The yartzheit of Hagaon Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt’l, falls out this year on Sunday night and Monday. A special seder limud will be held in the Beis Medrash Tiferes Bochurim, at which HaRav Yosef Efrati will speak as well as Rav Elyashiv’s grandson, Rav Avraham Elyashiv, and Rav Tzvi Weissfish. On Monday, after Shacharis, Rav Elyashiv’s grandson is making a siyum on Masechtas Zevachim and at 7 pm. a Siyum Hashas is being held by the Rav’s talmidim and family members near the Rav’s home. At the same time, hespedim will be given over a phone hotline by Rav Elyashiv’s son-in-law, Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, and other Rabbanim.
Crowds (minimal and in adherence with social distancing rules) will visit the kever beginning on Sunday evening. The bus line 54 to Har Hamenuchos will run more frequently and there will also be shuttles from the bus stops in Givat Shaul to the tzion.
Late last week, a Rabbinical conference was held at which Harav Elyashiv’s talmid, Haposek HaRav Ben Tzion Hakohen Kook, the head of the Beis Horaah Ha’Klali in Yerushalayim, spoke words of chizuk about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everyone asks what Harav Elyashiv would have said during this period,” Harav Kook said.
“A decade ago, in one of the kehillos in Yerushalayim, one member after the other was dying of cancer. The community members came to Rav Elyashiv and asked him to sign a kol koreh for chizuk in issues of tznius. The Rav responded: ‘If you think that this is the chizuk that is required, I’ll sign it. But I’m of the opinion that Chazal explicitly said that the reason for the machla ha’noraah (cancer)) is bizui talmidei chachamim (belittling Torah scholars).’”
“The Rav quoted the Gemara in Shabbos: ‘Whoever belittles talmidei chachamim, there’s no refuah for his makah. Chazal revealed to us that an illness with no cure occurs for insulting talmidei chachamim.’”
Rav Kook continued: “Harav Elyashiv even mentioned the name of a talmid chacham that had been humiliated during that period.”
“These words are even more true today,” Harav Kook said. “Everyone is suffering from the fear of the deadly coronavirus that has no cure, rachmana latzlan. The medicine of our time, despite it being so advanced, hasn’t yet found a cure. According to the Rav we have to be careful in honoring talmidei chachamim. That’s the eitzah.”