Thousands of talmidim from Yeshivas Slobodka along
with roshei yeshivos and roshei kollelim brought HaRav
Boruch Rosenberg zt"l rosh yeshivas Slobodka and a
member of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, to rest on Monday.
HaRav Rosenberg, who learned from the Torah giants of the
previous generation, had the merit to engage in harbotzas
Torah for over fifty years and was considered one of the
leading teachers of Torah, mussar and yir'oh of
our generation. On Monday morning when news arrived that he
was in critical condition, the members of Yeshivas Slobodka
spent most of the morning praying for his recovery, but
toward noon he was summoned to Yeshiva Shel
Upon the arrival of the aron at the yeshiva at 3:00
p.m., his talmidim performed krioh. In the
beis medrash the paroches was pulled off to the
sides. Cries of mourning and lamentation rose up on all
sides. The yeshiva's talmidim, both past and present,
recited Tehillim tearfully for hours.
An unbroken stream of black flowed down the streets and by
6:00 p.m. thousands of bnei Torah from around the
country had gathered outside the yeshiva. Before the
levaya began, HaRav Shlomo Edelstein led a mass
recital of several chapters of Tehillim.
HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman spoke first. "A man's greatness
cannot be known. There are many things that cannot be known
about a man and his greatness. Chazal say that HaKodosh
Boruch Hu is happy and joyous over the arrival of the
clean soul of a tzaddik. But could it be that
HaKodosh Boruch Hu lacks tzaddikim in the World
to Come that He is happy and joyous when a tzaddik
arrives? Rather HaKodosh Boruch Hu sends a soul to
This World, a soul chiseled from under the Throne of Honor.
He does not know how a person will pass through This World.
There are so many risks . . . But after an individual passes
through his years in This World uprightly, HaKodosh Boruch
Hu is happy and joyous when He sees the soul that passed
through This World according to HaKodosh Boruch Hu's
Will. And this is extremely difficult, for it is so hard not
to stumble in matters of bein odom lechavero. When one
passes through This World without harming anybody else, this
is the clean soul of a tzaddik. In the merit of Klal
Yisroel, may HaKodosh Boruch Hu help increase the
number of lomdei Torah and `may the earth be filled
with knowledge of Hashem . . . '"
Next HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkovitz spoke of the deceased's
lifelong labors in Torah and middos. "Those who saw
him, those who knew him, clearly saw his middas
zehirus . . . He who contemplates R' Boruch zt"l
can be elevated through him, for Torah brings one to
HaRav Dov Lando, rosh Yeshivas Slobodka, gave a moving
hesped. "I find it difficult to eulogize Morenu Rosh
Hayeshiva R' Boruch zt"l . . . [For me] the difficulty
is double. To eulogize an odom godol one must have a
connection to him and the second difficulty is that I am in
mourning, and although I was told it would be permitted for
me to go out and eulogize, still it is hard to say what
should be said, but this must be done, for as the Shulchan
Oruch rules there is an obligation to eulogize a
chochom and chossid . . . How can one not make
an effort to eulogize such a great man, a great among the
remnants of the gedolei Torah remaining from the last
generation who are so far beyond the men of this generation
in all aspects of Torah . . . "
Rosh Yeshivas Slobodka, HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, said, " .
. . Only a humble man can receive Torah. The Rosh Yeshiva
exemplified the notion of `Ofor lekol tihiyeh.' He
annulled himself, he had no concept of the word, `I.' He
achieved the essence of humility . . . "
HaRav Gershon Edelstein, one of the roshei yeshivos of
Yeshivas Ponovezh, said, " . . . The sun shines. The sun
shines brightest in the middle of the day, and then suddenly
the sun vanishes and there is darkness all around. This is a
difficult feeling . . . Until his final days the Rosh Yeshiva
was in a state of wholeness and the light of his Torah grew
stronger and stronger and then suddenly the sun went away in
the middle of the day . . . "
HaRav Avrohom Pollack, menahel ruchani at Yeshivas
Slobodka, spoke of how every member of the yeshiva felt
connected to the Rosh Yeshiva's image during his fifty years
of Torah and mussar shiurim. "We have lost a man of
great stature in middos . . . A man who studied with
perseverance day and night . . . until on Sunday one month
ago everybody waited for the shiur kloli and R' Boruch
couldn't give the shiur. What will these
avreichim and bochurim do without these
shiurim? The shiurim built them. All week long
they lived off of that shiur. There is no substitute
for it in depth and thought."
Later he spoke of HaRav Rosenberg's steadfastness while
studying at Yeshivas Mir, which he joined at the Brisker
Rov's recommendation. While in Shanghai he would sleep on
straw and study in stifling heat. Nothing interested him
besides Torah. Despite all of the temptations to remain in
the US he followed his rov's advice faithfully and moved to
Eretz Hakodesh, becoming a marbitz Torah as soon as he
His son, HaRav Avrohom, said, "All his life he would learn
with chavrusas until 1:00 am and would go to bed
around 2:00 . . . We have no conception of his greatness in
Torah. But when we know that Maranan HaRav Y. Abramsky
zt"l and HaRav Mordechai Shulman zt"l would ask
for his opinion regarding the shiurim they gave, we
realize how great he was in Torah. And his greatness in Torah
was matched by his greatness in chessed, in gemilus
chassodim, in middos shebein odom lechavero, in
bringing orphans into his home and in all of his greatness in
Torah he was a giant in humility. Who can replace him?"
When the hespeidim were complete the levaya set
out accompanied by thousands and HaRav Boruch Rosenberg,
zt"l, was buried in the Ponovezh cemetery.
HaRav Boruch Rosenberg zt"l was born in 5684 (1924) in
the Shklov District of Russia to Rav Gershon Chanoch--the son
of Rav Yechiel Michel Rashes Rosenberg, who was very close to
HaRav Chaim of Brisk and even learned with him
bechavrusa--and Beila Rasha, the daughter of the
wealthy R' Binyomin Sheinin. When he was about two years old
he and his parents moved to Brisk, where they formed a tight
bond with the Brisker rabbonim family.
Boruch was raised in this great home, which helped mold the
fabulous character and spiritual foundations that accompanied
him throughout his lifetime. At an early age young Boruch's
great potential became apparent and his enthusiastic nature
was channeled to Torah and avodoh. Graced with
refinement and sensitivity he stood out as a man of noble
character and tremendous humility.
His parents' home was often filled with visitors from
numerous yeshivas who had come to meet the Brisker Rov.
When Boruch Rosenberg was sent to Lithuania to study at
Yeshivas Mir, he cleaved to the rosh yeshiva, HaRav Chaim
Shmuelevitz zt"l and the mashgiach, HaRav Yechezkel
Levenstein zt"l. While at the yeshiva he was noted for
his extraordinary hasmodoh and soon gained renown as
one of the top talmidim. His entire life centered on
Torah and kedushoh, and he continued to toil in Torah
until his last days.
During the war years he stayed with the yeshiva when it was
exiled to Vilna, then moved to Kaidan before arriving in
Shanghai in the summer of 5701 (1941). For the next five
years the yeshiva remained in Shanghai under HaRav
Shmuelevitz and HaRav Levenstein.
In 5710 (1950) Boruch Rosenberg followed his rabbonim to
Eretz Yisroel, where he studied at Yeshivas Mir in Jerusalem.
There the Mashgiach took care of all his needs and even
arranged his marriage. In a rare letter to HaRav Shlomo Wolbe
ylct"a (brother-in-law of the intended), the Mashgiach
writes, "I chose to propose one of the most outstanding
[talmidim] in our yeshiva, both in terms of greatness
in Torah and superior character traits. He is from a special
family in Brisk. I even spoke it over with the ram
[HaRav Shmuelevitz] and I believe this to be a fitting
proposition." The young woman in question was the daughter of
HaRav Avrohom Grodzensky Hy"d, author of Toras
Avrohom and menahel ruchani of Yeshivas Slobodka
in Lithuania. The proposition was accepted and the wedding
took place in the summer of 5710 (1950).
In 5711 (1951) the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Mordechai Shulman,
asked him to deliver shiurim at Yeshivas Slobodka and
for the next five decades he taught a weekly shiur to
the hundreds of talmidim at the yeshiva until just a
few weeks before his passing.
He left a powerful imprint on his thousands of
talmidim, providing them eternal acquisitions in
Torah, halochoh and yiras Shomayim. HaRav Rosenberg's
whole being was dedicated to a single goal--serving Hashem
heart and soul and elevating kovod Shomayim.
His shiurim, renowned for their depth, related how to
clarify a sugyo and how to scrutinize every statement
in the gemora. He stood out for his analysis and
elucidation of the gemora and helped provide his
talmidim with a feel for how to delve into the
sugyo and extract the meaning.
HaRav Rosenberg's whole life was a tale of profound, intense
labor in Torah. Although his teachings were printed in
Leket Shiurim he would always prepare new
shiurim which he would toil over as if learning the
sugyo for the very first time.
He would spend hours learning fervidly in the yeshiva's main
beis medrash every day. During this time observers
could see he was severed from his surroundings, ensconced in
his dalet amos of Torah.
Following the passing of the yeshiva's mashgiach, HaRav M.
Tikochinsky, he began to deliver mussar talks filled
with fabulous ideas on avodas Hashem. Using his
fabulous gift for words he managed to find the way to his
listeners' hearts and to guide them along the path leading to
Although stricken with illness, until a few weeks ago he
would enter the beis medrash every day to talk to the
members of the yeshiva about the material being studied.
A few weeks ago he became very weak and was admitted to Sheba
Hospital at Tel Hashomer. On Sunday night his condition
deteriorated and Monday afternoon he returned his pure soul
to his Maker.
The levaya set out from Yeshivas Slobodka on Monday
evening on its way to the Ponovezh cemetery where he was
buried within sight of HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein's grave.
HaRav Boruch Rosenberg is survived by the Rebbetzin; his son
HaRav Avrohom; daughters married to HaRav Ben Tzion Zilber
and HaRav Aharon Yehoshua Zucker; grandchildren and great-
grandchildren--all of them bnei Torah, including
several Torah and Mussar greats, continuing his spiritual
legacy--as well as thousands of talmidim mourning the
loss of their rebbe and teacher.