of Slutsk. After taking up this position he went to visit the cheder classes where the young boys received their education. When he observed the impoverished state of many children, he arranged for lunches to be served there, paid for by the community.

His son, Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, once said that while he himself responded to peoples’ needs, his father went further and discovered on his own what their needs were.

His pupils in Slutsk included Yosef Rosen, later to achieve fame as the Rogatchover Gaon, and Zalman Sender Shapiro.

He was a fierce opponent of the Maskilim, as a result of which he left Slutzk in 1874. He then moved to Warsaw where he lived in poverty. When the rabbi of Brisk, Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin left for the Land of Israel in 1877, Rabbi Soloveitchik was offered the rabbinate of Brisk. He continued to hold that position until his death in 1892, when he was succeeded by his son Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik.

Yosef Dov composed works on the Mishneh Torah and first five books of the Hebrew Bible which were published under the title Beis HaLevi (Hebrew for 'House of the Levites').

Soloveitchik (Hebrew: סולובייצ'יק‎) (also Soloveichik) is a surname. It is notably the name of a rabbinic family descended from Yosef Dov Soloveitchik (Beis Halevi) (1820-1892).

Other more recent notable members include:

   * Ahron Soloveichik (1917-2001)
   * Berel Soloveitchik
   * Chaim Soloveitchik (1853-1918)
   * Haym Soloveitchik (1937- )
   * Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993)
   * Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik (1886-1959)
   * Moshe Soloveichik (1879-1941)
   * Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik

About הרב יוסף דוב סולוביצ'יק, הלוי (עברית)

בעל 'בית הלוי'

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Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik's Timeline

Minsk Province, Belarus
Vałožyn, Valozhyn District, Minsk Region, Belarus
March 25, 1853
Vałožyn, Valozhyn District, Minsk Region, Belarus
September 10, 1881
May 1, 1892
Age 72
Brest Province, Belarus
Brest, Brest District, Brest Region, Belarus