Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Cheshvan 5766 - November 23, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Mrs. Miriam Friedman o'h

by Betzalel Kahn

Yerushalayim's Mattersdorf neighborhood witnessed a heart- rending levaya on motzei Shabbos parshas Lech Lecho, suffused with anguish and copious weeping, as thousands accompanied Mrs. Miriam Friedman o'h, the wife of ylct'a HaRav Elyokim Friedman, who passed away at the tragically early age of forty-two.

The nifteres was the daughter of HaRav Alexander Dinkel zt'l, one of the roshei yeshiva of Kol Torah and the daughter-in-law of HaRav Dov Friedman. She was renowned as a true eishes chayil, who displayed self- sacrifice for the sake of Torah, throughout her life. She gave of herself in many ways, practicing kindness towards broken-spirited and lonely individuals and finding the time to give individual attention to each of her twelve children - - yet the center of her life around which all else revolved was her husband's Torah study.

She absorbed her intense love of Torah and her keen educational intuition in the home of her parents, her great father, whom she merited helping and ministering, and her distinguished mother, Rebbetzin Channah tblct'a. Drawing on her womanly wisdom and uncommon insight she built her own home upon firm foundations of Torah, faith and kindness. She displayed immeasurable devotion in allowing her husband to devote all his time to Torah study, ensuring that he had complete peace of mind, with no disturbances. In his hesped, HaRav Yisroel Gans, rov of the neighborhood, pointed to the fact that it was her husband, Rav Elyokim, who could always be found in the beis hamedrash on Friday afternoons until Shabbos came in, on Friday nights and on motzei Shabbosos from after Havdoloh until midnight.

Mrs. Friedman's child rearing talents were also legendary. Her home was a center of chesed and the Friedmans shared their Shabbos and Yom Tov table with the many guests who felt quite at home and at ease with their family. Yet with all this, she always ensured that each of her children would feel as precious and as loved as an only child. In the course of the week, she was careful to find some time for each child when she gave her undivided attention and enjoyed some private conversation with them. With careful forethought and superb organization, she attended to every detail of running her home, from kashering her own chickens to attending to every note for a teacher or rebbe.

All her acquaintances carry her radiant image, that bespoke modesty, nobility and respect, etched upon their hearts. This is also how she will be remembered by her many talmidos in the Brisk and Bnos Rochel girls' schools, within whom she inculcated firm principles of love of Torah and yiras Shomayim. Her nobility of character shone even more brightly during the period of her illness, when her main concern was that her husband's learning should not, choliloh, be disturbed. Drawing on tremendous reserves of strength she concealed the extent of her own pain and suffering, but took no pains to conceal her anguish at her husband's preoccupation and his inability to devote himself to his learning as he used to because of her illness.

Her trust in Hashem came to the fore during this difficult time. She would repeatedly say that she was in the care of Hashem Yisborach and that she thus had nothing to be afraid of. Until her last days, she maintained hope with all her might that she would yet regain her strength and she even drew up a program for the days ahead when she hoped to return home. During her final hours, she was constantly murmuring verses of prayer and Tehillim.

Her levaya, which was held in the late hours of the night of the yahrtzeit of Rochel Imeinu, o'h, was a heart-rending occasion. Crowds of family members, acquaintances and neighbors stood crying bitterly over the death of this great woman who was snatched away to Heaven so abruptly. Hespedim were delivered by her brothers, HaRav Shmuel, HaRav Yaakov Chaim and HaRav Moshe Tuvia, by her brother-in-law HaRav Yaakov Bamberger, by HaRav Yisroel Gans and by her distinguished husband. Some heart-wrenching parting words delivered by her son Alexander brought the hespedim to an end.

Mrs. Friedman leaves behind a wonderful legacy, her twelve children and her husband shlita, all of whom deeply mourn her passing in the prime of her life.


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