BNEI BRAK (VosizNeias) — Jews worldwide are adding fervent Tefilos for the recovery of Rav Nissim Karelitz, the nephew of the Chazon Ish and one of the most prominent poskim of our generation. Rav Karelitz was hospitalized with respiratory problems Thursday and his condition deteriorated Sunday after a heart problem was discovered.
Rav Nissim (93) was born in Kossova, Lithuania and immigrated to Palestine in 1936, where he studied under Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz and later in the Ponovezh yeshiva in Bnei Brak. After his father passed away in 1959, he succeeded him as head of Kollel Chazon Ish and as rav of the Heligman shul in Bnei Brak. He is also the rabbi of the Ramat Aharon neighborhood in Bnei Brak and has served on the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah since 1977.
Rav Nissim founded the Beis Din Tzedek Bnei Brak in 1968 in his own home with the encouragement of the Steipler. It has now grown to be the largest private Beis Din in the world, with numerous Dayanim on its staff, The Beis Din adjudicates numerous monetary issues daily and also deals with matrimonial issues and conversions. Rav Nissim’s Beis Din ruled on the status of the Anusim from Palma De Majorca and decided based on books of lineage they had maintained that they are Jewish. The Beis Din also adjudicates communal issues, such as providing authorization for certain phones and internet filters as well as granting hechsherim for esrogim and for permissible ways of using Shmita produce. Rav Nissim served as the head of the Beis Din until 2012.
Rav Karelitz is the author of a 13-volume set of halakhic treatises, Chut Ha’Shani, on numerous topics.