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18 Av 5764 - August 5, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Rebbetzin Gershonowitz, o"h
by S. Bruchi

Thousands of bnei Torah turned out on Tisha B'Av to lay to rest Pessioh Gershonowitz o"h the widow of HaRav Reuven Yosef Gershonowitz. A tzadekes and an eishes chover, she passed away at the age of 77.

Rebbetzin Gershonowitz was born in Tammuz 5687 (1927) in Shomiel, Lithuania to the moro de'asra, HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Edelstein, and to Miriam, the daughter of HaRav Mordechai Shlomo Mowshowitz, rov of Malstovka and one of the leading rabbonim of Russia. As a girl she lost her mother and in 5694 (1934) she moved with her father and brothers ylct"a, to Eretz Hakodesh where her father was appointed rov of Ramat Hasharon. She dedicated herself to running the family home to spare him from daily household affairs, allowing him and her brothers to engage in Torah night and day.

As a young lady she was among the first students at the Bais Yaakov seminary in Tel Aviv. Upon graduating she began to teach at a Beis Yaakov school in Herzliya, where she placed special emphasis on instilling her students with the ahavas haTorah she imbibed in her father's home.

During Chol Hamoed Pesach 5706 (1946) she was engaged to HaRav Reuven Yosef Gershonowitz, the son of HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok Gershonowitz, the av beis din of Zhavinka, one of the prominent talmidim at Yeshivas Kamenitz and a talmid muvhok of HaRav Boruch Ber. Among the guests at the vort held in Ramat Hasharon was the Chazon Ish.

Upon marrying in 5707 (1947) she devoted herself to the task of allowing her husband to pursue his Torah learning undisturbed. Throughout her lifetime she put all of her wants aside to accommodate her husband's every wish. He would spend all week at the yeshiva, first at Yeshivas Lomzha as a maggid shiurim and later as rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Chemdas Shmuel at Moshav Chemed. The Rebbetzin would remain at home alone, caring for the children devotedly.

When her father-in-law, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Tiferes Tzion, passed away her mother-in-law moved into their home and Rebbetzin Gershonowitz put the main room at her disposal.

In 5736 (1976) her husband was appointed rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas HaNegev and once all of her children had married she moved to Netivot to join her husband. Whenever bnei Torah would arrive at their home to seek the Rav's guidance and counsel she would receive them graciously, trying to allay their concerns and put them at ease.

Even after her husband's petiroh in Nisan 5755 (1995) she would continue to help the brokenhearted souls who were regular visitors at the home, empathizing with their troubles and sharing their joys. She always knew how to find the right words to say and many sought her wisdom and resourcefulness.

Turning her home into a Beis Mikdosh me'at she opened a morning and evening kollel, attending to the needs of the lomdim. Regular tefillos were held in her home by the bnei Torah of Netivot, headed by one of the roshei yeshivos of Yeshivas Hanegev, HaRav Aryeh Levy.

Even when her health fell into a state of decline recently she would overcome her suffering to receive all comers graciously. When her condition deteriorated dramatically after Tisha B'Av her family members were summoned to her bedside. Her brother, HaRav Gershon Edelstein, along with her sons, sons-in-law and grandchildren accepted ol Malchus Shomayim as her soul departed.

Before the Levayah set out from Yeshivas Beis Medrash Elyon, eulogies were delivered by HaRav Edelstein, HaRav Yissochor Meir, HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, her brother, HaRav Yaakov Edelstein, HaRav Aryeh Levy, her son-in-law, HaRav Yerachmiel Ungarisher, and her son HaRav Tzvi Yehuda. She was buried alongside her husband's grave at the Yeshivas Ponovezh Cemetery.

Rebbetzin Pessioh Gershonowitz o"h is survived by her brothers, HaRav Gershon Edelstein, HaRav Yaakov Edelstein and HaRav Shlomo Edelstein, her sister, Rebbetzin Breitstein, her sons HaRav Tzvi Yehuda, a ram at Yeshivas Bircas Ephraim, and HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok, and her sons-in-law, HaRav Yerachmiel Ungarisher, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Beis Medrash Elyon, and HaRav Ephraim Ze'ev Garboz, a ram at Yeshivas Meor HaTorah-Jerusalem, grandchildren and great- grandchildren, all dedicated to Torah and mitzvas in accordance with her pure aspirations.


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