The famed “Chofetz Chaim”, venerated by orthodox Jews throughout the world as one of the thirty-six saints because of whose piety the Lord has not destroyed the world, died today in the village of Radin, near here, where he had spent most of the hundred years of his life. He had been ill for a short time.
The “Chofetz Chaim”, whose real name was Rabbi Yisroel Meier Ha’Cohen, had been a figure of almost legenday proportions for almost half a century. Stories of his goodness and piety and his unworldly naiveness sprang up in the lore of Eastern Europe and among orthodox Jews all over the world. The village where he spent most of his life and where he had served for a few months as a rabbi, was the soene of pilgrimages of thousands of orthodox Jews seeking the blessing of the “Chofetz Chaim.”
In 1873, this man who was never known to have uttered a derogatory or slanderous word about anyone, published a book in Hebrew, entitled the “Chofetz Chaim”, listing all the forms of slander from which a pious Jew must guard himself. The book created a sensation in the orthodox Jewish world and it became a source of wonder to thousands how the author had been able to write the book. It was on account of this book that Rabbi Yisroel became known as the “Chofetz Chaim” by hundreds of thousands.
The “Chofetz Chaim” was born in the village of Zhetel, in the province of Grodno, Poland, in 1833. After a brief period as a rabbi in Radin, he founded a yeshiva, a school for teaching the Talmud, and supported it for scores of years. He became known throughout the world as a Talmudic scholar and many of his works treating exhaustively of the regulations of the Jewish religion
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.