Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

4 Kislev 5765 - November 17, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Mrs. Irene (Yittele) Falk a"h

by The Family

On Shabbos, Parshas Chayei Soroh (22 Cheshvan 5765), Gateshead lost one of its most beloved and dear members, Mrs. Irene Falk, known to all as Aunty Irene. She spent the last sixteen years of her rich, full life in this wonderful community earning admiration, respect and love from young and old alike.

Born almost 99 years ago in Germany, her parents were Hechover Dovid Heinemann and his wife Esther. She grew up in the town of Ludwigshaffen near Manheim. There was very little formal Jewish education available to her but she was deeply imbued with the Jewish masores from the chinuch she received in her wonderful home. The yiras Shomayim, the dikduk bemitzvos and the obedience to daas Torah remained with her throughout her life and wherever she found herself. Till her last day, her father was her role model and guide.

In her late twenties she married Reb Yitzchok Uri (Eugen) Falk and settled in Breslau near the Polish border. At the outbreak of the War they fled on foot over the border to France and from there by ship to South America. Indeed theirs was the last ship whose passengers were given permission to disembark.

They settled in Montevideo, Uruguay, overcoming many initial hardships and earning a living by any method available as long as it was honest.

With time, as they recuperated physically and learned the language, Mr. Falk z"l resumed his life's work of teaching Torah on all levels to young and old. He was a great talmid chochom and highly respected by talmidei chachomim and laymen alike. Mrs. Falk resumed her profession as an English teacher and prepared many young men and ladies who wanted to leave for North America to attend yeshiva and seminary. Wherever you go in the world today you meet past students who owe their roots in Yiddishkeit and in general education to Mr. and Mrs. Falk, a"h.

After the war, Mrs. Falk's father z"l joined them in Montevideo, having suffered greatly in the camps. She nursed him back to health with great devotion and he became the focus of her life until he passed away at a ripe old age.

Mr. and Mrs. Falk were unfortunately never blessed with children and as they grew older they heeded the requests of Mr. Falk's brother in Manchester to move nearer and have family around them. About thirty years ago they moved to Manchester, where they were warmly welcomed by the Falks and all the Machzikei Hadass community.

This was no small adjustment, both in culture and Yiddishkeit, but always wanting to learn and improve, they not only adopted but soon really appreciated their new environment. Mr. Falk found learning chavrusas and took an active part in the shiurim he joined. Mrs. Falk's wonderful personality helped her make many new friends.

She had an extraordinary joy in life, finding happiness in each day and sharing it with those around her. Although she never had a personal simcha of her own, she showed great joy when participating in the simchas of her friends and family.

A few years after her husband's petiroh, as family circumstances altered, she finally moved to Gateshead, where her nephews and nieces felt privileged to open their homes and hearts to her.

As she grew older, her innocent personality shone through for all to admire. Children felt drawn to her and came to her home to be treated and be made to feel special. Yeshiva bochurim who slept in rooms upstairs of her house were told by her how lucky they were to be learning Torah. People who came to visit found a listening ear and left feeling encouraged.

She had a wonderful middoh of hakoras hatov and would constantly express her thanks to Hashem and those around her. She would say "I thank Hashem that I am so well cared for by my family; I thank Hashem that I am healthy; I thank Hashem that I enjoy the sunshine; I thank Dr. Cope for looking after me day and night and I thank all the little children who visit me every week."

Her middoh of viewing everything with an ayin tovoh did not allow her to find fault with anyone and one certainly never heard loshon hora from her.

The levaya in Gateshead set out from the home of Rabbi Simcha Bamberger. Hespedim were said by her nephews, Rabbi Simcha Bamberger and Rabbi Eliyohu Falk, and by her great nephew Rabbi Yaakov Yehuda Salomon.

The levaya proceeded to Manchester, where they were met by more family and friends. Hespedim were delivered by the rav of Machzikei Hadass, Rav Schneelbalg and her nephews, Dayan Aron Dovid Dunner and Rabbi Yaakov Yehuda Falk.

Rabbi Matisyohu Salomon, who flew in specially from America, delivered the final hesped at the bais olom.

Her parting has left a great void and Aunty Irene will remain an inspiration to her family, friends and the kehillos of Gateshead and Manchester.

Tehei Zichroh Boruch.


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