Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (1899-1985), a Talmudic genius known as the Steipler Gaon. His father was widowed at age 60, and then remarried, fathering Yaakov Yisrael. Yaakov Yisrael was conscripted into the Russian army where he continued strict Jewish observance, despite the harsh conditions. After the army, he was appointed to a leadership post in the Novardak yeshiva. He wrote a multi-volume Talmudic commentary, Kehilos Yaakov, which is studied widely today. He married the sister of the saintly Chazon Ish, and later moved to Israel. Though he held no official position, he was consulted by individuals from all walks of life on every imaginable issue -- business, marriage, health, and matters of Torah law. His son, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, is a leading Torah authority in Israel today.
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