BD”E: Hagaon Harav Chaim Dov Keller, Zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshivas Telshe Chicago

chaim dov keller
Harav Chaim Dov Keller, Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshivas Telshe-Chicago. (Agudath Israel/Artech Media)

The Torah world was plunged into mourning with the petirah on Monday of Hagaon Harav Chaim Dov Keller, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshivas Telshe Chicago. He was 90 at his petirah.

Rav Chaim Dov Keller was born in 1930 in New York City and attended Yeshiva Rabeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (RIETS). When the Telshe Yeshiva was established by Harav Eliya Meir Bloch and Harav Mottel Katz, zichronam levrachah, in Cleveland in 1940, Rav Keller joined the yeshiva and became a close talmid of Rav Elya Meir.

In 1960, Harav Avraham Chaim Levin and Harav Chaim Schmelczer, zichronam levrachah, founded the Telshe Yeshiva in Chicago, and Rav Keller joined the yeshiva the following year. Over many decades, he taught Torah to thousands of talmidim, and was one of the premier roshei yeshiva of his time.

Rav Keller was known for his forceful and eloquent defense of authentic Yiddishkeit, and was often called upon to deliver the unadulterated daas Torah though his powerful speeches and articulate writing. He was a prominent member of the Nesius of Agudas Yisrael of America.

Rav Keller married Chaya Devorah née Levin, the daughter of Harav Eliezer Levin, zt”l, a talmid of the Chafetz Chaim and the longtime Rav in Detroit. After her passing, he married tbl”c Rebbitzen Shulamis Prager.

Several years ago, Rav Keller published several volumes of Sefer Chidekel, a compendium of his chiddushim.

Rav Keller’s last address was given in Telshe Yeshiva on Purim of this year, and shortly after he was stricken with COVID-19. After being hospitalized for an extended period of time, his home was converted to a quasi-hospital room, and he spent the last few weeks being cared for in his familiar surroundings.

The levayah will be held outdoors next to the yeshiva at 3535 West Foster Avenue. The aron will be brought to Lakewood for a levayah on Tuesday at 12:00 in Bais Medrash Govoha, and kevurah will be in Eretz Yisrael on Wednesday.

Rav Keller is survived by ybl”c his wife, Rebbitzen Shulamis Prager; his sons Harav Shmuel Yeshaya Keller, Rosh Yeshiva in Telshe Yeshiva in Chicago; Harav Elya Meir Keller, Ra”M in Yeshiva Yesodei Hatorah of Lakewood; and his daughters Mrs. Kraindel Mannes, principal at Bais Yaakov High School in Chicago; Mrs. Sori Schechter, principal of Bais Yaakov of Lakewood; Mrs. Chani Treff of Lakewood; and Mrs. Leah Bogen of Yerushalayim; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Yehi zichro baruch.

(Pictures courtesy of Tsemach Glenn/Holy Shots)
With the Veitner Rav, Harav Tzvi Hirsch Meisels, zt”l of Chicago and Harav Mordechai Gifter, zt”l.
Saying a shiur in his younger years.
With ybl”c the Skverer Rebbe, shlita.


Updated Monday, August 17, 2020 at 11:45 am .