BNEI BRAK (VosIzNeias) — Tens of thousands attended the funeral of Rav Shmaryahu Yosef Nissim Karelitz in Bnei Brak on Isru Chag (Simchas Torah in Chutz La’aretz).
Numerous eulogies described Rav Nissim’s greatness. His son, Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz said that “I didn’t know him well because his entire life he succeeded in hiding himself…the Rambam writes that just as a wise person is distinguished from common people through his knowledge and wisdom, he should also be distinguished in his actions and consumption. I have a notebook of Kabalos which he took upon himself at his Bar Mitzvah. He took upon himself never to eat voraciously. I can never remember him eating anything sweet. On one occasion when there was a Seudas Mitzvah and he was the tenth person and was required for the Zimmun, he went against his Kabolo and drank something sweet in order to enable them to make a Zimmun.”
Rav Karelitz added that his father was meticulous to maintain times and an orderly life and praised his father’s patience. He related that his father had once told him that he had sat at a Din Torah. Generally one side ends up content while the other side is less content. In this particular case Rav Nissim said that both sides accepted the ruling joyously, which made him very happy. He added “I’ll tell you why. In the first quarter of an hour I knew who was right and could have ruled, but I listened to them for three hours in order that they accept the ruling with joy.”
Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, Ponovezh Rosh Yeshiva, described Rav Nissim as a great Posek and great educator, who knew how to educate so that people would not stray from the path and knew also how to bring them back.
Rabbi Boruch Dov Povarsky, the Ponovezh Rosh Yeshiva, said that people used to comment that Rav Nissim’s first thought was usually Daas Torah, since he had grown up near the Chazon Ish who loved him and educated him.