BDE: Rabbi Mordechai Sternberg, Rosh Yeshiva Of Har HaMor, Passes Away At Age 74


JERUSALEM (VINnews) — BDE: The Torah world mourns one of the founders of the Chardal [National Chareidi] yeshiva Har HaMor, Rabbi Mordechai (Motty) Sternberg, who passed away Monday at the age of 74. Rabbi Sternberg had suffered from cancer over the last year. He is survived by his wife Miriam (daughter of former Netanya chief rabbi Moshe Levin), children and grandchildren.

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Rabbi Sternberg was born in Kfar Pines in 1948. His father, who was the rabbi of the community, passed away when he was 13 and the family moved to Jerusalem. He studied at Netiv Meir Yeshiva and also at Kfar Chasidim, where he studied under Rabbi Eliyahu Mishkovsky who taught according to the methods of Rabbi Shimon Shkop, methods which Rabbi Sternberg adopted during his entire teaching career. This analytical approach involves defining general concepts and then using them to explain the sugya [talmudic discussion]. Rabbi Sternberg stressed that most of the commentators agreed to the base definitions and argued over nuances and details in the sugya.

Later he moved to Merkas Harav yeshiva.  At the age of 25, he was appointed by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook to serve as rabbi at a central yeshiva. Over the years, Rabbi Sternberg taught the older class at the yeshiva and specialized in study classes, and he is considered influential in the study of study in yeshivas in the national religious stream. In 1988 he was ordained as a rabbi and dean by Rabbi Avraham Shapira. Rabbi Sternberg also taught in many other yeshivos including Beit Ell, Ohr Etzion, Ateret Yerushalayim, Maale Eliyahu, and Ateret Nehemia.

In 1997, Rabbi Mordechai and his twin brother Rabbi Amiel Sternberg left Merkas Harav and established the Har Hamor yeshiva due to ideological differences with the Merkas Harav leadership. The yeshiva has produced many distinguished Talmidei Chachamim, many of whom are community rabbis and head yeshivos of their own, including Rav Moshe Bleicher, founder of Yeshivat Shavei Chevron, Rav Dani Izak, founder of Yeshivat Beit Orot, Rav Chaim Ganz, founder of Yeshivat Maale Eliyahu-Tel Aviv, Rabbi Chagai Londin, Rosh Yeshiva of Holon yeshiva, and many others.

Rabbi Sternberg’s shiurim have been published in seven volumes of “Iyunim Mi’Shiurei Rav Mordechai” and he also authored several other sefarim.

Rabbi Sternberg had been sick for a long period but despite his weakness continued to give shiurim in the yeshiva over the entire period. On Sunday, a huge prayer gathering took place at the Kotel for Rabbi Sternberg’s recovery. Rabbi Asher Weiss called on “every Jew” to join the prayers and daven for Rabbi Mordechai Ben Rivka, “my dear friend, one of the great men of Israel.”

Rabbi Sternberg’s levaya will take place at 11 AM at the Har Hamor yeshiva in Jerusalem. May his memory be blessed.



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