The Petach Tikvah bnei Torah community was wrapped in
mourning at the news of the petiroh of its beloved
mohel, HaRav Shlomo Miller, zt"l, on motzei
Shabbos parshas Shemos. HaRav Miller was 78 years old at
the time of his petiroh.
HaRav Miller, zt"l, was born in 5684 (1924) to Rav
Dovid Elimelech Miller, zt"l, formerly of Lizansk, in
the German city of Duisberg. During World War II the family
escaped to Antwerp, where Rav Shlomo learned the foundations
of Torah in the local talmud Torah. When the family
moved to Eretz Hakodesh he was brought to the moro
de'asro of Petach Tikvah, HaRav Reuven Katz zt"l,
by his mother o"h. HaRav Katz brought him up in his
home, where he learned in the Shearis Yisroel talmud Torah
and later in Yeshivas Tiferes Yisroel in Haifa. There he
was a beloved student of HaRav M. Rubman, zt"l.
He later went to learn in Jerusalem's Yeshivas Hevron, until
his marriage in 5748 (1948). Then he moved to Petach Tikvah,
where he at first learned in Kollel Toras Eretz Yisroel with
HaRav Chaim Shaul Karelitz, zt"l. He lived in Petach
Tikvah ever since.
He was much beloved by the gedolei Yisroel, zt"l and
yibodlu lechayim tovim ve'arukim, Maran the Chazon
Ish, Maran the Brisker Rov, and Maran Y. Sarna. He was at
home at the home of the Brisker Rov. He served as a
mohel, for over 45 years, performing over sixty
thousand brisim without any thought of monetary
compensation. The gedolei Yisroel always used his
services as a mohel for their grandchildren because of
his renowned skill and because of his yiras Shomayim.
He would go to the greatest lengths to ensure that there
would be no chilul Shabbos on brisim that took
place on Shabbos.
He delivered regular shiurim in gemora in the
Beis Haknesses Hagodol throughout his years in Petach Tikvah.
This shiur merited to complete the entire Shas
seven times over. The shiurim were known
throughout the city for their bekius and his addition
of the opinions of the rishonim and acharonim.
Scores of men came every day to hear the shiurim,
deriving much enjoyment from them.
His ways were pleasing and he would greet everyone
pleasantly, old and young alike, and would always have words
of mussar from the Shas and the parshiyos
hashovua on his lips. He was very involved with helping
others and worked in the area of sholom bayis among
the downtrodden, who saw in him their material as well as
spiritual father. He helped many orphans marry and set up
their homes. Everything he did was done in a modest,
About thirty years ago he published several important works
on the halachos of miloh of the Rambam:
Tsemach Dovid, Meleches Shlomo, and others. Of late,
he published remarkably learned works about the lives of
Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yochonon.
On Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Shemos he performed a
bris in the morning. He suddenly felt ill on motzei
Shabbos and was rushed to hospital, where he was
Thousands of bnei Torah, led by roshei yeshivos,
dayonim, Torah educators and Petach Tikvah's finest
accompanied HaRav Shlomo, zt'l, on his last earthly
The funeral procession left from the study hall of Yeshivas
Ohr Yisroel Letzi'irim, where the niftar had learned
and davened until his final day.
HaRav Mordechai Rabinowitz delivered the first hesped.
He said, "I remember that once I saw HaRav Shlomo on
motzei Yom Kippur on his way to the yeshiva to learn.
It was just an hour and a half after the end of the fast. We
can not even imagine the degree to which he was humble, or
his good deeds, all done secretly. He was close to the
yeshiva for all those years, and I can't remember even one
instance in which he became angry or cared about his personal
honor. He was a good neighbor and had an ayin tovah .
. . a shining sun to the boys of the yeshiva and, indeed, to
the entire city. Everyone was his friend. He will surely be a
meilitz yosher for the yeshiva that he loved so
The niftar's son-in-law, HaRav Eliezer Rubin, noted
that all his ways were pleasant. "Anyone who had contact with
him can attest to his pleasant middos. He always put
himself in whatever position would benefit others: first, in
anything holy. He brought others to a love of Sheim
Shomayim. He toiled ardently in Torah and would serve
talmidei chachomim. He was mevatel himself to
the Chazon Ish, the Brisker Rov, the Kehillos Yaakov and the
Avi Ezri, zt"l, as well as to HaRav Aharon Leib
Shteinman, ylct"a, who were in constant contact with
him. He conducted his affairs with others in a pleasant
manner, and helped many orphans to marry and build their
homes. He was an expert in the consolation of widows. We can
truly say about him, `Happy is the one who taught him
Torah.' There isn't a single person in all Petach Tikvah
who didn't love him. It is so difficult to part from him now,
and to know that he will not have the merit to perform the
bris on his new great-grandson. When he reaches the
Yeshiva Shel Ma'aloh, I am sure that Eliyohu Hanovi,
mal'och habris, will greet him."
The moro de'asro and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Nachalas
Dovid, HaRav Boruch Shimon Solomon, opened his remarks with
the words of Chazal on the posuk, "With this, Aharon
will enter the kodesh." "With the merit of the Torah,
the merit of the miloh, the merit of Shabbos, HaRav
Shlomo will enter the holy Upper Worlds with his bundle of
mitzvos in his hand; the merit of his Torah, of completing
Shas seven times. `Blessed is the one who bore him,'
his mother who left his cradle in the beis medrash of
the moro de'asro HaRav Reuven Katz, zt'l, in
order to ensure his growth in Torah and yiras Shomayim. .
. . The merit of miloh and the merit of Shabbos. .
. With such merits, he has the power to plead before the
Kisei Hakovod to prevent Shabbos desecration and
desecration of all that is holy in our city, `And He will
again have mercy upon the remnant of Israel and redeem us.'
Following the recitation of Kaddish, the funeral
procession proceeded slowly in the pouring rain through the
main streets of Petach Tikvah towards the Great Synagogue,
where HaRav Miller had delivered shiurim for fifty-one
years. In the courtyard around the shul, the Admor of
Mishkoltz spoke about the great benefit the entire city
derived from having HaRav Shlomo among them. HaRav S. A.
Unsdorfer, rav of the Chassidei Tzanz Beis Hamedrash in
Petach Tikvah, spoke of the niftar and added that all
residents of Petach Tikvah should take it upon themselves to
learn another page of gemara and set up another study
regular session, le'ilui nishmoso of the
The niftar's brother-in-law, HaRav Shmuel Elivichky,
rav of the Shonei Halochos synagogue, discussed the
niftar's brilliance as well as his toil in Torah.
Other speakers included HaRav Yitzchok Lang, one of
Jerusalem's most noted mohalim. The niftar's
brother, HaRav Alexander Miller, one of the heads of Chinuch
Atzmai, parted from the niftar in the name of the
The procession continued past the Shonei Halochos synagogue
to the Segulah cemetery of Petach Tikvah.
HaRav Miller, zt'l, leaves after him his wife and
sons, HaRav Zeev, HaRav Yaakov, and HaRav Chaim, who have
accepted upon themselves their father's wish that they
continue in his holy work of miloh of Jewish children
and of giving Torah shiurim in Petach Tikvah. His
daughters are married to HaRav Eliezer Rubin and HaRav Moshe
Davidowitz of the United States. He also leaves brothers
HaRav Alexander and HaRav Mordechai, menahel of Talmud
Torah Hadar Tzion, and sisters. Thousands of friends and
acquaintances bemoan the petiroh of the beloved giant
of Torah who was so suddenly taken to beis olomo.