Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Tammuz 5761 - July 18, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
A Tribute to Chippa Bayla (Carol) Weinberger, ob'm

Multitudes are bereft at the passing of Chippa Bayla (Carol) Weinberger, surrogate mother to hundreds and tireless worker for the Klall. Rebbetzin Weinberger passed away on Shabbos Parshas Behaaloscho with most of her children present. It was her father's yahrzeit and her brother's shloshim. Her funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners, each of whom felt that s/he had lost their own mother.

Rebbetzin Weinberger was born on the Chofetz Chaim's yahrzeit in 1941. After giving birth on the Chofetz Chaim's yahrzeit in 1984 to a son who is hearing impaired, she decided that she had a tikun to make in Shemiras Haloshon and she began attending lectures on the subject, as well as an evening rally held in the Kiryat Mattersdorf shul. She inquired as to expanding it and was thus instrumental in the development of the citywide annual Yom Iyun for Shemiras Haloshon.

She then turned to taping the lectures and making these tapes available the same evening -- a colossal task requiring superhuman energy and nerves of steel.

Rebbetzin Weinberger worked tirelessly to disseminate Torah and menshlichkeit. The Weinberger home became a taping studio where thousands of Torah tapes were produced and distributed. She established and stocked nearly 150 tape libraries in the United States, Europe and South Africa. For the past 15 years, she singlehandedly managed the complex, time consuming operation of taping, duplicating and selling hundreds of copies of the many lectures presented on Jerusalem's citywide Shemiras Haloshon day in Av. She somehow managed to tape between 30 to 40 lectures from the Shemiras Haloshon day -- and have thousands of tapes clearly labeled and available for sale the same evening for the Hebrew rally, and for the English rally two days later. A month prior to the Yom Iyun, she began to plan the taping and spent the major part of her time preparing for the big day. As the Yom Iyun drew nearer, she dropped everything and dedicated herself entirely to this event, some nights not sleeping at all. Despite her dedication to the cause, she never neglected the needs of her family.

"I'm basically dedicating my life to promoting menschlickkeit (human decency) towards others. When we first opened the gemach, we (her partner and friend, Adina Goldman) named it `Lashon Marpeh' (the Healing Tongue). If I have been able to contribute towards improving in any way the way people treat each other, making them kinder to one another, I have done everything." Her desire to help people to be more considerate with one another was emphasized by her dedicated work in marriage counseling.

Rebbetzin Weinberger suffered the loss of her mother at a very young age and was deeply affected by it. She also suffered the tragic loss of other close relatives. She resolved to dedicate herself to ensuring that others would not suffer silently in their homes, and thus, even as a young married woman, she began her work in counseling. She displayed devotion and self sacrifice for this goal in a way that is beyond compare, by opening her heart and home completely. For many years, Rebbetzin Weinberger used to travel daily to the Kosel, leaving the house at 5:00 a.m. to pray for heavenly assistance for `her couples' and her family. She often had `her couples' or `her ladies' over for Shabbos, even if they had very large families. She didn't hesitate to invite a certain couple with a sick member to stay with her for the entire Pesach. There was often at least one person who needed her warmth and attention living in her home. A hot delicious meal was almost always cooking in her kitchen and there seemed to be no end to the people she fed -- from guests, to couples, to children and grandchildren. She always seemed to have enough food for the many people who would drop in on her and everyone felt welcome. She once said that providing a meal is a real form of nurturing. She wanted to nurture everyone she could.

She worked tirelessly from early morning until late at night. If one of her couples experienced a crisis, she would often speak to them for three or four hours straight. `Housecalls' were part of her weekly routine and in a crisis, she could be found making a housecall in the middle of the night. She continued to counsel people throughout her long illness without revealing how much pain she was in. She once said she was in love with sholom bayis. It made her so happy to see people happy that she would do anything to make it possible. She saw people until several days before her passing. All this she did, despite having a very large family of her own with many grandchildren, constantly seeking her love and guidance. Despite her hectic schedule, she maintained a separate phone line exclusively for her children and would always answer the phone for them, no matter what else she was involved with. When she was already a very sought after and successful marriage counselor, she said, "I don't see myself as a counselor. I just see myself as a mother and wife. That's all I want to be." This is exactly what she was. Mother to hundreds, despite having lost her own mother so early in life. Many people wondered where she got the strength and intuitiveness to be such a warm and loving mother to so many, despite her own early sufferings. She surely possessed a soul from earlier generations, one noted person remarked.

She had an elderly aunt living in Petach Tikva to whom she would bring a basketful of homemade food to fill up her freezer each week. She did this for seven years. When she returned from her long weekly trip, she would be so tired that she'd collapse on a chair and slept thus in the living room for most of the night. She could often be found falling asleep on her chair, especially after candlelighting on Friday night, after a week of tireless service for the Klall. She rarely took the standard afternoon nap so as to be available to those who needed her.

Rebbetzin Weinberger was privileged to pass away on Friday evening. The last words she heard were Shema Yisroel. She was surrounded by a full minyon, just as she had arranged for her aunt. Her last words indicated her relationship to her Father: "Hashem, help me! Hashem, help me!"

May she be a righteous interceder for her family and for all those who considered her their `mother,' and those whom she influenced, directly and indirectly.


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