Shmuel Wosner

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Шмуэль Халеви Вознер, Шевет Галеви, Shmuel HaLevi Wosner
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Shmuel HaLevi Wosner (Hebrew: שמואל הלוי וואזנר‎, 4 September 1913 – 3 April 2015) was a prominent Haredi rabbi and posek ("decisor of Jewish law") living in Bnei Brak, Israel. He was known as the Shevet HaLevi after his major work.


Wosner was born in Vienna, Austro-Hungary and studied in the Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin of Poland led by Rabbi Meir Shapiro. He was also a student of Rabbi Shimon of Zelicov who was the official supervisor at the Yeshiva. In Vienna, he had known and befriended the Rabbi Chanoch Dov Padwa of Galicia. He married and immigrated to Palestine before the Holocaust and settled in Jerusalem, where he studied at the Dushinsky yeshiva. It was in that time that, in spite of his young age, he became a member of the Edah HaChareidis. When he relocated to Bnei Brak, upon the incentive of the Chazon Ish, Rabbi Dov Berish Widenfeld of Tshebin, Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, and Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, he established the Zichron Meir neighborhood and Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin, bearing the same name as the one in Lublin where he studied in his youth.

He is the author of several works of Jewish law, including Shevet HaLevi ("The Tribe of Levi"), a comprehensive series of halakhic rulings and responsa on Jewish laws comprising ten volumes, and several other Torah books all bearing the same name. His halakhic opinions are widely quoted in many works on Jewish law both in Hebrew and English. On May 20, 2012 Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaMachane held an asifa (gathering) at Citifield in New York City to address the dangers of the internet. Wosner spoke via live hookup from Israel to 60,000 Orthodox Jewish attendees. He banned unfiltered internet use for the Jewish community and allowed filtered internet only for business purposes. He died in Bnei Brak at 101 years of age.

His sons include Rabbi Chaim Wosner, formerly dayan of London's Satmar community, who has since moved to Bnei Brak to assist his father in the management of the Yeshiva. He has another son Rabbi Bentzion Wosner of Monsey, New York, who is the av bet din of the Shevet Halevi beis din. Another son, Joseph "Yossi" Wosner, is a businessman who lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Wosner was buried late Saturday night, April 4, in a funeral attended by an estimated 100,000 people. Severe overcrowding in front of Wosner's yeshiva, where his body lay in state, led to the trampling of three men and a 14-year-old boy; one of the men, a 27-year-old resident of Elad, died from injuries to his chest and stomach, while the others were sent to hospital in critical condition. Magen David Adom personnel treated over 100 other mourners who sustained injuries at the event.


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