The Estate of the late Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky is involved in an inheritance dispute

A recent online story found here describes the current inheritance dispute with respect to the estate of the late Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.

Rabbi Kanievsky died on March 18, 2022 at the age of 94. He was known as the “Prince of Torah” and was the de facto head in Israel of the Lithuanian branch of Haredi Judaism. Around 750,000 mourners came to his funeral on March 20, 2020 which made the funeral one of the largest in the history of Israel (more about Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky here).

Rabbi Kanievsky had three sons and five daughters. According to the Story, the current dispute involves his three sons. After Rabbi Kanievsky’s death, Eliezer (Louis) Scheiner approached his son, Shaul Kanievsky and offered $7 million for the original writings of the commentaries published by Rabbi Kanievsky’s on the Jerusalem Talmud. Mr. Scheiner is a successful businessman. He and his partner, Teddy Lichtenstein own dozens of nursing homes in Pennsylvania, Texaes and Florida.

Eventually, Mr. Scheiner and Shaul agreed to make a deal for $7 million. Shaul’s two brothers, Avraham Yeshayahu and Shlomo only found out about the deal by accident. This has resulted in a dispute over the estate. Shaul’s position is that his father intended for him to receive his entire estate. His two brothers’ position is that their father intended for his estate to be divided in accordance with Torah law, specifically, between the three sons.

It is unclear what position Rabbi Kanievsky’s five daughters are taking with respect to this estate dispute.

Kanievsky dispute is being mediated

It is not known if the parties have been able to settle the matter, however, the dispute has led to an order that the commentaries are not to be sold. Additionally, the parties have turned to Rubin Schron, a New York based real estate tycoon and philanthropist, to mediate the matter. Mr. Schron was a close confidant of Rabbi Kanievsky. No further details are available on the latest developments in this dispute.

it is encouraging that the parties have decided to attempt to mediate this dispute. Estate disputes are usually very costly both emotionally and financially. Additionally, many details about a family’s private affairs may become available to the public. This is especially true if a Court proceeding is necessary.

The size of the estate also plays an important factor in these kinds of disputes. Whenever an estate is worth millions of dollars, the parties involved may believe that they stand to win or lose significant amounts and will likely have further incentive to fight. A protracted and public legal dispute over Rabbi Kanievsky’s estate may only take away attention from his legacy. Hopefully, the parties will resolve this matter privately and move on with their lives. This will be an interesting story to follow.

More on this story here.