Hagaon Harav Dovid Feinstein, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Tifereth Yerushalayim in New York and a member of the Council of Torah Scholars in the United States, was niftar on Friday afternoon. He was 91 years old.
Rav Dovid was the son of Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, and assumed the mantle of leadership of the yeshiva after his father’s petirah in 1986..
“There are no words. We are reeling,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America. “Rabbi Feinstein was a true manhig hador, leader of our generation, and posek hador, halachic authority for the generation. The entire Jewish world has suffered a terrible blow with his death.”
The Orthodox Union said in reaction to the news that “the world has lost a gadol beTorah. We will miss his Torah leadership, his astounding and deeply insightful wisdom, as well as his warmth and accessibility.”
“In addition to assuming his father’s role as head of the yeshiva, Rav Dovid was relied upon by the Torah community to succeed his father as a preeminent source of Halachic wisdom. He provided a clear, steady, and confident voice of Halachic guidance to innumerable individuals and institutions within the community,” the OU continued.
“Aside from Rav Dovid Feinstein’s celebrated scholarship, his piety and modesty were legendary. Any interaction with him served as a lesson in how one can embrace one’s own humility without diminishing one’s sense of responsibility.
“For many decades, the Orthodox Union frequently sought guidance from Rav Feinstein, particularly when confronting novel questions of Jewish law in areas such as Kashruth and NCSY’s approaches to Jewish outreach.”
The Rabbincal Alliance of America said, “Nafla ateres rosheinu, the crown has fallen from our head (Eicha 5:16). The Jewish people has lost a brilliant scholar, faithful leader, devoted servant and one of the poskei hador.
“We at Igud HaRabbonim respected and revered Harav Dovid Feinstein as a world class talmid chacham and a gadol hador. He personified the humility and refined character traits he spent his life teaching
“With the passing of HaRav Feinstein, the Jewish people face a void that seems insurmountable, magnified by the pain we are experiencing as we grapple with the reality of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Today, the worldwide Torah community stands as orphans, painfully bereft of the profound wisdom and courageous leadership of HaRav Dovid Feinstein. But we continue with unbending faith that our Father in Heaven will send us proper guidance and salvation, because the children of Israel will never be abandoned. We pray that HaRav Dovid Feinstein serve as a melitz yosher for his family and the entire Klal Yisroel in this time of fear and sorrow.”
“So what can I add?” Harav Chaim Ganzweig, shlita, Mashgiach of Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim asked the crowd of thousands mourning their loss, Haomdia reported.
“The passuk in Yeshayah (55:3) states,’Chasdei Dovid hane’emanim.’ Although the meforshim explain it refers to the kindnesses that Hashem does, which are permanent, I would like to explain, b’derech drush, that it may be going on the chessed that our Rav Dovid performed the entire day.
“He was not obligated to take responsibility for the yeshivah, nor for the kollel. And, indeed, all the harbotzas haTorah that he performed was entirely chessed. The way he interacted with people, regardless if they were rich or poor, wise or foolish, talmid chacham or am haaretz, great or small, all were recipients of his endless chessed. Most did not even realize the chessed he was doing for them, as he did a tovah for each person according to the individual’s need.”
Rav Dovid was born in Luban, Russia, in 5689/1929, while his father served as Rav.
As the Stalinist regime began harassing the rabbanim, the family fled to America and settled on the Lower East Side. Rav Dovid learned in Mesivtha Tiferes Jerusalem with his father, and eventually began delivering shiurim there. When his father’s petirah, he took over the yeshivah and many of his father’s responsibilities.
Rov Dovid’s brother, Rabbi Reuven Feinstein, is rosh yeshiva of the Staten Island branch of Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim.
Yehi zichro baruch.