Thursday, February 1, 2018

Rav Chaim Kastel zt'l - Baruch Dayan Emes

This week one of the great men of klal Yisroel passed away at the age of 62. He was my rebbe, Rav Chaim Kastel zt'l. He was one of the most outstanding people you could ever meet. He was a huge talmid chocham, a baki in Shas, a posek, a master of hashkafa. You could ask him anything on any Gemara. You could post any halachic shealah to him. You could approach him with any conundrum on Judaism, on Midrash, on Maharal, and you'd find that he already worked through it. He was baal chesed who gave very generously of his time. People came to him from all over. He was patient with people. I think he was incapable of anger. He was non-judgmental. He was so special. He helped you carve out your own derech so even though he was pure Litvach, he was more than happy to see me become a Hirschian. He had great respect for Rav Hirsch.

I wrote a hespid for him that I'll post here in the near future. In the meantime, can I ask any of you to learn a little Torah in his memory. His name is R' Chaim Mordechai ben Shraga Feivel. I never ask for money here so if you have benefited at all from this blog, I'd like to ask you to do this. If you can learn some Mishnayus or even Chumash. Anything. Even a page. Even a few lines.

When my grandmother passed away, I told Rav Chaim that I was looking for someone to learn Mishnayus for her. He offered to do the whole thing himself and learned all of the 6 orders of Mishnayus for her. That's the kind of person he was.

Shalom Rosenfeld, 917-821-4444, is organizing learning of perakim of Gemara. If you call him, you can see what's available.

R' Chaim Mordechai Kastel zt'l


  1. Thanks for the post. I was intrigued by it and searched around for more information about the niftar z"l. I found some online, and also, via a comment online, an article on him in the Yated Neeman issue dated February 2.

    Your longer hesped is awaited.

    1. Thank you for your note.

      He was very hidden, lived very modestly.