Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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19 Shevat 5767 - February 7, 2007 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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HaRav Yosef Sheinberger z"l

By Betzalel Kahn

HaRav Yosef Sheinberger z"l, secretary of the Eida Chareidis for decades, passed away in Jerusalem at the age of 87.

Yosef Sheinberger was the tenth child born in Jerusalem to HaRav Dovid, a respected resident of the city, but all of his siblings passed away at a tender age. As a means of safeguarding him and as a segulah, the boy was raised in the home of the tzadekes Chayeka Rosenberg.

As a child he was constantly exposed to Jerusalem's talmidei chachomim. Later in life he penned a description of HaRav Chaim Zonenfeld zt"l, written from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy. He also related his first impressions of HaRav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky zt"l.

During this period he studied at HaRav Dushinsky's yeshiva and had a close bond with his rebbe, as well as his son and successor HaRav Yisroel Moshe, the Gavad of the Eida Chareidis, for the rest of his life. As a bochur Rav Yosef was already involved in building the Eida Chareidis, teaching shiurim for a youth organization called Pirchei Torah Veyiroh.

He formed close ties with the leader of Agudas Yisroel in Jerusalem, HaRav Moshe Blau, who saw Rav Yosef as a man to his liking, sharing with him the ways of the gedolei hadoros he had known and grooming him to take part in public affairs and activities for the sake of the Eida Chareidis. HaRav Moshe also arranged a match between Rav Yosef and his niece Tziporah, the daughter of HaRav Tzvi Hirsch Blau, the son of HaRav Yitzchok Shlomo Blau, and the brother of HaRav Moshe and HaRav Amram.

As soon as he was married, his uncle, HaRav Moshe Blau, found him a position at the Eida Chareidis and Agudas Yisroel of Jerusalem, but Rav Yosef was drawn more toward work at the Eida Chareidis, forming a close bond with beis din members HaRav Dovid Yungreis and HaRav Pinchos Epstein.

A few years later HaRav Moshe Blau made Rav Yosef the assistant to Eida secretary Rav Chaim Yitzchok Schwartz. Rav Yosef learned a great deal from Rav Chaim, who had him write a column for Kol Yisroel, then published by Agudas Yisroel of Jerusalem. The column gave readers an opportunity to become acquainted with the eloquence for which Rav Yosef later became well known. Still Rav Yosef remained faithful to the Old Yishuv, maintaining close ties with his uncle, HaRav Amram, as well as figures from the Eida Chareidis.

When the leadership of Satmar was handed over to the author of Beirach Moshe, Rav Yosef became his confidant following his appointment as nosi of the Eida Chareidis. During the same period Rav Yosef published Amudei Eish on the life of HaRav Yehuda Leib Diskin. The Brisker Rov, who often received Rav Yosef in his home, went over the manuscript and was very impressed with it. HaRav Aharon Kotler was said to have read through the sefer twice.

Rav Yosef also wrote Gevuros Ramchal and two volumes of the book Ginzei Yosef, a compilation of pearls of wisdom heard from gedolei Yisroel. He also took part in a book on Tzanz customs and penned Olamos Shechorvu, a biography on HaRav Yoel of Satmar.

Over the years Rav Yosef was on close terms with HaRav Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss, author of Minchas Yitzchok and Gavad of the Eida Chareidis, the Brisker Rov, HaRav Isser Zalman Meltzer, HaRav Yisroel Reisman, HaRav Moshe Aharon Freund, HaRav Reuven Bengis, the Steipler and HaRav Shach zt"l.

Rav Yosef among the leading fighters for kodshei Yisroel. Although he absorbed his share of bitter herbs, poison arrows and abuse, he paid little heed, often doing favors for those who had persecuted him. An exceptional baal chessed he often performed acts of tzedokoh and chessed surreptitiously.

He would immerse himself in Torah study and was extraordinarily self-effacing. In his latter years he suffered yissurim, which he accepted with love. In recent months he was frequently hospitalized due to a leg infection. Last Tuesday, 11 Shvat, he was rushed to the hospital with shortness of breath, but still coherent. The next morning he managed to lay tefillin and recite the tefilloh, but a short time later returned his soul to his Maker.

At the levaya, which set out from Zupnik in Jerusalem, he was eulogized by HaRav Avrohom Abish Halevy Eisen, HaRav Yitzchok Tuvio Weiss, Gavad of the Eida Chareidis, HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, ravad of the Eida Chareidis, HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok Ulman, a member of the Eida Chareidis beis din, his only son HaRav Moshe Sheinberger, HaRav Pinchos Mendel Fuchs, rov of Kiryat Shomrei Hachomos in Ramot, and Rav Moshe Yuda Steinberger, a member of the Eida Chareidis administration. He was buried on Har Hazeisim.

Rav Yosef Sheinberger is survived by his only son, HaRav Moshe, rosh kollel of Ohalei Yosef and author of Aliyos Moshe, and his four daughters, married to Rav Menachem Mendel Meshi-Zahav, Rav Shmuel Sirota, Rav Menachem Mendel Gerlitz, Rav Yisroel Eisenstein, grandchildren, great- grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, doros yeshorim mevorochim, following in his footsteps.


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