Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

6 Nisan 5759 - March 24, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Rebbetzin Henia Borodiansky, o"h

by B. Kahn

A large crowd participated in last week's levaya of Rebbetzin Henia Borodiansky, o'h, widow of HaRav Ephraim Nochum Borodiansky zt'l.

She was born ninety years ago to Reb Avrohom Yitzchok Hacohen, who was murdered when she was a young girl.

Her father, Reb Yitzchok, was born in the Polish city of Walik. He was the son of Reb Yehoshua, a prominent talmid chochom. Reb Yitzchok arrived in Lida, near Vilna, during World War I, where he married and devoted himself to his studies. He was murdered in a pogrom.

Her mother's family were prominent residents of Lida and Radin, city of the Chofetz Chaim, whose influence was all- pervasive.

In Lida, their neighbor was HaRav Yaakov Neiman, who treated them like family, and helped them in all their difficulties.

At that time, Reb Ephraim Nochum, along with a group of other students from Yeshivas Mir, were in Lida. Rav Yaakov Neiman, aware of Henia's excellent traits, made a match between her and R' Ephraim Nochum, the famous illui and one of the finest students of the yeshiva world.

Rebbetzin Borodiansky was well known for her remarkable character. She was once offered a job in a factory. She asked whether it operated on Shabbos. When she learned that indeed this was the case, even though the owners did not require her to work on Shabbos, she told them that she couldn't accept the job, thus forfeiting a relatively well-paying job.

She later explained that she could never know what nisyonos she might have to face in a place where Shabbos was desecrated.

On one occasion, her sister lost her speech. She took her to the Chofetz Chaim, who blessed her that on the merit of her father, Hy'd, she would be cured from her illness, and she should be sure to keep the mitzvah of taharas hamishpocha her entire life. His brocho was fulfilled and that very day, her sister regained her speech.

For decades, under all circumstances and difficulties, her sister realized the words of the Chofetz Chaim.

Her entire family managed to immigrate to Eretz Yisroel before the Holocaust. She was the first to arrive in Eretz Yisroel, and in 5696 (1936) arrived in Tel Aviv. With the help of Reb Yaakov Neiman and a number of prominent talmidei chachomim, who later became famed as gedolei haTorah, she made extensive efforts to bring her husband and her family to Eretz Yisroel.

In Eretz Yisroel Reb Ephraim continued his Torah studies, while she saw to the livelihood of the family. She assumed the burden of the family with joy, courage, love of Torah and love of the talmidim, who were for her like sons. The success of the students was her delight, and joy pervaded her entire household.

She raised her children with the understanding that, "There is no life but Torah."

Throughout her life, her sole aspiration was that her husband grow in Torah. As a result, she merited the happiness which stemmed from the fact that her husband was a godol and her children followed in his footsteps.

During the latter years of her life, she and her husband settled in the Bayit Vegan section of Jerusalem, where all of those who knew her, respected and loved her.

Her levaya, which set out from Yeshivas Kol Torah, was attended by a large crowd. Because of rosh chodesh Nisan, no hespedim were delivered.

She is survived by her sons, HaRav Yitzchok Yeruchom, menahel ruchani of Yeshivas Kol Torah and HaRav Benzion, one of the roshei yeshiva of Kol Torah.

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