Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Israel news photo: courtesy of Beit HaShalom

Many thousands of people are praying for the health and continued life of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the Torah sage who leads Lithuanian hareidi-religious Jewry. This week one father from Jerusalem took things further, offering one year of his own life if G-d will lengthen Rabbi Elyashiv’s life.

The man, a Torah student identified only as Aharon, told the hareidi-religious news outlet Kikar Shabbat that he had thought over the offer carefully, and was completely serious. Before making the offer official he spoke to multiple rabbis, he said.

The rabbis advised him to speak first to his family. His wife and children agreed to let him make the trade, he said.

“On Shabbat, I took it on myself to give one year of my life for Rabbi Elyashiv’s life and health, and I immediately felt great joy,” Aharon recalled.

“While the Torah was being read, a Chassidic man in a streimel asked me why I was smiling,” he continued. “When I told him, he asked me if I would have given a year of my life to his rabbi, of Satmar. I told him – of course, I would give to any of the great Torah sages, I would give to Rabbi Kanievsky and Rabbi Ovadia [Yosef] who are the protectors of our generation.”

He explained why he made his offer, “In our times, the great Torah sages are our pillars of support. Without them, we could not continue our way of life properly. We need Rabbi Elyashiv, and the rest of the great scholars of our generation, so that they can show us the way and protect our generation.”