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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.