The sheloshim of HaRav Halberstadt was recently marked
by gatherings of his'orerus. HaRav Halberstadt's
levaya was on 13 Cheshvan.
He was rav of the Ahavas Chessed shul in Bnei Brak. In
his capacity as mechanech he taught many students and
inspired many girls with the ideal of building homes based on
Torah and yiras Shomayim. He was also a trusted
emissary of maranan verabonon. He was niftar
following an illness in his 80th year.
HaRav Yitzchok Halberstadt was born in Berlin on 7 Shevat,
5682 (1922). His father, HaRav Michoel Zev, was one of the
heads of the city's Adas Yisroel community and was in charge
of the local chareidi school. Growing up in a home so
dedicated to Jewish values and the chinuch of Jewish
children, Rav Yitzchok absorbed a vast love of Torah and an
uncompromising attitude toward Yiddishkeit, along with
experience in issues of Jewish education.
He lost both his parents while still young. At the onset of
the Second World War he managed to escape to England. He then
fled to Australia on a boat that was nearly bombed by the
Germans. When he arrived in Australia the temperature was
almost fifty degrees centigrade (122 F) and on Yom Kippur (in
the summer there) the debilitated refugees lay on the floor
while water was sprayed on them. That Yom Kippur he
accomplished a remarkable feat by serving as chazan
the entire day.
In 5704 (1944) he reached Eretz Yisroel, where he had neither
relatives nor acquaintances. He studied for a brief period in
the Hevron yeshiva in Jerusalem and then in Ponevezh where he
was one of its first students. The Ponevezher Rov welcomed
him into the yeshiva and showered him with love and
affection. In the yeshiva he learned many pages of
gemora and many mishnayos by heart and was
outstanding in his hasmodoh.
In 5707 (1947) he married the daughter of HaRav Avrohom Dov
Weissfish, a talmid chochom from Yerushalayim. After
his marriage, he studied in the kollel that later
became known as Kollel Chazon Ish. Years later, he was
invited to teach in the Yesodei HaTorah and Yavneh
talmudei Torah, where he endeared Torah to his
students. He was one of the founders and educational guides
of the Toras Emes Talmud Torah in Bnei Brak.
HaRav Halberstadt was also among the founders of the Rav Wolf
Seminary for girls in Bnei Brak and taught there for many
years. He also taught in the Petach Tikvah seminary and in
the girls' seminary in Ashdod, a Ponevezh institution.
His books, Shoshanas Ha'amokim on shmittah and
Shnei Sorei Kodesh on the yomim tovim have
become basic textbooks in educational institutions.
Rav Halberstadt was the Chazon Ish's shaliach in many
communal matters, especially in the battle against the draft
of young women. He was moser nefesh to rescue girls
from conscription sometimes devoting many days in order to
save a single girl. The Chazon Ish also consulted him on
matters pertaining to kiddush hachodesh.
Following the petiroh of the Chazon Ish, he became
close with the Steipler Rav and with Maran HaRav Elozor
Menachem Man Shach serving as their loyal emissary in many
issues regarding the chinuch of Jewish girls.
He was a member of the Bnei Brak Municipal Council and served
the bnei Torah community loyally in his position as
deputy mayor. He always consulted Maran HaRav Shach on public
He served as rov of the Ahavas Chessed beis medrash of
the Adas Yisroel Ashkenazi community for forty years,
transforming it into a place where Torah was studied at all
hours. For scores of years, he delivered shiurim in
gemara there, completing the Shas a number of
times with the shul members. He also delivered
shiurim in Torah, Nach, halocho and
Recently, he said that he had merited to complete the entire
Mishnah twenty-four times, and that he knew the entire
Mishnah by heart. When he was no longer able to sit up
or to study, he asked his family to read mishnayos to
him, correcting them every time they erred or skipped a
For many years, he delivered shiurim in the Itzkowitz
shul and in a shul in Ramat Gan. When his
family asked him to assign the task to someone else, he
replied, "The Rov of Ponevezh appointed me to deliver these
shiurim, and as his loyal representative, I must carry
out his shlichus until my final day."
He studied Torah diligently throughout his entire life, and
no one ever saw him unoccupied. His days were replete with
Torah study and dissemination, chinuch, tzedoko,
chessed and activities on behalf of Klal
He was highly respected by all who knew him. His co-workers
in chinuch called him a model of the trait of
emes and a paradigm of middos tovos.
He performed chessed in an unassuming manner. As a
gabbai tzedoko he was trusted by all of the gedolei
haTorah and dispensed sizable sums of money to needy
His health deteriorated and for the past six months he was
treated by the medical staff of Ma'ayanei Hayeshua. He was
niftar on Thursday night, the 9th of Cheshvan. He was
buried in the Segulah cemetery in Petach Tikvah.
In his last will and testament, he asked that all say that
they are mochel him.