Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Adar I 5763 - February 19, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Dov (Berel) Eisenstein, zt'l
by Betzalel Kahn

A large gathering of roshei yeshivos, talmidim and bnei Torah accompanied HaRav Berel Eisenstein zt'l, rosh yeshivas Kiryat Melech in Bnei Brak, to rest on Wednesday after his petiroh at the age of 53.

HaRav Eisenstein was born in 5710 (1950) in Chicago to R' Yosef z'l and his mother tlct'a, both of whom had been living as refugees in Shanghai where they got married. R' Yosef had been studying in Kobrin, Lithuania by HaRav Pesach Pruskin until the War broke out, when he fled to Shanghai and eventually settled in Chicago.

In his youth R' Berel studied in Chicago at yeshivas under the direction of survivors from the generation of great Torah scholars that perished in the Holocaust, particularly under HaRav Mordechai Rogov, author of Ateres Mordechai, and the current Admor from Novominsk when he served as a ram in the yeshiva in Chicago.

At a young age he was already known for his exceptional talent, industriousness and hasmodoh, and it was widely acknowledged that R' Berel was destined to stand in the forefront of the Torah world as a leading marbitz Torah.

In the summer of 5729 (1969) he arrived in Eretz Yisroel, where he began to study at Yeshivas Mir in Jerusalem. Immediately upon his arrival he was received as one of the leading talmidim. He cleaved to his rabbonim -- including HaRav Chaim Shmulevitz zt'l and HaRav Nochum Partzovitz zt'l, with whom he had the merit to study for several years in chavrusa -- and his Torah learning and his day-to- day conduct were based on the fundamentals he acquired from them.

He took part in the publication of the shiurim of his rebbe HaRav Nochum Partzovitz and, during the shiurim he was to give in later years he would often mention Torah learning he had heard from Rav Partzovitz.

After marrying into the Rosenthal family of Petach Tikva, he continued learning in the kollel of the Mir Yeshiva. Later, HaRav Eisenstein served as a ram at Yeshivas Beis HaTalmud, Yeshivas Yad Aharon and Yeshivas Beis Yisroel. Later he was called upon by HaRav Yehoshua Neuwirth, shlita, to help him found Yeshivas Chochmas Shlomoh in Jerusalem's Beit Vegan neighborhood, where he taught and guided numerous talmidim.

Three years ago he was asked to serve as rosh yeshivas Kiryas Melech, in Bnei Brak a branch of Yeshivas Tiferes Tzion (which was founded by the Chazon Ish). Here as well, HaRav Eisenstein's prodigious talents and strengths gained recognition. Since his arrival at the yeshiva, HaRav Eisenstein devoted his entire being to his talmidim, many of whom forged bonds of love with him. He treated every talmid as if he were his only son. In addition to his dedication to the progress of every individual talmid, he was a great educator whose elevated middos radiated unto everyone who came into contact with him. He also kept in constant touch with talmidim who went to other yeshivas. He was always concerned about their welfare and even helped with their shidduchim.

He attached special importance to the need to subordinate oneself to gedolei hador and to respect all marbitzei Torah. Whenever he saw or heard that a well- known figure was voicing even slightly disparaging remarks about gedolei Torah he was deeply disturbed and would gather the entire yeshiva for a special talk on the importance of emunas chachomim and respect for talmidei chachomim.

Although recently he suffered with great yissurim, which he accepted with love, HaRav Eisenstein continued to teach and guide his talmidim until his very last day. Just one day before his petiroh he traveled to the yeshiva in Bnei Brak to deliver a shiur, providing a fabulous example of mesirus nefesh for Torah.

Upon receiving news of his sudden passing, his many talmidim in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem as well as his peers who knew him since their days of learning under R' Nochum, were struck with grief. Many of his talmidim tore kriya when they heard of the petiroh of their beloved rebbe.

The levaya set out on Wednesday from Beis Knesses Ahavas Torah in Jerusalem's Kiryat Sanz where he regularly davened. Hespeidim were delivered by HaRav Shmuel Auerbach; HaRav Aryeh Finkel, rosh yeshivas Mir of Brachfeld; HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, one of the roshei yeshiva of Mir; HaRav Nosson Cohen, the mashgiach of Yeshivas Kiryat Melech; HaRav Tzvi Eisenstein, rosh yeshivas Tiferes Tzion; and HaRav Nochum Eisenstein, the deceased's brother. One of his sons said words of parting.

All of the speakers spoke of HaRav Eisenstein's greatness and mesirus nefesh for Torah study, helping guide and teach many talmidim despite difficult yissurim, as well as his closeness to his rabbonim during his years of study in yeshiva.

HaRav Eisenstein zt'l is survived by his mother, wife, sons, daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, all of whom are following in his footsteps of Torah and yir'oh.


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