Shocked and stunned, thousands of Jerusalem's residents, led
by gedolei Torah, roshei yeshiva, rabbonim and bnei
Torah accompanied Rebbetzin Malka Devorah Ellis o"h,
eishes chover to HaRav Simcha Doniel Ellis, the
mashgiach of the Eretz Yisroel-Lakewood yeshiva
currently on Sorotzkin Street, on her last earthly journey.
She was only 40 years old at the time of her
On the faces of the those at the levaya, signs of the
shock at the tragic accident which took the life of the
rebbetzin were still evident. Malka Devorah, came out with
her small son to wait for the bus to take him to school. She
asked a neighbor to watch her son as she crossed to the
garbage bin. A large tractor of the municipality was clearing
the remnants of the refuse that still remained after the week-
long city employee strike, and it was working very quickly.
She was run over by its wheels and the ambulance crew that
arrived quickly had nothing to do but note her death. The
tractor driver, an employee of the city, was taken in for
questioning, where it was discovered that he has a long
history of serious traffic violations.
Malka Devorah was born in 5719 (1959) in the United States.
Her parents, Reb Avrohom and Reitzel Strauss, are among the
pillars of chessed of the Torah community of
Cleveland. Already as a young girl signs of her outstanding
chessed were evident in her warm manner of helping
others and sharing their burdens.
She married R' Simcha Doniel Ellis, currently the menahel
ruchani of the Lakewood Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel, and
together they built a genuine Torah home, where they raised
their four children.
From the moment of her arrival in Eretz Hakodesh, she became
deeply attached to it despite all of the difficulties that
normally accompany the process of acclimating to a new
Rebbetzin Ellis was well known in Kiryat Mattersdorf for her
chessed activities. She engaged in many acts of quiet
chessed, and was one of the founders and pillars of
the neighborhood's Chessed Yad leYad organization, which
assists women after childbirth.
It was one of her supreme values to enable her husband to
devote himself fully to Torah and spiritual pursuits, and she
worked hard to accomplish this. For many years, she assisted
ailing women and women after childbirth, in the context of
the Chessed Yad leYad organization of Kiryat Mattersdorf in
Yerushalayim. The example that she set in this field,
transformed it into a prestigious and sought-after
occupation. Although this was a source of income for her, she
yearned to perform such chessed without remuneration,
saying that she was forced to accept payment for her work
because of various considerations that required this. For her
it was nonetheless truly a labor of love, which she performed
with her entire heart and with boundless love and warmth.
Over the years, she prepared thousands of meals for women
after birth, nurturing their bodies while at the same time
bolstering their spirits.
Women, say Chazal, gain their share in the World to Come on
the merit of their waiting for their husband's to return from
the beis medrash and for taking their sons to study
Torah. Malka Devorah, o"h, lost her life in a tragic
accident as she was taking her small son to talmud Torah.
This was symbolic of her entire life, which she devoted
to her children and her home. She spoke with her children
with grace and in a pleasant manner, encouraging them, and
accompanying their development in their learning. When she
spoke with her children on the telephone, their eyes lit up
as a result of her unique way of relating to them.
Malka Devorah was great in her ahavas Torah, great in
her chessed, great in her love of Eretz Hakodesh,
great in her love of her fellow jew, and well known for the
remarkable impact her glowing personality had on her entire
Her home was always open to guests and to people in need on
Shabbosim, yomim tovim and at all times. She and her husband
ylct"a, extended much advice and succor to all who
turned to them. Recently she began to guide kallos lesheim
Shomayim, and aspired to devote more and more of her time
to this vital area.
Malka Devorah was true to her name: Malka denoting refinement
and grace, and Devorah -- unlimited industriousness.
The large throng which attended her levaya -- pained
and weeping -- keenly felt the great loss to the community.
The deep esteem in which she was held by the community was
manifested in the large size of the entourage, a sign of
which was that the roads in the entire area were closed off
for two-and-a-half hours by the police because of the
Hespedim were delivered by: HaRav Eliezer Schwartzman,
rosh yeshiva of Lakewood, HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel,
the rosh yeshiva of the Mirrer yeshiva, HaRav M. Glick
a ram in the Lakewood yeshiva, HaRav Yisroel Gans, one
of the rabbonim of Kiryat Mattersdorf and a ram in Kol
Torah, HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi one of the roshei
yeshiva of the Mirrer yeshiva, as well as by her husband,
HaRav Simcha Doniel Ellis.
After the levaya left the yeshiva, it stopped in front
of her home, where HaRav Sholom Eisman, in whose home Malka
Devorah was a bas bayis prior to her marriage,
delivered a hesped.
All of the maspidim noted her outstanding
middos, as well as the timing of the petirah --
the day after Rosh Hashanah, on Tzom Gedaliah, a day on which
we all recited the selichah that stresses the
shortness and uncertainty of life: "Azov noh ben odom,
azov noh . . . beterem yisofeh . . . -- Leave your sins
and the vanities of this world, . . . before you are taken
before your time. . . " They said that she was the finest of
the roses, who was plucked form our midst in order to arouse
us all to teshuvah, and in order to be a melitzas
yosher on behalf of Klal Yisroel.
She is survived by four children, the youngest of whom is
only five-years-old, and by her illustrious husband, her
eminent parents, and her brothers and sisters.