Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Elul 5765 - September 21, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Rebbetzin Soroh Grossbard, o"h

By A. Cohen

Gedolei Yisroel, roshei yeshivos, rabbonim, dayonim and thousands of bnei Torah and bnos Yisroel took part in the levaya for Rebbetzin Soroh Grossbard o"h the widow of HaRav Nachum Abba Grossbard zt"l on 9 Elul in the middle of the night.

The funeral procession went from her home to Yeshivas Ponovezh Letze'irim, where she was eulogized at length by leading Torah and mussar figures. Her mechuton, HaRav Nissim Karelitz shlita, said, "We stand before the mittoh of a great woman who was the eishes chover of a very great man, and she built many great homes of Torah and mitzvos."

Said HaRav Dovid Menachem Schneider, "I had the merit of knowing her a bit and this kind of gadlus was rare even in bygone days."

Afterward her nephew and grandson (her daughter's son) HaRav Aharon Zeev Grossbard, the mashgiach of Yeshivas Ponovezh, spoke of her exemplary tznius. "Why does the story about Miriam appear immediately after Poroh Adumoh?" he added. "To teach us that the death of a tzaddik atones. She was taken from us in Elul to atone and stir all of us [to teshuvoh]".

Eulogies were also delivered by her sons and son-in-law. The levaya then proceeded to the Ponovezh Cemetery where she was laid to rest at 2:00 am alongside her husband, who lies buried in close proximity to his rov muvhok, the Mashgiach HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein zt"l, and HaRav Shach zt"l.

The Rebbetzin grew up under the wing of her grandfather HaRav Dovid Baharan, the son of HaRav Nochum of Shadik and the son- in-law of HaRav Akiva Yosef Schlesinger. Her father, HaRav Yaakov Weissfish, was the grandson of HaRav Yaakov Dovid Spector, the brother of HaRav Yitzchok Elchonon of Kovno.

One of the outstanding students of the Bais Yaakov School in Jerusalem during its early years, she was recognized for her exceptional abilities, her thirst for learning and her desire to help others. Dozens of girls would gather in her home every Shabbos to study Medrash and commentaries on parshas hashavua, not uttering a word of casual conversation.

Following her graduation she split her time between teaching at the main school and the school in Katamon and her many acts of chessed. Much of the burden of caring for her siblings rested on her young shoulders since both their parents had passed away.

During this period, when the proper hashkofoh was obscure for many people, she succeeded in inculcating yiras Shomayim and Torah in innumerable students and helped start innumerable homes based on Torah and yir'oh.

She married HaRav Nachum Abba Grossbard, one of the leading students of HaRav Shimon Shkop of Grodno and HaRav Boruch Ber Leibowitz of Kamenitz. He was saved from the jaws of death when he joined Yeshivas Mir in exile. In Shanghai he was among the top students and formed a close bond with HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein.

Upon arriving in the US he immediately started teaching in Yeshivas Rabbenu Yaakov Yosef, where he worked to build Jewish life, helping to end the spiritual desolation prevailing in the US during that period.

Following a 45-minute conversation with the Brisker Rov, she left behind her jobs and activities in Eretz Yisroel in order to marry him and to take part in his harbotzas Torah in the US.

When their children reached the age of chinuch they left behind their positions in the US to return to Eretz Hakodesh. Ever since then she invested all of her energy, wisdom and ability into building a great home for the sake of Hashem and His Torah. Her home regularly served as a beis vaad lechachomim and was a source of inspiration for many yeshiva students.

She was highly regarded by the Brisker Rov, HaRav Levenstein, HaRav Aharon Kotler, HaRav Shach and other gedolei Torah and roshei yeshiva. Her entire life she fit the image of the great women of past generations. Her whole life was devoted to ahavas haTorah, mussar, chinuch, tefilloh, tzedokoh and chessed. She could see the Hand of Hashem in everything and at all times and took extreme care to maintain high standards of purity in speech and deed.

A few weeks ago she fell sick and early last week she returned her soul to her Maker. During her period of illness she constantly thanked HaKodosh Boruch Hu for all of His kindnesses and gracious thanked everyone who helped her in any way. Before every treatment she would ask Hashem to help it heal her—except for her last day, when she said, "Ribono Shel Olom, do with me as You see fit." During her final hours she arranged all her affairs and then with great serenity and patience, prepared herself for the transition to the World to Come.

Rebbetzin Soroh Grossbard o"h is survived by her sons and sons-in-law, her daughters and daughters-in-law, who are gedolei Torah veyiroh, marbitzei Torah veMussar and educators carrying on her prodigious legacy.


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