Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Tammuz 5761 - July 11, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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











Rabbanit Shoshanna Eidelman o"h
by Sara Finkel

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 values.

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 Shomayim.

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 Chava.

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 her kindness.

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.


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