Rabbi Shalom Gold
Rabbi Shalom GoldYoni Kempinski

Rabbi Dr. Shalom Gold passed away peacefully on Shabbat (Saturday).

Born in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY, Rabbi Gold zt"l attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in NY, Ner Israel in Baltimore, and Yeshivot Ponevezh and Hevron in Israel. He received semicha from Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Halevi Herzog and from HaRav Yaacov Yitzchok Halevi Ruderman.

Rabbi Gold was in the vanguard of building communities both in the Diaspora and Israel. As a young man in 1959, he came to Toronto to establish the Ner Israel Yeshiva, where he also built and developed Congregation Bnei Torah in Willowdale, a northern suburb of Toronto.

Upon becoming rabbi of Young Israel of West Hempstead NY in 1971, he built one of the first eruvin in North America, which quickly became a model worldwide. Under his leadership the local mikveh was built as West Hempstead was developing into one of the most vibrant religious communities in the NY area.

An ardent and proud Religious Zionist, Rabbi Gold and his family made aliya in 1982, where he soon became a well-known speaker, Torah lecturer and notable figure in the Orthodox community. His Torah lectures on parshat shavua were a regular feature on Arutz Sheva. He built and served as the Rav of Kehilat Zichron Yoseph in Har Nof, and in 1984 founded the Avrom Silver Jerusalem College for Adults, which merged with the OU Israel Center in 2002, and where Rabbi Gold, as Dean, taught Torah for many years.

Rabbi Gold was one of the founders of the Union of Rabbis for the Land of Israel and fought vocally against giving up any part of the land. He worked to consolidate rabbinic opposition to the 1993 Oslo Accords before and after they were signed. Rabbi Gold was one of the group of well-known rabbis who followed the leadership of the late Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira of Merkaz Harav Yeshiva and a regular speaker at the central Jerusalem Day event held annually at the yeshiva.

Rabbi Gold described the events leading to the establishment of the rabbinic organization in his own words: "As soon as the Oslo Accords hit us like lightning on a sunny day, in the month of Elul 1993, I decided that we must organize all the rabbis in Israel to raise their voices and protest this terrible agreement, in order to protect our people and land. I got in touch with a large number of rabbis and met some of them personally."

"One day, soon after the holidays, late at night, I received a call from the head of the Maale Adumim Yeshiva, Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz, who I knew from the years when we both served as rabbis in Toronto and asked his advice about organizing rabbis to oppose the Oslo Accords. He told me that Rabbi Avraham Shapira is planning to do exactly the same thing and that it is a good idea to check with him. He gave me the telephone number of Rabbi Shabtai Zelikowitz of the Mevasseret Zion Educational Center who, he said, is the organizer. I phoned him that very same night and after a short conversation, expressed my interest in joining a meeting at Rabbi Shapira's home, and a meeting 'with other rabbis took place several days later at the Rav's home. This was the first time in my life I had been at his home and I had the merit of being present when the 'Union of the Rabbis for The Land and People of Israel' was founded."

One of the rabbi's students gave Arutz Sheva an insight into her beloved teacher's love of Israel: "On a trip to Caesarea, we sat on the crumbling steps of the ruined city, once the seat of the Roman Empire's control of Judea, with the sun shining over the blue Mediterranean. Rabbi Gold, who led the group, stood on the highest step and proclaimed in his ringing voice: "Look around you and look at modern Israel and remember what it says in the Talmud, Tractate Megillah 6, about Caesarea and Jerusalem: 'If someone tells you that both are in ruins, do not believe him, or that both are thriving, do not believe him, if he tells you that Caesarea is in ruins and Jerusalem thrives or that Jerusalem is in ruins and Caesarea thrives, believe him … '"

Rabbi Gold's funeral will take place on Sunday at 1:00p.m., leaving from the synagogue he founded and led in Har Nof, Jerusalem.