Rebbetzin Channah Rochel Turchin o"h, the wife of
HaRav Yonah Turchin, the rov of Yehud and rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Ohr Yitzchok, passed away on 6 Iyar at the age of
Channah Rochel was born on 24 Kislev 5709 (1949) to HaRav
Meir Mallin, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Knesses Yehuda. Infused
with ahavas Torah from a young age she was disturbed
over attending public school in Washington DC and would even
avoid classes. When her father enjoined her to attend, saying
she had the spiritual fortitude not to be harmed by them, she
agreed with him but said her peers would conclude that these
studies were permitted lechatchiloh and therefore she
did not think it right that she go to a non-Jewish public
At the age of ten she left home to study at a chareidi school
run by the son-in-law of HaRav Yaakov Kamenetsky. When she
moved to Eretz Yisroel with her parents during the Six-Day
War she wrote to a friend in the US a letter so filled with
emunoh and bitachon that copies of it were
posted at botei knesses in Baltimore.
Even at that young age the beauty and refinement of her
prayers was an inspiration to others. She worked as a teller
at the Bank of Israel and when her manager told her to come
to work during Chol Hamoed she refused, saying that no losses
would come from keeping mitzvas. She was dismissed but soon
afterwards got hired by Dr. Aviezri Cohen, the late director
of Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center. Working at the hospital she
had numerous opportunities to do acts of chessed and
helped the hospital adhere to halochoh.
Once married she wholly dedicated herself to Torah and
chessed. While her husband was still learning at
Yeshivas Mir they would open their home to bochurim
and other needy people who lacked living quarters and she
would ensure that all of them were fed, clothed and had a
place to sleep. She would also take in orphaned girls and
when they came of age would help them find a shidduch.
Even after they were married she would look after them as if
they were her own daughters.
When her husband started a yeshiva for bochurim unable
to find a suitable study framework, pairing every
talmid with an avreich, concerns arose that if
the students went home for dinner they would not come back
for the Night Seder, so she decided to prepare dinner for all
25 talmidim. When her family would ask why she made
such an extraordinary effort she would say it was all worth
it if the bochurim spent another hour learning.
When her husband became rov of Yehud following the passing of
his father, HaRav Nisan, she did not take advantage of her
status but rather engaged in outreach and teaching Torah.
With her warmth and congeniality she was able to bring many
girls back to our Father in Heaven. When a girl dressed
immodestly once came to their door to conduct a survey, her
children shut the door, but she brought the girl into the
living room and spoke to her at length about the emptiness of
This World and the joys of Jewish spiritual life. By opening
the door of her home she essentially opened a door for this
girl to eventually do teshuvoh. In many instances she
proved the verity of her father's remark that she surpassed
him in terms of emunoh and bitochon.
Rebbetzin Turchin was noted for her ahavas chessed.
Whenever she heard about a family of limited means she would
cook extra Shabbos food and send it to them on Friday. One
Erev Pesach, recalling that one of the young women she had
brought close to Yiddishkeit did not have anything to
wear for Yom Tov, she dropped everything and went shopping
for her, although it took hours to find a dress.
The deceased also stood out for her ahavas Torah. When
the members of the family took a trip during a bein
hazmanim vacation, coming home at night they found her in
tears because they had not been in the beis medrash
all day even as they went around davening at the
various holy kevorim. Hearing how distraught she was
they immediately filed into the beis medrash for a
special learning session.
Once she spent Shabbos at the home of one of her sons and
when another of her sons called on Motzei Shabbos to ask if
she had enjoyed herself, she said she had felt fabulous when
the young man ran off to the beis medrash as soon as
the seudah was over.
After the yeshiva building in Yehud collapsed the whole
family and the talmidim were deeply upset. "Rather
than thinking about our own sorrow," she said, "think of the
sorrow of the Shechinoh, Whose house has been
When the family of one of the yeshiva students began becoming
observant and the son transferred to one of the holy yeshivas
in Jerusalem, he would eat and sleep at her home and was
treated like one of her own sons. When the time came for him
to go to yeshiva gedoloh he was not accepted at the
yeshiva of his choice — despite numerous efforts on his
behalf — until she called the Rosh Yeshiva herself and
tearfully asked him to accept the young man. When the time
came for him to move into the dorms the Rebbetzin told the
student's parents she felt as if one of her own children had
Her neighbors would send their daughters to sit near her in
the ezras noshim on Shabbos to see how a proper
tefilloh looks. One neighbor once missed the
tefilloh she normally attended and went to the beis
knesses the Rebbetzin attended. When her husband later
asked whether she had arrived on time she said she missed the
tefilloh but was well compensated for the loss by the
opportunity to see Rebbetzin Turchin recite Hallel.
After her petiroh a sheet of paper was found near her
bed reading, "Daf kesher between us and Borei Olom.
Happy is he who has a kesher with HaKodosh
Boruch Hu and speaks to Him in prayer."
A few days before her demise, stepping into their home the
secretary of the yeshiva found her extremely pale and
suffering terribly. He brought her a glass of water but she
made gestures indicating she was between Krias Shema
and Shemoneh Esrei. One of her sons who lived
nearby was summoned right away, but by then she was already
engaged in Shemoneh Esrei. Later he realized the
tefilloh gave her strength, but she was in very bad
At the levaya eulogies were given by HaRav Aryeh
Finkel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir-Brachfeld, HaRav
Yehoshua Dovid Turchin, HaRav Isser Yehuda Mallin, a
ram at Yeshivas Knesses Yehuda, and her two sons,
HaRav Chaim Aharon and HaRav Isser Yehuda.
Rebbetzin Channah Rochel Turchin o"h was buried at Har
HaZeisim Cemetery near her father. She is survived by her
husband, HaRav Yonah Turchin and her 13 children, all
following her path of Torah and yir'oh.