Only two short months ago, on the seventh of Iyar, Rabbanit
Shoshanna Eidelman left this world for her eternal resting
place. She was the guiding light of Ohel Chava, a home for
girls in Jerusalem, almost since its inception.
Ohel Chava began in the year 1948, more than 50 years ago.
Coming from various parts of Israel, the girls of Ohel Chava
live and board there so that they are able to continue their
studies at the Bais Yaakov School in Jerusalem.
Rabbanit Eidelman had a unique personality. In her deep
concern for all people, young and the old, she reached out
to so many in need, as well as the depressed, to help them
in whatever way she was able. Everyone whom Rabbanit
Eidelman befriended felt she was her best friend, because
she really felt that way and made it known to them. Her
listening ear, her wise counsel, her warmth, and the joy she
expressed over some good news you shared with her, showed
the depth of her feeling towards others. Her interest and
love for people was abundant and she went to the far corners
of the world to try to help them, yet she found it difficult
to trouble another even for a small favor for herself. This
was Rabbanit Shoshanna Eidelman.
So many girls at Ohel Chava were married under her care. She
sought and arranged for shidduchim for the girls and
matched them up with some of the finest bochurim.
Today many are married to roshei yeshiva, magidei
shiurim and outstanding citizens of our land because
they were educated through Ohel Chava and internalized what
this home represented and instilled in its girls. Rabbanit
Eidelman spent many sleepless nights worrying about the
girls and some of their problems, just as a mother would.
Even after the girls were married and had a child, they came
to visit her with the child in the carriage as they would to
their own mother. I saw this myself, when I visited Rabbanit
Eidelman. That's the kind of relationship and interest she
had with the girls of Ohel Chava. They remembered her long
after they left Ohel Chava and were married, because of how
she changed their lives to become among the righteous.
Although her possessions were meager, she was always
satisfied with the little she had and never ceased to thank
Hashem for the many kindnesses He showed her. Even in her
most difficult hours she radiated happiness.
In leading Ohel Chava, she penetrated deeply into the roots
of each girl, making these roots grow strong and sturdy,
though many of the girls came from broken or poverty-
stricken homes. She instilled in each girl the lofty values
of our holy Torah and guided them in leading a spiritual
life. The girls were fortunate to be able to emulate this
tzadeikes who had perfect midos and special
The girls at Ohel Chava lived together as one harmonious
family, in camaraderie and friendship. They witnessed the
consideration that Rabbanit Eidelman showed towards others,
the kovod she gave to everyone, the joy she
experienced in sharing another's good news. They emulated
her wonderful example.
In addition to their formal studies at Bais Yaakov, an
important part of the girls' chinuch was being with
and having Rabbanit Eidelman as their role model. Her
yiras Shomayim was very special. Her davening
was, indeed, a sight to behold. She followed to the
letter the three precepts on which the world stands: on
Torah, Prayer and Lovingkindness. All this she instilled in
the girls at Ohel Chava.
Rabbi Boruch Greineman, her great-nephew, spoke at a large
gathering at the culmination of the Shiva. He said,
"Each person has a part to play in this world. Rabbanit
Eidelman's task, which she did so well, was to build homes
and save souls by leading Ohel Chava. She was like a
brilliant jewel in the crown of Hashem."
As a young child in Europe, after her mother was niftar
she went to live with her uncle, HaRav Shmuel Greineman.
The Chazon Ish, who was a brother of Rebbetzin Greineman,
lived there as well. She grew up in a home the great
gedolim of the past generation frequented. In
addition to the Chazon Ish, the Chofetz Chaim, HaRav Boruch
Ber, HaRav Shimon Shkop and HaRav Aharon Kotler met in her
home. She not only grew up in the atmosphere of these great
gedolim, but she also attended to their needs, and,
as a young girl did errands for them. When necessary she
translated the letters of HaRav Chaim Ozer into English.
There, in the surroundings of these great people, she
absorbed some of her virtuous midos and yiras
Her husband was the great gaon HaRav Shraga Feivel
Eidelman, whom she married in Vilna. In Yerushalayim he
headed the Yeshiva Eitz Chaim for 40 years. They lived in a
modest two room apartment with a tiny half-meter- wide
kitchen. Yet she was satisfied with all that she had.
Her devotion and mesirus nefesh for Klal Yisroel was
exceptional and her life was dedicated to building more and
more Jewish homes -- which she did as the supervisor of Ohel
She worried for everyone. Every day she visited the lonely
and the disabled, and could not go to sleep without saying
Tehillim for the Jews in Iran.
Rabbanit Eidelman received a brochoh from the Chazon
Ish for long life. His brochoh was fulfilled for she
lived to the age of 98 years, and her mind was perfectly
clear up to the end.
There was so much to learn from her. She never liked to ask
anyone to do something for her but in her own special way,
when really necessary, she prefaced her request with these
words: "Oib es is aich nisht tsu shver (If it isn't
too hard for you)."
Her niece, Rabbanit Esther Finkel, daughter of HaRav Shmuel
Greineman, was very close to her. Rabbanit Finkel's
grandchildren referred to her lovingly as Doda Shoshanna and
came frequently to visit her. They became very close to her.
She drew so many to her through her warmth, her wisdom and
She left one son, HaRav Chaim Eidelman, an important member
of the Kollel Chazon Ish in Bnei Brak, as well as
grandchildren. The last year of her life she lived with her
son and daughter-in-law in Bnei Brak where they cared for
her with great devotion.
At the time of her demise she seemed so serene and confident
in her future tranquility. Who can replace this great loss
that has left us. Who will stand in our merit and speedily
bring the redemption.
Large crowds of people attended her funeral which was headed
by the gedolim of today in Israel, HaRav Nissim
Karelitz, HaRav Zalman Rotberg, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, HaRav
Yitzchok Wassermann from Bnei Brak. In Yerushalaim the
levaya was at the Mirrer Yeshiva.
A strange phenomenon took place about an hour or two after
the funeral. It was yet half-an-hour before sunset but it
became dark already. The lights in the Mirrer Yeshiva where
the funeral took place, as well as the surrounding
buildings, all turned to a blue color. I speculated that
this was an indication from Above that this great rebbetzin,
Rabbanit Shoshanna Eidelman, left a great void in this
world. And so it was.