Reb Moshe Kruger, a Lithuanian Jew of the "good old days" who
had made aliya 25 years ago, recently passed away in
the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem at a ripe old age.
At his levaya, a remarkable event occurred.
Reb Moshe Kruger was a Jew who had kept the mitzvos with
mesiras nefesh even under the Communist regime. Due to
this "crime," various restrictions were imposed on him which
made it difficult for him to find work. He was exiled to a
small village after being forbidden to live in Vilna. There
he suffered from the antisemitism of its illiterate
residents, some of whom even perpetrated a blood libel
Despite the persecutions and the efforts to repress him, he
remained staunch in his Yiddishkeit, and he bequeathed to his
family the Jewish warmth which he had absorbed in the
Lithuania of yore. His son, Rav Dovid Kruger, relates that
his father was one of the few Jews who was insistent about
davening in a minyan even during the Communist
One time, when Reb Dovid was small, he went outside of the
shul in order to talk to some children. His father
came out and scolded him: "Now they are reciting the
bircas hachodesh of Elul. Elul! The fish in the sea
are already trembling in fear of yemei hadin.
Reb Moshe Kruger was also well known for his acts of
chessed. Ever since he came to Eretz Yisroel he
made special efforts to recruit money for the Torah
institutions in the south of the country, and would
generously help whoever needed assistance.
During his levaya, which was held at night, one of the
members of the chevra kadisha placed his flashlight
beside a nearby tomb. They looked at the unusual inscription
on the tombstone which read: "Here lies buried. . . a
solitary person, who asks that prayers be recited for the
benefit of his soul." When they looked at the date of the
petirah they were stunned: "13 Teves, 5758," the same
day, a year beforehand.
Reb Moshe Kruger was buried near that lone Jew whose grave no
one would have thought of visiting. This occurred precisely
on that Jew's first yahrtzeit. From Shomayim
the niftar merited that Tehillim and
Kaddish were recited beside his grave by a
minyan of Jews on his first yahrtzeit.
When the entourage was about to leave, one of the members of
the chevra kadisha recalled the levaya of that
lone Jew, who had davened in the shtiblach for
many years. When he was buried, they wondered if anyone would
ever visit his grave. But Reb Moshe Kruger's son resolved
that every year, upon visiting his father's grave, he would
also recite prayers at the grave of this Jew whose
yahrtzeit falls on the same day as that of his
This is how a Jew who had so devoted himself to Yiddishkeit
and chessed in his life merited even another
chessed when passing on to World of Truth.