Chaim Zev Malinowitz
Lower East Side, New York City, United States
|Died||November 21, 2019 (age 67)|
|Alma mater||Yeshivas Iyun HaTalmud, Monsey, New York|
|Synagogue||Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham|
|Position||General Editor, Schottenstein Talmud|
|Semicha||Rabbi Moshe Feinstein|
Chaim Zev Malinowitz (1952 – November 21, 2019) was a Haredi community rabbi, dayan (rabbinical court judge), and Talmudic scholar. Fluent in all areas of the Talmud, halakha (Jewish law), and hashkafa (Orthodox Jewish worldview), he was the general editor of the 73-volume Schottenstein Edition of the Babylonian Talmud published by ArtScroll. After making aliyah to Israel, he became the Rav of Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham, an English-speaking congregation for Anglo olim in Ramat Beit Shemesh, which he led for 17 years.
Early life and education
Chaim Zev Malinowitz was born in 1952 on the Lower East Side of New York City. His father, Rabbi Avrohom Aharon Malinowitz, had been a student of Aharon Kotler in Kletsk, Poland (historically Lithuania, now Belarus). Malinowitz was a gifted student at Rabbi Jacob Joseph School. After his bar mitzvah, he was accepted to the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia where, albeit younger than the other students, he skipped two grades and was accepted to the beth midrash (undergraduate-level) program under Rabbi Mendel Kaplan. His desire to have more time for study led him to begin awakening at 4 a.m. and praying vasikin, the pre-dawn prayer, a practice he maintained for the rest of his life.
He next studied at Yeshivas Iyun HaTalmud in Monsey, New York, under Rabbi Abba Berman, a main disciple of Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz. He remained at this yeshivah for six years, until his marriage in 1976, whereupon he entered the kollel. In 1980, he was appointed by Berman to take over as rosh kollel when Berman made aliyah to Israel. In the early 1970s, Malinowitz also studied the Tanya in a late-night shiur given by Chabad rabbi Yoel Kahn.
After receiving rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Malinowitz served as a dayan (rabbinical court judge) for the rabbinical court of Kollel HaRabbanim in Monsey. In this role, he became known as a "world authority on gittin" (Jewish divorce) and also dealt with cases of agunos. He staunchly opposed the 1992 New York Get Law proposed by Jewish activist groups, which would penalize husbands who refused to grant their wives a get by making it difficult for them to arrange a civil divorce. Malinowitz contended that the coercive element of the penalty could halakhically invalidate all divorces in New York. Ultimately, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach's decision on the matter, which agreed with Malinowitz's position, eroded support for the law.
In 1992 Malinowitz was appointed, along with Rabbi Yisrael Simcha Schorr, as general editor of the Schottenstein Edition of the Babylonian Talmud published by ArtScroll. The English-language Schottenstein Talmud spanned 73 volumes and was completed over a period of 15 years. Malinowitz was responsible for approving "every single line and every single footnote" of the translation and commentary of the Talmud submitted by the editorial staff for both the English and Hebrew editions. According to a senior editor on the project, Rabbi Eliezer Herzka: "His role was to learn through the sugya [topic] with the ArtScroll commentary to probe it to find its weak points". Herzka explained that Malinowitz's knowledge of the Talmud was so broad that he would know when the present sugya inadequately covered important opinions by the classic Talmudic commentators that were cited in similar sugyas elsewhere in Talmud. Nothing was considered final until Malinowitz approved the finished draft. Malinowitz also worked on ArtScroll's elucidated Mishnah project. He continued his association with ArtScroll after making aliyah in 1997.
Upon moving to Israel, Malinowitz began to teach at Yeshivat Aish HaTorah. In 2002, he was hired as Rav of Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham in Ramat Beit Shemesh, an English-speaking congregation catering to Anglo olim. As a community rav, Malinowitz introduced many shiurim to the synagogue schedule, including classes on different subjects and at different levels for men, women, and children. He also studied one-on-one with many congregants.
Malinowitz was fluent in all areas of the Talmud, halakha (Jewish law), and hashkafa (Orthodox Jewish worldview). He combined this knowledge with "fearlessness" to act on his convictions and a strong desire for truth. At the same time, he was regarded as a friendly, "down to earth" personality who cared for others.
- Malinowitz, Rabbi Chaim. "The New York State Get Bill and its Halachic Ramifications". Jewish Law Articles.
- Malinowitz, Rabbi Chaim (Winter 1999). "Pitfalls to Avoid in Obtaining a Get". Jewish Action.
- Ettinger, Yair (August 27, 2010). "ארץ השמש העולה: האופוזיציה החרדית לשלטון העסקנים והחצרות קמה בבית שמש". Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved December 17, 2019.
הרב מלינוביץ' סירב להתראיין לכתבה, אך העיר כי הקהילה שלו מאופיינת בכך שחבריה הם "חרדים נורמליים". [Rabbi Malinowitz refused to be interviewed for this article, but he pointed out that his congregation is characterised by its members being "normal Haredim".]
- Guttentag, Gedalia (December 18, 2019), "Larger Than Life", Mishpacha
- Scherman, Nosson (November 27, 2019). "Concealed Greatness". Mishpacha. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- Dalfin, Chaim (December 1, 2019). "HaRav Chaim Zev Malinowitz Z"L and Chabad – Memories of Rabbi Chaim Dalfin". CrownHeights.info. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- Landesman, Shmuel (December 5, 2019). "Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz, Artscroll Editor And Rav, 67". The Jewish Press. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- Scherman, Nosson; Kasnett, Nesanel (2005), "The Schottenstein Edition of the Babylonian Talmud: The next stage in Talmudic elucidation", in Mintz, Sharon Liberman; Goldstein, Gabriel M. (eds.), Printing the Talmud: From Bomberg to Schottenstein, Yeshiva University Museum, p. 156, ISBN 9780945447160
- "BD'E – Harav Chaim Zev Malinowitz, zt"l". Hamodia. November 21, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- Josephs, Allison (November 25, 2019). "Rav Chaim Malinowitz, z"l: The most down to earth charedi Torah scholar I ever knew". Jew in the City. Retrieved January 1, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Audio shiurim by Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz at torahdownloads.com