Menachem Mendel

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Rabbi David Shlush z”l

Rabbi David Shlush z”l, the Chief Rabbi of Netanya, passed away yesterday. Rabbi Shlush studied at the Porat Yosef Yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem along with Rabbis Ovadiah Yosef, Hayyim David Halevi, and Ben-Zion Abba Shaul. He was known for his independent halakhic thinking in numerous areas, sometimes disagreeing with the majority of his colleagues, including Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef. See e.g. this responsum on when to recite the blessing on Shabbat candles and this responsum on violating Shabbat to save the life of a non-Jew (against). He also wrote extensively on personal status, include that of Jews from Ethiopia (see here n. 7).

One of his opinions that is very relevant for the upcoming Shavuot holiday is the permission to use electricity on Yom Tov. This responsum can be found here. He concludes this responsum with the following words:

ולמעשה כבר התירו את הבערת החשמל ביו״ט הרה״ג אהרן בן שמעון בספרו ומצור דבש ערוך השלחן ועוד רבנים גדולים אחרים, ומרן הגריב״ץ עזיאל בספרו משפטי עזיאל אם כי לא מהטעמים שהזכרתי, והנלע”ד כתבתי.

Rabbi Shlush grew up in the Old City of Jerusalem and as part of an attempt to gather the testimony of those who lived in the Old City in pre-state Palestine, the Moscovitz Foundation filmed an extensive interview (Hebrew) with him about growing up in the Old City.

May his memory be for a blessing.

2 Responses to “Rabbi David Shlush z”l”

  1. 1
    Shemuel Ezran:

    Rabbi Shlush was my great uncle. I had the pleasure and privilege of visiting him in his home; he was an elegant man, and a gracious host. There was an effect he and his wife brought to conversations that is largely lost. His knowledge was gained through life in a beautiful, culture-filled universe. The result was a deep connection, on so many levels, to our history. We who grew up in conventional Jewish communities miss the kind of connection created by learning Torah while looking at Har Habayit, sitting on the spot where Avraham looked at Yerushalayim, and having picnics on a peaceful lawn near Kever Rachel Imeinu. He did not need to struggle with belief as a child and live with the consequent scars. As he learned with giants of Torah, he saw facts before his eyes. He telegraphed an identity forged by rising with an entire community at 3AM to pray the Bakashot. He truly knew what it was to be rich as he grew up in a community that was truly rich. The light in his eyes as he remembered the Jerusalem he and his community built showed a soul that was rich. Memory of him is truly a blessing.

  2. 2
    Menachem Mendel:

    Shemuel,

    Thank you for your comments and memories about your great uncle.

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