Thousands of Bnei Brak residents, headed by HaRav Aharon Leib
Shteinman, HaRav Michel Lefkowitz and HaRav Shmuel Wosner
shlita, roshei yeshivos, dayonim and
talmidei chachomim, accompanied the mittoh of
HaRav Tzvi Yosef Oberlander zt"l, rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Shaarei Tzion, who passed away Wednesday night 5
Cheshvan following a short illness.
The deceased was born to R' Yitzchok in Lizhensk, Galicia. At
the age of nine when the War broke out the Germans burned the
shul and ordered the residents to gather in the town
square. From there the Jews were deported to Levtov. Because
they lacked Russian passports they were sent to Siberia in a
cattle car packed with 60 people. Upon arrival they were
housed in a three-story barn along with 300 other people.
They faced terrible hunger and suffering.
Their only food was potato peels and a minute quantity of
bread. Although there was a soup kitchen in the area they
never set foot in there to avoid forbidden foods. The hunger
was so extreme the young Tzvi Yosef lost his eyesight for a
short time. Once he was found lying on the icy ground after
collapsing from hunger and exhaustion. While in Siberia his
father died of starvation as his young children stood by
helplessly. They spent 12 hours burning a fire to melt the
thick layer of ice in order to dig a grave.
They were overjoyed upon finding a copy of maseches Bovo
Kammo, and with his brother the young man learned it
until they knew it backwards and forwards.
After five years of suffering, when the war ended, he went to
Germany, where he studied at the yeshiva of HaRav Gershon
Liebman. From there he continued as a young refugee to
Eretz Yisroel and began studying at Yeshivas Chevron
under HaRav Yechezkel Sarna, HaRav Aharon Cohen and the
mashgiach, HaRav Meir Chodosh. He also was a frequent
guest at the table of the Beis Yisroel.
Years later when his father-in-law, HaRav Tzvi Kagan, went to
see the Gerrer Rebbe, the latter stood before him, saying,
"I'm not rising in your honor, but because you're the father-
in-law of R' Hershel Oberlander."
In 5716 (1956) he married the daughter of HaRav Tzvi Kagan,
an outstanding educator who had close ties with the Chazon
Ish and was known for his acts of chessed and his
prominent role in the battle to uphold the sanctity of Bnei
He became one of the prominent members of the kollel
headed by HaRav Michel Feinstein zt"l and even went to
the Brisker Rov to discuss the sugyos the
kollel was studying. He spent a short period at Kollel
Heichal HaTalmud, headed by HaRav T. Lisitzin, and then was
asked to serve as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Belz and Yeshivas
Biala in Bnei Brak. Later he became rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
Rozhin and then spent the next 19 years as rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Shaarei Tzion.
Recently he had to be hospitalized for an operation, but his
condition suddenly deteriorated and he returned his pure soul
to his Maker.
At the levaya last Thursday 6 Cheshvan he was
eulogized by HaRav Boruch Shimon Salomon, rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Nachalas Dovid and av beis din Petach Tikva,
HaRav Yaakov Greenwald, rosh kollel of Kollel Iyun
vedayan of Belz, HaRav Yechiel Tabal, rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Shaarei Tzion, his son-in-law HaRav Avrohom
Schneider, a ram at Yeshivas Ponovezh Letzei'irim, and
his son-in- law HaRav Menachem David, the mashgiach at
Yeshivas Knesses Chizkiyohu.
HaRav Tzvi Yosef Oberlander zt"l is survived by his
widow, sons and sons-in-law, who serve as marbitzei
Torah, daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and
hundreds of talmidim carrying on his path of serving