Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

18 Adar 5764 - March 11, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Osher Eliach, zt"l
by S. Bruchi

HaRav Osher Eliach, zt"l, passed away suddenly on motzei Shabbos parshas Yisro, 23 Shvat-February 14 at the age of 52.

HaRav Eliach was born to Rav Pinchos Yechiel, ylct"a, in Jerusalem's Shaarei Chessed neighborhood. As a bochur at Yeshivas Kol Torah he cleaved to Maran HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l, who lived in his neighborhood and with whom he maintained close ties until the latter's final days. During HaRav Eliach's years at Kol Torah he stood out for his dedicated scholarship and love of Torah.

Later he studied at Yeshivas Ponovezh under HaRav Shach, HaRav Povarksky and HaRav Rozovsky, who took him under their wings. After marrying his wife Zehavah, the daughter of R' Avrohom Avishar, he continued his learning at Kollel Ponovezh where he mastered several masechtos, studying night and day.

He learned maseches Eruvin with all of the Rishonim and Acharonim over 20 times, becoming an expert on the subject, and numerous chareidi communities consulted with him. He was involved in the setup of eruvin in every part of Eretz Yisroel, including the eruv for Bnei Brak's Ramat Elchonon and Neot Yosef neighborhoods, Nachalas Moshe, Neveh Shaanan in Haifa and the original Kiryat Sefer eruv. When a friend asked him why he did not charge fees for all the time and effort he put into guiding eruv committees in their work he said, "Just as giving ma'aser money is an obligation, so too one should give `ma'aser time' for the sake of the klal. This is my `ma'aser time.' "

Five years ago HaRav Menachem Tzvi Berlin, rosh yeshivas Rabbenu Chaim Ozer, asked him to serve as mashgiach in his yeshiva. Since then HaRav Eliach led chaburos and vaadim, primarily for talmidim in Shiur Alef.

As mashgiach he arranged chavrusas among the talmidim. The week before HaRav Eliach's petiroh the bochur in charge of listing the chavrusas was about to get married. When HaRav Eliach asked him to find a replacement the bochur said he would attend to the matter the following week, but HaRav Eliach was insistent, saying, "I'm asking you to do it now. I don't know what next week will bring."

HaRav Eliach's life was an unbroken chain of time used to the fullest. He was never seen idle. He calculated every moment into his dense schedule of avodas Hashem. He had a daily learning routine he committed to before his wedding. Once he returned from the wedding of one of his children at 3:00 a.m. and sat down to his set learning, not wanting to miss it even once.

HaRav Eliach made use of his time with the utmost efficiency. While talking on the phone he would prepare Shabbos candles or attend to other affairs. These little things implanted in his children the value of time and the need to use it for Torah. One of his neighbors from across the street used to see him helping his wife hang out laundry after midnight every night. He noticed that HaRav Eliach had earphones on. One day he asked him what he listened to while hanging laundry. "What do you mean? Gemora shiurim that I recorded from my days in Ponovezh."

He never postponed matters and taught his family members the value of zerizim makdimim lemitzvos, davening Minchah and Ma'ariv as early as possible and performing every mitzvah without delay. He invested tremendous energy into his children's education, studying Orchos Tzaddikim with each of his sons and daughters to instill yiras Shomayim and middos tovos in them. They say they never heard him raise his voice.

HaRav Eliach always treated widows and orphans with great care. After his petiroh many families he discreetly helped support for years came to tell the moro d'asro of Ramat Elchonon, HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, about the deceased's acts of tzedokoh.

Last week he felt chest pains and on motzei Shabbos Yisro, during Melaveh Malka, he suffered a sudden heart attack and lost consciousness. A few minutes later he returned his pure soul to his Maker.

At the levaya that set out from the central beis knesses in Ramat Elchonon he was eulogized by HaRav Zilberstein, his father HaRav Pinchos, his uncle HaRav Dovid Tzvi Eliach, menahel ruchani of Yeshivas Nachalas Dovid in Petach Tikva, his son Rav Yehuda, a young avreich, and his brother HaRav Shlomo.

The procession proceeded slowly by his home on Rechov HaRav Kahaneman and on to Yeshivas Rabbenu Chaim Ozer, where he taught Torah and yir'oh for the past several years. There hespeidim were delivered by HaRav Yaakov Edelstein, rov of Ramat Hasharon and Neot Yosef; HaRav Menachem Tzvi Berlin, the rosh yeshiva; HaRav Noach Pellei, the menahel ruchani; HaRav Yeshayohu Adler and HaRav Menachem Wolpe, ramim at the yeshiva; and HaRav Yitzchok Ehrenfeld, Rosh Yeshivas Beis Shmuel.

The levaya then continued to Shamgar in Yerushalayim, where he was eulogized by his brother-in-law, HaRav Chaim Weissfish, a mashgiach at Yeshivas Kol Torah, before heading for Har Hamenuchos Cemetery.

HaRav Osher Eliach zt"l is survived by his grandmother, parents, siblings, wife, his son Rav Yehuda, daughters married to Rav Shmuel Margaliot, Rav Hemnik, Rav Avrohom Yeshayohu Troper, Rav Yaakov Zelivansky, and another nine unmarried children.

Those able to contribute to the fund for his family can contact: In England: Mr. Moshe Stern, 1 Good Yeens Garden, London NW4; or Mr. J Levison, 10 Craven Walk, Stanford Hill, M16 6BP, England; In the USA: Rabbi Mordechai Orbach, 22 Skylark Dr, Spring Valley, NY, 10977; in Israel R' Avrohom Pollack, 4 Zonnenfeld Street, Bnei Brak; HaRav Shlomo Eliach, Telephone: 03-579-4465.


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