Mrs. Chanah Perlstein o"h, a tzadeikes and the
wife of HaRav Yaakov Perlstein ylct"a, passed away in
London on Sunday 8 Tammuz at the age of 80.
The deceased was the daughter of HaRav Shlomo Engel, one of
the heads of the kehilloh in Jerusalem's Bayit Vegan
neighborhood. After surviving the horrors in Europe he made
concerted efforts to maintain Jewish tradition and buttress
the walls of religion.
When World War II broke out, Chanah Perlstein set out for
Belgium with two of her sisters in search of a safe haven far
from the European inferno. But when they were prevented from
boarding a ship together they decided to send her, the oldest
sister, ahead reasoning that she would best know how to earn
a living and rescue them.
When she later learned they had been murdered al Kiddush
Hashem on the shore she was devastated. For the rest of
her life she mourned the loss of these two sisters, her
mother and her other siblings who were killed sanctifying
Hashem's name during the Holocaust, Hy"d.
She arrived in England with a group of orphaned girls who
gathered under the wing of Rebbetsen Siemiatycki, the
daughter of HaRav Moshe Schneider, who made great efforts to
rescue and rehabilitate the young war refugees. There the
deceased worked to set up shiurim for the other
She was married off by Rav and Rebbetsen Siemiatycki to
Yaakov Perlstein, one of the group of orphans they had been
taking care of. Together the Perlsteins built a home of Torah
and extraordinary mesirus nefesh. For years the
deceased sewed uniforms for the army day and night in order
to sustain the household.
Throughout these years she tried to gather bits and pieces of
information about the fate of her parents and family. When
the dreadful news arrived she girded her strength and showed
great moral fortitude. Not allowing her spirit to fall she
dedicated herself to her husband's and sons' Torah study.
Their doors were wide open to guests and many roshei yeshivos
stayed in their home. For many years she discreetly sewed
burial shrouds and engaged in extensive activities to promote
Many people were on hand at the levaya, which set out
from her house in London on Sunday night. Hespeidim
were delivered by HaRav Yisroel Meir Erlanger and the Admor
of Lezha, who spoke of her inner nobility and her dedication
to her husband's and sons' Torah learning.
Before the grave was covered over she was eulogized by her
sons. HaRav Shlomo Zalman spoke of his mother's greatness as
an ishoh kesheiroh under all circumstances. Citing the
Medrash that recounts how Eliyohu Hanovi once met a
man who had lost his assets yet his wife remained an ishoh
kesheiroh he said the deceased remained an ishoh
kesheiroh both in times of joy and sorrow. Her son HaRav
Mordechai recalled the deceased's boundless dedication,
saying she never spared any effort to do whatever possible to
allow her husband and sons to engage in Torah undisturbed.
Mrs. Chanah Perlstein o"h is survived by her husband,
HaRav Yaakov Perlstein, her sons HaRav Shlomo Zalman
Perlstein, the moro d'asro of Ramat Beit Shemesh, and
HaRav Mordechai Perlstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Shaarei
Binoh, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren following in
her path of Torah and yiroh.