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7 Cheshvan 5766 - November 9, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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The Admor of Radzin, zt"l

by S. Bruchi

The Admor of Radzin, HaRav Avrohom Yissochor Englard zt"l, one of the elder admorim from Poland, was laid to rest on the fifth day of Chol Hamoed Succos at the age of 100.

Born in Krimlov, Poland to HaRav Yeshayohu Hy"d, a descendent of the author of the Shach and Chosen Yeshuos who served as ravad in the city of Sossnovtza, and to his mother Esther Frummet o"h, the daughter of the Admor of Krimlov, HaRav Nosson Nochum HaKohen Rabinowitz, the son of the Tiferes Shlomo of Radomsk.

He acquired his early Torah learning from his uncle HaRav Dovid Moshe Rabinowitz, and HaRav Shmuel Aharon Pardes known as the Illui of Stashov.

As the oldest grandson of the Admor of Krimlov he enjoyed a close relationship with his illustrious grandfather, in whose court he met most of the admorim of pre-Holocaust Poland.

When he came of age, R' Avrohom Yissochor was chosen to become the son-in-law of the Admor of Radzin, the author of Tiferes Yosef, and he moved to Radzin. Following his father-in-law's petiroh the mantle of leadership was passed onto his son, HaRav Shmuel Shlomo Hy"d. His brother-in-law, R' Avrohom Yissochor, assisted him in every matter and laid the foundations for the Sod Yeshorim yeshivos in Radzin and nearby towns and served as the nossi of the yeshivos.

When World War II broke out, he joined his brother-in-law the Admor, when he moved into the Vlodava Ghetto. There he attended to all matters of Judaism and devoted himself to helping Jews in crisis. When the Admor heard that Jews were being killed in the forests of Sobibor he decreed a taanis of three days and three nights.

During this horrific period the Nazis captured the bunker where the Admor and his family were staying and ordered all those inside to leave. They were then shot immediately. R' Avrohom Yissochor stayed inside, refusing to turn himself over to reshoim. They threw grenades into the bunker but miraculously the explosions left him unscathed. On 27 Iyar 5702 (1942) his brother-in-law, the Admor, was executed and died sanctifying the Name of Heaven on Shabbos.

Based on the Admor's directives before his passing, R' Avrohom Yissochor of Vlodava, together with R' Motel Reichman the Pious whose wife Hy"d had also already been murdered, fled into the forests of Poland, where they remained in hiding for almost two years. They wore the same set of clothes throughout this period, surviving under extreme conditions. But their lives were spared through Chasdei Shomayim.

Throughout their period in hiding they kept all of the mitzvos, down to the smallest detail. Under the most adverse conditions they dug a hole in the ground and covered the pit with branches to fulfill the mitzvah of dwelling in a succah. When Pesach arrived they managed to bake matzoh in the forest. Until his last day he kept in his possession a piece of the Afikoman he ate during his Seder Pesach in the forest. During this period of hiding he even arranged kiddushin for other Jews hiding from the Nazis and their accomplices.

When the war ended and the extent of the destruction became known, based on vain hopes of finding the manuscripts left behind by the admorim of Radzin, he found that all of Jewish Radzin had been totally razed. He began wandering through the cities of Poland, at first in the areas of Warsaw and Lodz. Although a forlorn refugee himself he helped other Jews rebuild their lives. He dedicated himself to resuscitating the spirit of Judaism, setting up Torah and chessed institutions and arranging kiddushin for Jews who had lost all, but revealed great inner strength by starting Jewish homes from scratch.

Later he returned to Sossnovtza where he assumed the post of rov and av beis din previously occupied by his father Hy"d. The town had become a transit point for thousands of refugees returning from exile in Russia and Siberia to various parts of Poland. His home drew all those in need of succor or assistance. He shared his bread and made his home available to refugees, attending to all of their needs in gashmiyus and ruchniyus. He provided a haven and an attentive ear for thousands of Jews passing through, including former admorim and rabbonim as well as the family of the Admor of Biale, the author of Chelkas Yehoshua.

He attended to all of these matters in addition to a wealth of spiritual endeavors. In Sossnovtza he set up a talmud Torah and a yeshiva for refugees and their children. He organized shechitoh and set up a special beis din to release agunos. He spent all of his personal funds to buy back sifrei kodesh in the hands of goyim.

During this period he also served alongside HaRav Yitzchok Eizik Libes and others as a member of Rabbinical Committee of Postwar Polish Communities, a committee in operation for several years. He continued his activities in Sossnovtza for nearly three years, from 5705 (1945) to 5708 (1948).

At the end of 5708, when almost no Jews remained in the Sossnovtza area, he traveled to Yanoville, a town outside of Paris where numerous Jewish refugees from Poland were gathered. Based on an invitation by friends from the Sossnovtza kehilloh who had settled in the US, he traveled to the US and stayed as their guest until 5712 (1952). In the US he strove to disseminate the works of his forefathers and rabbonim from Radomsk, such as Tiferes Shlomo and other seforim.

In 5712 he agreed to requests from Radziner Chassidim gathered in Eretz Yisroel to join them. In Eretz Yisroel he build a new home with the Rebbetzin tlct"a, who played an important role in resurrecting the Radzin community.

In 5713 (1953) a ceremony was held to install him as the Admor of Radzin. He then proceeded to build homes of Chassidim from the Radzin kehilloh in central cities throughout Eretz Yisroel and worked to rebuild Yeshivas Sod Yeshorim in Jerusalem.

For decades he was heavily involved in the matter of techeiles for tzitzis based on the path laid down by his grandfather, the Admor of Radzin, HaRav Gershon Chanoch, the author of Orchos Chaim and Sidrei Taharos. The handling of techeiles was discontinued under tragic circumstances during the Holocaust. He worked hard to renew the dye production process using the blood of a snail that is black in its original form.

Circumstances required him to move to the US for several years. There, former members of the Sossnovtza kehilloh built him a beis medrash and a kehilloh of hundreds of Jewish survivors from Poland.

Toward the end of 5731 (1971) he returned to Eretz Yisroel, settling in Bnei Brak where the large Radzin beis medrash was built. He set up a kollel there headed by HaRav Moshe Horowitz.

He made himself available at all times to Jews of all backgrounds. Rich and poor, talmidei chachomim and distinguished figures along with simple Jews found an attentive listener in him. He received every Jew warmly and graciously.

Notable for his ahavas Yisroel, good-heartedness and noble conduct he felt others' pain keenly and worked hard to assist those in need. A man of truth he often overlooked his own honor, displaying extraordinary humility.

He spent the last six years confined to a hospital bed at Ma'ayanei Hayeshua in Bnei Brak. Jews around the world prayed for his recovery. His condition improved somewhat, but he remained bedridden and on the fifth day of Chol Hamoed Succos he returned his pure soul to his Maker.

Thousands took part in the levaya, which set out from the beis medrash on Rechov Aharonson in Bnei Brak, proceeding along Rechov Yerushalayim and Rechov R' Akiva. Gedolei Torah, roshei yeshivos, admorim and dayonim could be seen accompanying the mittoh.

In Jerusalem the procession began at the Radzin center in the Yeshivas Chayei Olom building at Kikar HaShabbos, continuing via the Gur beis medrash, where a large crowd led by the Admor of Gur was waiting.

The deceased was then brought to Har Hamenuchos where he was buried in the rabbinical section.

The Admor is survived by his wife, who stood by her great husband faithfully and devotedly, especially during his illness; his three sons, Rav Yeshayohu of Brooklyn, Rav Yitzchok and HaRav Shlomo, the rov of the Radzin beis medrash in Bnei Brak; and grandchildren and great- grandchildren.


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