Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

3 Av 5764 - July 21, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Mrs. Chana Zissel Weiner, o"h
by Betzalel Kahn

On Friday erev Shabbos Parshas Pinchos, Mrs. Chana Zissel Weiner o"h, an exemplary figure of modesty and chessed, departed from this world.

The deceased was born in Chicago in 5692 (1932) to R' Shachna Yosef and Miriam Leah Lewis, who had gone to the US from Poland three decades earlier. With total dedication to Torah and mitzvas they kept Shabbos, kashrus and family purity uncompromisingly, even during times when other Jews faltered. A talented woman, full of sensitivity and energy, Chana Zissel held numerous teaching positions during her lifetime.

In 5709 (1949) she married HaRav Aharon Weiner, an inspired ben Torah. At their engagement they agreed that they would work to promote Torah and mitzvas and move to Eretz Yisroel if possible. Immediately after their wedding HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth zt"l came to Chicago and Rav Weiner spent five years learning Torah from him until HaRav Kreiswirth was appointed rov of Antwerp. Even after he left, Rav Weiner continued to maintain close ties with his rebbe muvhok, drawing strength from him until HaRav Kreiswirth's passing.

The deceased assisted her husband when he founded AFTA (Association for Torah Advancement), an umbrella organization for the promotion of Torah and mitzvas in Chicago. She helped found a Shatnez laboratory in the city, which operates to this day. She also organized annual dinners at which prizes were handed out to boys and young men for excellence in Torah study in accordance with HaRav Kreiswirth's teachings that if there is no honor for Torah there is no Torah.

Always happy to take part in public affairs selflessly, she helped reorganize the Chevra Kadisha to bring its operations up to halachic standards. While still young she herself would perform the purification for women who passed away. She also headed an organization that encouraged women to observe family purity and helped build a mikveh that meets high halachic standards.

She had a special way of relating to people. Many confided in her, and asked her for advice and encouragement.

Her dedication to her family was remarkable. She educated her children to live without luxuries, serving as an exemplar of simplicity and humbleness. When others raised their children to become doctors and lawyers, she sent her sons off to Eretz Yisroel to study Torah.

All her life she yearned to move to Eretz Yisroel, until her dream came true when she and her family moved here in 5736 (1976). In Eretz Yisroel she continued to engage in tzorchei tzibbur as one of the heads of the main clothing gemach in Har Nof, serving as treasurer for several years. She also raised and disbursed large sums for tzedokoh.

She started a youth library to provide kosher reading material and would periodically lend her talents to teach at schools without pay. Every day for years she would recite Tehillim and study the halochos pertaining to loshon hora. She never wanted her sons to cancel Torah study and even when she was in the hospital she insisted they continue their studies rather than coming to visit her. She also maintained close, motherly ties with her grandchildren.

Recently she suffered from a malignant disease, but continued to function normally with all her former energy, hiding her suffering from those around her. Even on her very last day she managed to attend to the book gemach she ran and went to the Kosel Maarovi to pray.

Mrs. Chana Zissel Weiner o"h is survived by her husband, her sons Rav Reuven, Rav Shimon, Rav Yaakov and Rav Meir, her sons-in-law Rav Mordechai Zaks and Rav Michoel Kaplan, and grandchildren, all lomdei Torah and marbitzei Torah, following in her path of Torah and yir'oh.


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