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26 Tishrei 5763 - October 2, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Mon. 24 Tishrei
The Admor of Nadvorna-Petach Tikvah zt"l

by S. Baruchi

Motzei Simchas Torah a throng of thousands, which included gedolei Yisroel, roshei yeshiva, admorim, dayanim, rabbonim, morei horo'oh, chassidim and laymen accompanied Kevod Kedushas Ha'Admor MiNadvorna, HaRav Yosef Leifer zt"l on his last earthly journey. The Admor was niftar in the early hours of the morning of Shabbos Simchas Torah, at the age of eighty-one.

During the past few weeks, after his health had taken a downward turn, many prayed for his recovery. Nonetheless, at 6 A.M. on Simchas Torah, he returned his pure soul to its Maker.

At the end of Shabbos and yom tov, many of his chassidim flocked to his beis medrash on Kotler Street in Bnei Brak. Toward 11 P.M., his mittah was brought in into the beis hamedrash and surrounded by his chassidim and his family, and by many Petach Tikvah residents who had been deeply attached to him for scores of years.

The series of hespedim was opened by HaRav Boruch Shimon Salomon, rosh yeshiva of Nachlas Dovid and the rov of Petach Tikvah, who referred to the Admor as the Urim Vetumim of our times, and as one who was totally dedicated to Hashem.

HaRav Chaim Yehuda Deutsch, rov of Petach Tikvah's Chasam Sofer beis medrash noted that the tefillos of the Admor had a profound impact on all who davened in his presence.

The Admor's mechuton, HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, also spoke of the avodas Hashem of the Admor, describing how he prayed both for the klal and for individual Jews.

The Admor's son Rav Chaim said that with his father's petiroh, Hakodosh Boruch Hu has taken away Klal Yisroel's eyes. The Admor's son Rav Binyomin, cited his fathers aversion to luxuries and his scrupulousness in monetary manners.

Rav Chaim Tzvi Meizlish, rosh yeshiva of the Satmar yeshiva, said that the very presence of the Admor had a marked influence on Klal Yisroel.

Other hespedim were delivered by the Admor's sons, HaRav Yissochor Ber, HaRav Meir and HaRav Aharon Aryeh.

At the end of the hespedim, the levaya proceeded along Rabbi Akiva and HaRav Kahaneman Streets in Bnei Brak. Close to two in the afternoon, the mittah reached the beis medrash of the niftar's father zt"l, the Admor of Nadvorna-Tamashovar, where hespedim were delivered by the niftar's brother, the current Admor of Nadvorna-Tamashovar, as well as by HaRav Moshe Halberstam, a member of the Badatz of the Eida HaChareidis, and HaRav Dovid Yehuda Deutsch, the rov of Kehal Chassidim of Kiryat Mattersdorf. At the end of these hespedim, the levaya left for Har Hamenuchos, where the Admor was buried.

His Biography

The Admor of Nadvorna-Petach Tikvah, son of the Admor HaRav Aharon Aryeh Leifer of Nadvorna-Tamashovar, was born on 7 Kislev, 5682 (1922) in the city of Mihalovitz.

He grew up in Tamashovar, where he studied under HaRav Usher Yona Weinberger, rosh yeshiva of Kesser Torah. As a youngster, he was unlike other children his age and spent all of his time in the beis medrash poring over his Torah studies.

With the outbreak of the Holocaust, he was deported to the Pankota work camp. In that camp he was moser nefesh for the sake of Shabbos observance and encouraged many of his fellow Jews. After the war he married his cousin, the daughter of HaRav Aharon Aryeh Leifer of the Romanian city of Bistritz. She was a genuine eishes chayil who dedicated herself to his needs throughout their marriage.

In 5712, he moved with his family and his father's family to Eretz Yisroel, where he became very close to the former Admor of Belz.

Soon after their arrival in Eretz Yisroel, his father, established his beis medrash in Yerushalayim. When Petach Tikvah's Jews asked Rav Aharon Aryeh to come to their city, he sent them his son HaRav Yosef. Rapidly, HaRav Yosef's home became a focal point for the city's Jews, who sought his counsel and his blessings.

In Petach Tikvah he delivered shiurim to bnei yeshiva in Pirkei Ovos for many years

He sufficed with little, and lived with his large family in a small and modest flat. For years he didn't even have a refrigerator, purchasing one only after his father wrote him that Rav Usher Zelig Margolios also had a refrigerator. Despite his own frugality, he dispensed much tzedokoh.

Twelve years ago he moved to Bnei Brak, where his chassidic courtyard bustled with vitality.

He was very careful not to indulge in vain speech, and when he spoke did so tersely and by means of pesukim.

Six years ago, he fell ill, but nonetheless continued his regular pursuit of avodas Hashem. On motzei Rosh Hashonoh of this year, when he was in the hospital, he told his family: "Bring me a gemora so that the verse, `Lulei Sorosecho sha'ashu'ai,' will be fulfilled through me."

During the last few weeks, his situation deteriorated and on Simchas Torah, he was niftar, leaving behind an illustrious family which is following in his footsteps.


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