Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

12 Cheshvan 5765 - October 27, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Rebbetzin Rivkoh Zochovsky, o"h
By S. Bruchi

A crowd of thousands including HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and other prominent rabbonim were on hand motzei Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecho to lay to rest Rebbetzin Rivkoh Zochovsky o"h, the widow of HaRav Chaim Zochovsky, the mashgiach and menahel ruchani of Yeshivas Slobodka in Lithuania and Yeshivas Lomzha in Petach Tikva.

Rivkoh Zochovsky was born in 5671 (1911) to HaRav Pesach Prusskin, av beis din and ram of Kobrin and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Kobrin. His talmidim, including Maran HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt"l helped compile a sefer called "Shiurei R' Pesach Mikobrin."

In this home of one of the gedolei hador of the last generation she was instilled with Torah and lofty middos. She later recalled how her father's home constantly resounded with Torah learning--that a meal never passed without a discussion of the shaklo vetaryo of the sugyos studied at the yeshiva. She built her spiritual world on this atmosphere of holiness, making her life revolve around Torah and yiras Shomayim, not allowing worldly vanities a place.

In 5694 (1934) she married HaRav Chaim Dov Zochovsky, one of the leading talmidim at Yeshivas Slobodka, who had a bond with the Alter of Slobodka. Her husband was asked to serve in spiritual posts at Yeshivas Slobodka and was eventually appointed mashgiach.

When the skies of Europe darkened they moved to Eretz Yisroel, settling in Jerusalem and later in Petach Tikva. On the recommendation of the Chazon Ish he was appointed menahel ruchani at Yeshivas Lomzha. After a few years of teaching Torah and mussar he developed a serious illness that confined him to his bed for 13 years. Throughout this time she cared for him devotedly, never straying far from his bedside until he succumbed to the disease in 5720 (1960).

After his petiroh she became both father and mother to her four children, imbuing them with ahavas Torah. She showed an interest in every detail of their spiritual development and knew how to assess their strengths--who displayed depth of understanding, who had comprehensive Torah knowledge, who was sharp-minded and who had a powerful memory.

She would often relate the words of Chazal to her family members. This Elul she said, "We say, `Uteshuvoh, utefilloh utzedokoh, ma'avirim es ro'a hagezeiroh,' but what about Torah?" she asked, and then answered her own question: "Without Torah there is no teshuvoh or tefilloh to speak of. Only he who knows Torah can be helped by teshuvoh and tefilloh and tzedokoh."

Recently one of her grandchildren told her he was beginning maseches Zevochim at his kollel. "Before beginning Zevochim one must know all of the mishnayos of Zevochim by heart," she told him. "Without that the maseches is impenetrable."

On erev Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecho she felt ill and was hospitalized at Mayanei Hayeshua Hospital. On motzei Shabbos she suffered a stroke and passed away with her family members at her bedside reciting Krias Shema and accepting the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven as her pure soul departed.

Before the levayoh set out from her home, a hesped was delivered by her son, HaRav Nosson Zochovsky, a rosh yeshiva of yeshivas Geon Yaakov, who opened with the verse, "Ki ovi ve'imi azovuni."

"For us Ima was both father and mother," he said, "for [55] years ago Abba contracted a serious disease and the entire burden, both tending to Abba and educating the household, fell on her.

"Ima was an ishoh gedoloh -- the daughter of gedolim and the wife of gedolim. She was not just an eishes chover, but a chaveiroh in her own right. Her knowledge of Torah and sayings of Chazal, and her spiritual aspirations were those of a true chover."

Other speakers included HaRav Yaakov Edelstein, the rov of Ramat Hasharon, her son-in-law HaRav Mordechai Cohen, a rosh yeshiva of Slobodka, and HaRav Boruch Shimon Salomon, the rov of Petach Tikva and rosh yeshivas of Nachalas Dovid.

Following the hespeidim, the levayoh proceeded to Segulah Cemetery in Petach Tikva where she was buried alongside her husband. After stimas hagolel she was eulogized by her grandson, HaRav Menachem Boruch.

Rebbetzin Rivkoh Zochovsky o"h is survived by her sons HaRav Nosson Zochovsky, a rosh yeshiva of yeshivas Geon Yaakov and author of Devir Hakodesh, and R' Pesach and her sons-in-law HaRav Menachem Fishel and HaRav Mordechai Cohen, a rosh yeshiva of yeshivas Slobodka, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren who perpetuate the Torah legacy she received from her father and husband and passed on to her descendants during her lifetime.


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