Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Iyar 5761 - May 9, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Moshe Boudilowsky zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

An impressively large crowd came to pay their final respects to HaRav Moshe Boudilowsky zt"l, and accompany him on his final journey. The young gaon, who had devoted his life to promoting spiritual life in the Diaspora, was suddenly cut off in his prime, at the young age of 48, while deeply involved in the spreading of Yiddishkeit and chinuch in Russia.

HaRav Moshe was born in 5712 (1952) in Kiev, Ukraine, which was then under Communist rule, and he grew up without any knowledge of Torah or mitzvos. However, already in his youth, he was recognized for his exceptional talents, especially when he worked for the intelligence corps in the Russian army. Despite his Communist upbringing, the spark of Yiddishkeit was aroused in his soul, and his heart yearned for a spiritual existence. His greatest desire was to live in Eretz Yisroel.

All on his own, without any outside influence, he became aware of his Creator and, despite the threats of the dreaded Communist regime, he attended shul on the yomim noraim. Though he hardly knew how to daven, he beseeched G-d in his own language, and requested that he should merit to live as a Jew among other Jews. A few years later Heaven granted his wish and he was given a visa to travel to Israel.

On arrival in Eretz Yisrael, he devoted his time to intensive Torah study and, with the help of his talents and diligence, he became an outstanding talmid chochom after only a few years of learning.

After marrying his eishes chayil Miriam, he continued learning behasmodoh, and for a time enjoyed a chavrusoh with HaRav Yitzchok Silber. His unique middos and pleasant ways made him extremely popular, and he was much loved by his neighbors and friends on account of his good heart and friendly countenance.

After he had acquired a thorough knowledge of Shas and poskim, he turned to chinuch and disseminating Torah knowledge, which became his lifework.

He first joined the Glasgow Kollel in Scotland of HaRav Mordechai Bamberger, where he also began teaching Torah to the younger generation. It was there that his unique talents in instilling the beauty of Torah and the love for mitzvos into the hearts of his students were recognized. Indeed, many of those students became true bnei Torah as a result of his powerful influence and they attribute their success to the chinuch they received from Rav Moshe.

His next move was to the U.S. where he continued to instill Yiddishkeit in the hearts of Jewish children from unaffiliated backgrounds, and he joined the Vaad LeHatzolas Nidchei Yisroel, a project of Agudas Yisroel. Rav Moshe set about his task diligently and put his heart and soul into spreading the word of Torah and avodas Hashem in several ventures. He saw his aim in life as a holy task, namely, to return wayward souls to their Father in heaven.

Rav Moshe then received a call to become rosh yeshiva of Beis Avrohom in Kishinev, Moldavia, and once settled there he also become principal of the Bais Yaakov seminary for girls. He again dedicated all his unique faculties to the holy service of producing bnei Torah and talmidei chachomim, despite the secular environment of Moldavia. He helped to establish many Torah-true homes and with his gifted wisdom and extraordinary perception he was able to find pathways into the hearts of his students, with whom he established a loving and close relationship.

In the final week of his life, he traveled to the Ukraine to set up an institution to prepare girls for seminaries in Eretz Yisroel. On his return he suffered a heart attack and was suddenly taken from this world, leaving his loving family, community and students shocked and grief- stricken.

At his levayah which took place at the Beis Avrohom yeshiva in Kishinev, where he taught Torah and yiras Shomayim to so many students, the rabbonim of the yeshiva, as well as his devoted students, members of the Vaad LeHatzolas Nidchei Yisroel and all his acquaintances eulogized him and mourned bitterly for the passing of this godol, whose loss they found difficult to comprehend. After several hespedim in the airport, the levayah left for Eretz Yisrael, where many hundreds of bnei Torah and rabbonim were waiting for the niftar.

In a heart-rending hesped, his oldest son, Boruch Meir, took leave of his father, and emotionally described the niftar's great sacrifices for harbotzas haTorah, comparing him to Avrohom Ovinu for, like our patriarch, he came to a realization of Hashem's existence on his own. Also eulogizing the niftar were HaRav Yitzchok Silber and, at the kevurah in Har HaMenuchos, his rebbe, HaRav Boruch Horowitz, rosh yeshiva of Dvar Yerushalayim, who bitterly lamented the loss of a unique talmid chochom and marbitz Torah.

Rav Moshe zt"l leaves his widow Miriam, who stood by her husband's side for 21 years as a true ezer kenegdo, never complaining as her husband moved from country to country for the sake of Torah. Each new place brought new trials and difficulties, for the family had to begin life again in strange surroundings, with no friends or acquaintances. But she staunchly supported her husband and helped her young children develop, at the same time playing the role of rebbetzin and endearing herself to the local community. He also leaves five children, all yet to be married, who continue in the path of Torah and yiras Shomayim, as set out by their saintly father, Rav Moshe zt"l.

After consulting with rabbonim and askonim, a fund was set up to help the family. Those who wish to help may call the Vaad HaRabbonim LeInyonei Tzedoko at telephone number 1800-223636, noting that they wish to donate for Keren HaRav Boudilowsky, number 837. Deposits may also be made in the Mercantile-Discount Bank, Meah Shearim branch, no 635, account number 290211, or sent to POB 16387, Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem.

In the U.K., donations can be sent: c/o Glasgow Kollel, 15 Belmont Drive, Giffnock, Glasgow G46, Charity No. 42834. In the U.S.A. donations can be sent c/o Chochmas Lev, P.O.Box 613, Monsey, 10952, Tax ID: 22 377 0928.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.