Rabbi Shlomo Goren was born in Zambrov Poland, to Rabbi Avraham and Haya-Tsipora. His parents made aliya in 1925, were founders of Kfar- Hassidim, where they suffered hunger and disease. They later moved to Jerusalem.
When Shlomo began his schooling, he revealed exceptional skills and memory. Before Bar-Mitzvah age, he was accepted to the Hebron Yeshiva, which relocated to Jerusalem following the 1929 riots.
As an adolescent, his genius was recognized by all great Rabbis of Jerusalem. Aged 17 he published his first book ‘The Diadem of Holiness’, (on the Rambam).Two years later he published ‘Gates of Purity’, a Gemara on the tractate of the Mikves. These two books greatly impacted Torah students and scientists; his top role in rabbinical circles was rapidly unfolding.
During his youth the family lived in Kiryat-Moshe Jerusalem, and Shlomo partook of guard duties. He joined the Jewish Settlement Police, completed his studies in the Hebrew University (philosophy and mathematics), and authored his major opus: publication of a redefined, re-interpreted ‘Jerusalem Talmud’. In addition, he joined Lehi. His house served to broadcast Lehi’s station. Anshel Spielman found refuge in his home, after escaping prison. Other escapees likewise found refuge at his home. He held a Lehi weapons cache until the assassination of Bernadotte. After establishment of the State he joined the IDF, was one of the best Jerusalem snipers and underwent heavy-machinegun training.
In 1945 he married Rabbanit Tsefia, daughter of the Righteous Gaon Rabbi David Cohen. His children are Avraham, attorney–at-law, Judge Tchiya Shapira, and Drorit Tamari, psychologist. He became the IDF’s first Chief Rabbi, as Colonel. In 1951 he received the Rabbi Kook Award.
He defined the entire framework of the Military Rabbinate – military constitution, order of prayers, and religious activity – in place to this day. He was the first to escort soldiers on the battlefield, and in the Six-Day War, he was among the first to reach the Western Wall. In the Cave of Machpelah it was he who broke through the gate, opening the Patriarchs’ burial site to the general public. He parachuted with the paratroopers and dedicatedly gathered the bodies of the fallen, even in minefields. He saw to the burial of the remains of Bar-Kochba’s warriors.
After his discharge he became Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, was elected Chief Rabbi of Israel and Head of the Rabbinical Supreme Court. He represented the State abroad on crucial assignments. He has written hundreds of articles. At least a dozen of his books were published. He was outstanding among his generation.