Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Adar II 5765 - March 16, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Rebbetzin Sheina Golda Goldstein, o"h

By Betzalel Kahn

Rebbetzin Sheina Golda Goldstein o"h, the eishes chover of HaRav Tuvioh Goldstein, the late rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Emek Halochoh, passed away suddenly in the US at the age of 84 last week.

Rebbetzin Goldstein was born in Kovna to the Zilberbergs, a family of baalei batim who raised their children with great mesirus nefesh.

She survived the Holocaust years valiantly in the confines of the Kovna Ghetto, where the geonim and tzaddikim, HaRav Mordechai Pogremansky and HaRav Mordechai Zuckerman, were also in hiding. At night she would sneak out to gather food in the fields in order to sustain her parents and other family members. Whenever she heard someone in despair she would rush to offer them words of encouragement and bitochon, saying be'ezras Hashem they would be saved from the jaws of death.

After the war she arrived at a transit camp in France together with a large group of bnei Torah refugees. Although she came from very humble origins, aspiring to build a Jewish home with a talmid chochom she turned to HaRav Pogremansky for help in evaluating prospective chassanim.

While still at the refugee camp she married Tuvioh Goldstein, a talmid of the great prewar generation of rabbonim at Yeshivas Kamenitz and Yeshivas Baranowitz. Later he was to found Yeshivas Emek Halochoh in New York, drawing some of the leading perpetuators of the European Torah world and poskim in the US.

A short time later they received US visas. Upon arriving safely in the US, Rebbetzin Goldstein told her husband she intended to work hard to support them and to ensure that he could sit and learn undisturbed. This was in the aftermath of the war years when the US was a spiritual desert, with few yeshivas and kollelim.

She found a teaching job at a school and worked hard to provide for the family. When her husband wanted to set up Yeshivas Emek Halochoh he hesitated due to budgeting problems, but the Rebbetzin said she would work overtime to allow her husband to learn and teach, since her primary drive was to lead a life of Torah and ahavas Torah.

Over the years Emek Halochoh earned a reputation as one of the country's leading yeshivas and HaRav Goldstein had the merit of teaching Torah to thousands of bochurim and raising the standards of Yiddishkeit among numerous baalei batim living in the neighborhood.

Already upon their arrival in the US, Rebbetzin Goldstein formed a tight bond with Rebbetzin Feinstein. Later they even moved into the same building where the Feinsteins lived and HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt"l had a powerful impact on HaRav Goldstein. Over the years HaRav Feinstein often had HaRav Goldstein look over the rulings and responsa he wrote, since HaRav Goldstein had a thorough command of responsa and the works of the poskim. In Igros Moshe on several occasions HaRav Feinstein writes, "Vechen shomati miyedidi HaGaon R' Tuvioh Goldstein . . . "

In her husband's final years she cared for him with great devotion, doing everything in her power to allow him to continue his learning. Just under two years ago her great husband passed away, to the great sorrow of his thousands of talmidim. Since then her health began to deteriorate and last week on Friday Erev Rosh Chodesh Adar II she suffered a sudden heart attack, and passed away on the spot.

The levaya set out motzei Shabbos from Yeshivas Emek Halochoh in New York, where she was eulogized by HaRav Shmuel Birnbaum and her sons-in-law, HaRav Yosef Marmelstein, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Novominsk, and HaRav Osher David, the head of the kollel at Yeshivas Emek Halochoh. The levaya continued Sunday night at Jerusalem's Shamgar Funeral Center.

Rebbetzin Sheina Golda Goldstein o"h is survived by her sons, R' Chaim Meir and HaRav Mordechai, the moro d'asro of the Mishkenos Yaakov neighborhood in Beit Shemesh, and her two married daughters.


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