The Tzava’ah of Harav Steinman

Harav Steinman’s tzava’ah.

The incredible tzava’ah of Harav Steinman was read aloud by Harav Chizkiyahu Mishkowski, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Orchos Torah, before the mittah of the Rosh Yeshivah left on its last earthly journey. Below is an English translation of the tzava’ah.

1) I greatly beseech that no one be maspid me, neither in front of me nor not in front of me, not to make any atzeres hisorerus or atzeres avel, or any sort of [similar event] with any other name, whose intention is to be maspid.

2) Not to write any articles about me in the newspapers, daily, weekly or monthly. Not to publish my picture, not to publish my biography as is customary.

3) Not to print signs about the levayah and not to announce on loudspeakers or radio. It is enough that there will only be ten people at the levayah.

4) To try not to take time between the petirah and the kevurah and to hasten that the kevurah should be as close to the petirah as possible.

5) My place in the cemetery should be amongst simple people.

6) Not to write on the kever any titles, only, “Here is buried Reb Aharon Yehudah Leib son of Reb Noach Zvi Steinman.”

At the Ponevez Cemetery, at the levayah of Harav Steinman. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

7) The matzeivah should be the cheapest and simplest, not to waste money for buying an expensive plot in the cemetery. However, if it is desired to give tzedakah, it should be done but without buying [an expensive] plot.

8) On those days when it is customary to visit the kever, such at the end of the shivah, sheloshim and on the yahrtzeit, not to waste too much time over this. Instead, it is more worthwhile to learn Torah throughout that day, and to refrain from speaking about devarim beteilim.

If searching for a place to daven for the amud will cause much bittul Torah, it is better to use the time to learn l’shem Shamayim.

9) I request that anyone who seeks [to do something for] my benefit should learn a perek of Mishnayos every day until the end of the 12-month period. Girls should recite pirkei Tehillim every day, including Shabbos and Yom Tov.

10)  [My] manuscripts of divrei Torah and Aggadah should not be published, except those about which it is known that I have reviewed them and that they are ready for publication.

11) I ask not to be referred to with the title “tzaddik” or “yerei Shamayim,” so that I shall not be embarrased by this in the Olam Ha’emes.

12) I greatly beseech forgiveness from all those whose honor I have slighted; and to those who, unbeknownst to me, I owe money to, and in reality will not demand it (i.e., that they cannot collect it according to Halachah) – that they should forgive me.

13) All my descendants shall not follow the mittah, per the minhag of Yerushalayim.

NOTE: In deference to the tzava’ah of Maran Hagaon Harav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, zecher tzaddik livrachah, Hamodia asked a sheilah regarding its coverage of his life and petirah. Below is the handwritten teshuvah received from Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, transmitted by his son, Harav Yitzchak Shaul. Our goal was to follow the teshuvah faithfully and to be marbeh kvod Shamayim through our coverage.