Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Teves 5766 - January 25, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Gittel Leah Friedenson a"h

by Betzalel Kahn

At a heart-rending levaya that drew roshei yeshivos, the Admor of Novominsk, rabbonim, public figures and family acquaintances, Mrs. Gittel Leah Friedenson a"h, the wife of Rav Friedenson ylct"a, general secretary of Agudas Yisroel of America and editor of Dos Yiddishe Vort, who passed away at the age of 83 in New York, was brought to Jerusalem for burial.

The deceased was born in Szczydlovtziya, Poland to HaRav Tzvi Zeev Zilberman Hy"d. Inside the ghetto at the height of the Holocaust she married her distinguished husband, R' Yosef Friedenson. They were separated when she was transported to Auschwitz and her husband to Buchenwald. When they were miraculously reunited after the war they relocated to Munich, where he began to work for Agudas Yisroel.

In 5711 (1951) they moved to the US, building a home with three daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great- grandchildren, all following in the path of their forefathers and carrying on the family's fabulous legacy.

Since their arrival in New York the deceased stood at her husband's side in his important work for Agudas Yisroel of America as general secretary and editor of Dos Yiddishe Vort—for decades the leading conveyor of Torah-true Judaism in the US—and as the right-hand man of Aguda President R' Moshe Sherer. Over the years she devoted boundless efforts to her and her husband's lifelong work of perpetuating and raising awareness of the memories of the Holocaust martyrs in the consciousness of the younger generation.

Several weeks ago she was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she underwent heart surgery. She never regained consciousness and on 17 Teves returned her soul to her Maker.

The levaya was held that evening in Boro Park, drawing numerous participants from every segment of Brooklyn's chareidi community. At the Shomrei Hadas Funeral Home, hespeidim were delivered by HaRav Eliyohu Fisher, rosh kollel of Kollel Gur in New York, R' Yechezkel Besser, a member of the presidential board of Agudas Yisroel of America, and HaRav Dovid Olevsky, rosh yeshiva of Mesivta Beis Yisroel-Gur in Boro Park. Moving words of parting were given by her husband and sons-in-law, R' Moshe Cohen and R' Yosef Chaim Golding. From there the procession continued on its way to Kennedy Airport.

Resuming at the Shamgar Funeral Home in Jerusalem the levaya was joined by gedolei Torah, rabbonim and public activists, as well as a prominent group of Agudas Yisroel members led by the Admor of Novominsk. The Agudah group was staying in Israel to participate in the organization's annual Yarchei Kallah.

The levaya began with the recitation of Tehillim by R' Shlomo Greenbaum, who also spoke of his great respect for the deceased. Eulogies were given by Rabbi Menachem Porush, who spoke of her as an emblem of the eishes chayil of the bygone dor dei'oh. Rabbi Avrohom Yosef Lazerson, one of the heads of Chinuch Atzmai, expressed the deep pain felt by the family's friends and acquaintances.

Speaking in a choked voice the deceased's son-in-law, R' Yosef Chaim Golding, director of The Jewish Observer and a high-ranking employee at Agudas Yisroel's New York bureau, conveyed the family's grief, speaking at length on the deceased's spiritual strength and inner valor in every stage of her life. He also spoke of her elevated middos, her calm demeanor and her gratification from all of her offspring as they carry on their forefathers' legacy.

Before the levaya set out, the Admor of Novominsk arrived. Speaking in English he noted the deceased's great contribution to her husband's work for the sake of Klal Yisroel over the course of more than half-a-century, pointing out the Friedensons' role in carrying on the holy lives of Polish Jewry within the context of US materialism through every possible means of expression.

After the hespeidim the funeral procession continued on its way to Har Hamenuchos, where Mrs. Gittel Leah Friedenson a"h was buried in Chelkas Chassidei Gur.


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