Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, a Polish-born Torah scholar who grew up in New York City and eventually moved to Israel, where he established one of the country’s leading yeshivot, died in Jerusalem March 20 after a brief illness. He was 101.
He was taken to the hospital late last week, and members of the Orthodox community immediately organized around-the-clock prayer and Psalms vigils on his behalf.
Rabbi Scheinberg, who shepherded the growth of his yeshiva, Torah Ore, into an institution that now has nearly 800 students, was buried on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.
The rabbi also was credited for playing a major role in the emergence of the yeshiva’s Kiryat Mattersdorf neighborhood in northern Jerusalem into an area that boasts a large haredi population.
After briefly attending public school here, Rabbi Scheinberg eventually enrolled in New Haven’s Beis Medrash LeRabbonim yeshiva, then in Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
After getting married, he spent five years studying in the prestigious Mir Yeshiva in what is now Belarus, before returning to the United States, where he founded Yeshivas Derech Chaim in Brooklyn before settling in Israel.
Best known outside of Orthodox circles for his practice of wearing multiple sets of taleisim at the same time and for often wearing his tefillin the whole day, while presiding in the Torah Ore study hall, he established a reputation among the country’s non-chasidic haredi population as someone sought for personal counseling, religious blessings and questions in Jewish law.
While his age took a toll on his energy in recent years, he continued to remain active in yeshiva affairs, traveling to the U.S for speaking and fund-raising missions.
Rabbi Scheinberg, who made aliyah in 1963, moved into the then-undeveloped Mattersdorf neighborhood in 1965, two years before Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War spurred an increase in aliyah, including many Orthodox émigrés and temporary students who studied at Torah Ore.