Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

3 Tammuz 5762 - June 13, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Rebbetzin Tamar Steinman, o"h
by S. Baruchi

Tuesday night 24 Sivan, a large throng, headed by maranan verabonon, gedolei haTorah, dayanim, admorim and rabbonim, accompanied the righteous Rebbetzin Tamar Steinman on her last earthly journey. She was the eishes chover of gaon, HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Steinman, yibodel lechayim tovim ve'arukim. Her petiroh took place in the Maayanei Hayeshua hospital in Bnei Brak.

The bitter news of her petiroh reached the yeshivos hakedoshos at 10 P.M. Tuesday night. The moment it was heard, thousands from all over the country began to head towards the home of the Rosh Yeshiva on Chazon Ish Street in Bnei Brak, from where the levaya left at chatzos.

As the time of the levaya drew near, the street filled with mourners. At chatzos, the procession slowly headed towards the Netzivei Ponovezh cemetery in Bnei Brak.

Rebbetzin Tamar Steinman o"h, daughter of Rav Shraga Shamai Kornfeld Hy"d, was born in the Polish city of Wolbrom. Her family had distinguished genealogy, stemming from the family of the Chidushei HaRim, as well as from HaRav Yonoson Eibeshitz, the Mogen Avrohom, the Tosafos Yom Tov and the Boruch Taam. It was in such an illustrious home that she acquired noble traits, lofty and pure aspirations, a deep love of Torah and rare dedication to chesed.

When she was still young, her family moved to Antwerp, where she studied in the Yesodei HaTorah institutions. Before she married, she taught in Yesodei HaTorah, instilling her young pupils with yiras Shomayim and good middos. She was also one of the leaders of the Bnos Agudas Yisroel in her region.

During the war, her parents fled Antwerp and reached Lyon, from where her father was taken to the camps. She managed to escape to Switzerland with her mother and stayed in the Mukon refugee camp there.

In 5604 (1944), she married HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Steinman. They lived for a short while in Lugano. In 5705, they moved to Eretz Hakodesh, settling first in Petach Tikvah.

At the recommendation of the Chazon Ish, HaRav Steinman was invited to serve as the rosh yeshiva of the Chofetz Chaim yeshiva in Kfar Saba, to where the family moved. Their home in Kfar Saba was saturated with Torah and yiras Shomayim and the family lived a life of dchak, dedicating themselves solely to Torah and avodas Hashem.

Even in the most difficult circumstances, Rebbetzin Steinman stood beside her husband with utmost dedication, aiding him to continue his Torah studies undisturbed. Valorously, she shouldered the entire burden of the household, so that her husband could share his vast storehouse of Torah with the many bnei Torah who sought to acquire kinyonei netzach from him.

In time, HaRav Steinman was asked to serve as the head of Yeshivas Ponovezh leTse'irim and the family moved to Bnei Brak.

In Bnei Brak, the Steinman home became a central address not only for the many who sought HaRav Steinman's sage advice, but also for the broken and the unfortunate who found there a warm corner in which to unburden their woes. With great mesiras nefesh, Rebbetzin Steinman enabled her home to become such a beacon.

She was the epitome of tsnius, histapkus and pashtus, who regarded this world as totally transitory. She devoted all of her energies to her husband's spiritual world, to raising her children to Torah and yiras Shomayim and to the performance of acts of chesed.

One of her most outstanding traits was her reticence. She never spoke loshon hora, and when in her presence, all understood that speaking even a trace of avak loshon hora is disgraceful.

Her devotion to hachnosas kallah occupied a special chapter in her life and she made great efforts to involve other women in this mitzvah. Together with her friends, mainly Rebbetzin Rabinov o"h, she would appeal to other women to participate in acts of tzedokoh and chesed on behalf of poor and needy kallos. She performed all these mitzvos discreetly, in order not to embarrass the recipients.

She also encouraged widows and lonely and embittered women, listening to their problems and trying to help them. She visited ailing women on a steady basis, cheering them and boosting their spirits. A month ago, when she herself was very weak, she visited an ailing woman and encouraged her.

Recently, she was hospitalized in Maayanei Hayeshua. On Tuesday, 24 Sivan, close to 10 P.M., she returned her pure soul to its Maker. At the time of her petiroh she was surrounded by her illustrious husband, as well as by her sons, sons-in-law and grandchildren. She departed for the World of Truth while reciting Shema Yisroel.

According to her request, no hespedim were delivered at her levayoh.

She is survived by her husband, the great gaon HaRav Aaron Leib Steinman, as well as by her son, HaRav Moshe, one of the roshei yeshiva of Or Eliezer in Beit Shemesh and her son HaRav Shraga, the rosh yeshiva of the Kehillos Yaakov yeshiva. Her sons-in- law are: HaRav Zeev Berlin, the rosh yeshiva of the Ge'on Yaakov yeshiva and HaRav Dov Shapiro, one of the roshei yeshiva of the Machnovka yeshiva in Bnei Brak. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren are all following in the paths she and her illustrious husband charted for them.


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