Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

26 Av 5761 - August 15, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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HaRav Shaul Rubin zt'l
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

On the sixteenth of Av, throngs of Torah faithful Jews of Bnei Brak and Jerusalem -- amongst them many dayanim, roshei yeshivos and roshei kollelim -- followed HaRav Shaul Rubin zt'l to his final resting place in the Har Hazeisim cemetery in Jerusalem.

Author of Tzionei HaDerech on Shas and tefillah, HaRav Rubin taught Torah and mussar both in Israel and abroad, particularly in France, where he was rov and spiritual mentor in a large number of yeshivos. His passing, after a year-long illness, leaves a vacuum, in Israel where he was a rosh kollel and an inspiring speaker, and also in France, where his hundreds of disciples and talmidim fell into mourning when the sad news arrived.

He was born in Jerusalem in 5697 (1937) to HaRav Shmuel Aharon Rubin zt'l, grandson of the av beis din of Kartshin, HaRav Shmuel Aharon Rubin zt'l, one of the leading gedolim of Galicia. He benefited from expert chinuch, and shined out brightly in terms of refined character, Torah scholarship, and constant watchfulness for the details of halacha. His exceptional gifts were apparent at a young age, and in the finest yeshivos in Israel he cultivated them further.

He was a perceptive and caring soul, who radiated warmth and spoke with love and concern to young and old. He learned Torah tenaciously and deeply, and it stood by him all his days.

In Slobodka Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, his dedicated Torah learning was an example for all. He learned with a passion in order to understand clearly, and succeeded in developing an orderly warehouse of Torah knowledge that sufficed the needs of hundreds of talmidim over his many years of teaching.

After marrying the Rebbetzin Shifra, may she live and be well, he joined the Volozhin Kollel in Bnei Brak, and afterwards learned in Kollel Chazon Ish and also the Rodomsky Kollel there. Later he was appointed rosh kollel of the Torah Center in Afula, where he taught avreichim until he was called to be rosh kollel of Tal Torah in the Tel Ganim neighborhood of Ramat Gan. After that he was named rosh kollel of the Tal Torah kollel in Bnei Brak.

One of his greatest accomplishments is his work amongst the Jews of France. Rav and spiritual mentor in many yeshivos throughout France, he was an overflowing source of guidance and inspiration for hundreds of bochurim and avreichim, who learned from him a wealth of knowledge about how to serve Hashem. By means of his refined, exemplary character he touched them and lifted them higher. He also spoke their language, opening their hearts and challenging their minds, and all who had contact with him sought to cling to him.

Many works of halacha and mussar were translated into French by a foundation that he set up and sponsored. These important publications caused a great positive revolution in France, helping to bring back many to their precious Jewish heritage.

His Tzionei HaDerech on Shas and tefillah are graced with glowing approbations from the Rov of Tchebin zt'l, the Steipler Rov zt'l Maran HaRav Menachem M. Shach shlita. His seforim are found on the tables of gedolei Torah, who have praised them for their masterful and pleasing explanations. Encouraged by the Tchebiner Rov, he also worked tirelessly to publish the works of his illustrious grandfather, the Gaon of Kartshin. Over the years, with help from many branches of the Gaon's family, he eventually published all of these priceless works.

His life was one of deep, uninterrupted Torah study and service of Hashem, tireless toil in a quiet, unobtrusive manner. He clung to the trait of humility, which was his watchpost in every endeavor. Every morning before daylight he would arise to learn Torah, and then daven vosikin in Lederman shul in Bnei Brak. He prayed in the same place for the past forty years. His tefillah was like a servant beseeching his master, with a broken heart, with great care for every word, as if each one were a valuable coin. He also was known for strict abstinence from physical pleasures, scrupulous care for every detail of halacha, and kabbalos that added to his kedusha.

Two years ago he became very ill and underwent a successful operation that allowed him to return to his Torah duties and a normal life in every respect. A few months ago, however, the terrible illness returned and he became weaker and weaker. His sublime soul shined out even more brightly in these final months, as he prepared to leave this world for the World of Truth. All his life his efforts in prayer were an inspiration for all who saw him, but in these months he went far beyond the powers that remained in him. There were even more hours of deep personal introspection, taking careful accounting of where he might be able to improve upon his fear of Heaven and fulfillment of mitzvos.

Minutes before he left this world he asked for a glass of water. With intense concentration and love for Hashem, he slowly and sweetly said the brochoh beforehand, pronouncing every word with complete and consuming devotion. He died as the yahrtzeit of his father passed.

At the Lederman shul he was eulogized by his son-in- law, R. Zelig Zelaznik, and also by his son, R. Yissochor Dov Rubin, author of the likut, Talelei Oros. Later a eulogy was delivered by his brother-in-law, R. Yonah Braverman followed by one from another son, R. Avraham Yeshaya. All spoke of his greatness in Torah, his tireless work to spread and promote Torah, his righteousness, his disregard for worldly pleasures and his care for the details of halacha.

While the funeral was in progress in the Holy Land, his disciples in France gathered together to stir themselves to tshuva with eulogies about their departed mentor.

He is survived by the Rebbetzin Shifra, principal of the Beis Yaakov Seminary in Ramat Aharon, as well as sons, daughters and many grandchildren -- all planted in Hashem's House, continuing on in the niftar's ways.


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