Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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22 Sivan 5765 - June 29, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Efraim Fishel Rabinowitz zt"l

By Betzalel Kahn

Gedolei Torah, roshei yeshivos, admorim, rabbonim and dayonim led a crowd of thousands on 15 Sivan who laid to rest HaRav Efraim Fishel Rabinowitz zt"l rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Tiferes Yisroel Rozhin and a member of the Agudas Yisroel Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, who passed away suddenly at the age of 80.

Efraim Fishel Rabinowitz was born in Jerusalem on the first day of Chanukah 5685 (1924) to Rav Aryeh Mordechai Rabinowitz, who was a prominent Boyan Chassid and a descendent of "the Yehudi Hakodosh" of Pershischa.

The deceased's late brother, HaRav Binyomin, attested that while studying at the Chayei Olom yeshiva and kollel HaRav Efraim Fishel would forego his lunch break at home in order to maximize his learning time. He became especially conversant with Yoreh Dei'ah.

When he came of age he married the daughter of Rav Moshe Aharon Segal. From early youth to old age his life centered around intensive Torah study.

In addition to his shiurim he gave regular mussar talks calling for elevation in Torah and yiras Shomayim. He himself served as an example of the quintessential ben aliyoh, displaying greatness in Torah and humility.

For years he served as the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Tosh in Canada under the Admor of Tosh. His talmidim from this period recall that although he was young at the time he had a tremendous impact on them.

HaRav Rabinowitz had close ties to the Boyan community through his father and was held in high esteem by the Admor, HaRav Mordechai Shlomo.

The deceased served as the rov of Beis Medrash Chortkov in Antwerp, where he was accepted as their rov and spiritual leader despite the fact his primary residence was in Jerusalem.

Upon his return to Eretz Yisroel, HaRav Rabinowitz was asked to serve as a ram at Yeshivas Tiferes Yisroel in Jerusalem, where he eventually became the Rosh Yeshiva. He would give several shiurim every day, including profound iyun shiurim on Yoreh Dei'ah and gemora.

Following the petiroh of the previous rosh yeshiva, HaRav Yehoshua Brim, HaRav Rabinowitz was appointed to the post, which he held for over two decades until his last day.

Shortly before last Pesach he traveled abroad to promote Yeshivas Tiferes Yisroel. Feeling weak he had to return ahead of schedule, but he continued his holy work. Immediately after Pesach this year he suffered a mild stroke, but again resumed his work at the yeshiva.

Recently he was hospitalized and then discharged to his son's home. Last Tuesday evening, 14 Sivan, he gathered together his sons to deliver his last will and testament, saying he felt his strength dissipating and sensed the day when he would return his soul to his Maker was drawing near. The next day he collapsed and was summoned to Yeshiva Shel Maaloh.

The aron was brought into the yeshiva hall where hundreds of talmidim and Boyan Chassidim stood around weeping and reciting Tehillim led by the Admor of Boyan, who accompanied the mittoh until the covering of the grave at Har Hamenuchos.

Toward evening the levaya made its way from the yeshiva to the cemetery, where he was laid to rest beside his father. Participants at the levaya included the Admor of Gur, HaRav Yochonon Sofer the Gavad of Erlau, HaRav Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss the Gavad of the Eidoh Chareidis in Jerusalem, the Admor of Toldos Aharon, the Admor of Bohush, the Admor of Kapishnitz, rabbonim, dayonim and marbitzei Torah.

In accordance with the deceased's will no eulogies were delivered. HaRav Eliezer Rabinowitz delivered short words of parting and requested forgiveness from the deceased in the name of the yeshiva members and the Boyan community. The deceased's son, HaRav Binyomin Tzvi, a ram at Yeshivas Tiferes Yisroel, offered words of parting and asked forgiveness in the name of the family.

HaRav Efraim Fishel Rabinowitz is survived by his sons, HaRav Yitzchok, one of the spiritual leaders of the Boyan community in Williamsburg, HaRav Yehoshua, a ram at the Tiferes Yisroel Yeshiva Letze'irim, HaRav Binyomin Tzvi, a ram at Yeshivas Tiferes Yisroel, Rav Yisroel, Rav Yaakov Dovid and Rav Yosef, outstanding Boyan avreichim, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


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