On Erev Shabbos parshas VaYeitze, 6 Kislev, Rebbetzin
Esther Leah Shiner o"h, wife of HaRav Yitzchok Shiner,
was laid to rest after succumbing to a difficult illness at
the age of 82 on Friday afternoon.
The deceased was born in 5685 in Vilna to HaRav Moshe
Bernstein and Rebbetzin Nechama Liba, the daughter of HaRav
Boruch Ber Leibowitz, zt"l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
When she was still a child her family moved to Kamenitz,
where they lived in the home of her grandfather HaRav Boruch
Ber. Later she would often describe how he would recite
brochos with his holy mouth and how he trembled with
yir'oh while accepting the yoke of Heaven as he
recited Krias Shema.
She also recalled how he would sit her on his lap and, with a
wag of his finger, say with a special sort of niggun,
"Leika zolst zein a tzadekes!" ("Liba, be a
tzadekes.") She would often watch from afar as her
grandfather gave shiurim in his home and while he
spoke with the yeshiva students about the material they were
learning. For years she recounted to her family how he would
speak with love, and praise bochurim who came to speak
with him about their learning, with remarks like, "Du
redst vi a fiddle" ("You speak like a violin"), and she
would express her joy at seeing her offspring talk about
their gemora studies.
In 5700 (1940), when all of the yeshivas moved to Vilna to
flee the perils of war, her family joined Rav Boruch Ber and
the yeshiva when they moved. On 5 Kislev of that same year
(which also fell on Erev Shabbos Parshas VaYeitze), HaRav
Boruch Ber passed away, and the family moved to Eretz Yisroel
where her father re-founded Yeshivas Kamenitz in
In 5709 (1949) she married HaRav Yitzchok Shiner. The young
couple spent their first year in Bnei Brak, in close contact
with the Chazon Ish and the Steipler.
Following this period they moved to Jerusalem to help boost
the harbotzas Torah at the yeshiva. In 5715 (1955) her
father grew ill and traveled to Switzerland to recover his
health. She soon went with her family to help take care of
him with mesirus nefesh.
Her husband ylct"a was asked by HaRav Moshe Botchko to
teach at Yeshivas Eitz Chaim in Montreux, Switzerland. During
this period the deceased took care of the yeshiva students as
if they were her own sons.
A few days before Rosh Hashana 5767 she grew ill and had to
undergo an operation. Her health improved, but this summer
diseased tissue was found in her body once again, and her
health had been in decline since then. Until her dying day
she remained clear-headed, offering her family members
chizuk in Torah and yiras Shomayim.
During the past several months she barely had the strength to
eat, but when her family members would implore her to eat,
she would agree to eat in order to fulfill the mitzvah of
safeguarding her health.
A few weeks ago her condition took a turn for the worse and
she had to be hospitalized at Maayanei Hayeshua in Bnei Brak,
where she was well cared for until the end. Her soul departed
on Erev Shabbos Parshas VaYeitze shortly after midday, during
Kabbolas Ol Malchus Shomayim.
The mittoh was rushed to Yeshivas Kamenitz in
Jerusalem, where the levaya set out. Due to the lack
of time, only her husband, HaRav Yitzchok Shiner, delivered a
eulogy, and she was buried at Har Hamenuchos before
In his remarks HaRav Shiner said that until Rav Boruch Ber
passed away when the Rebbetzin was 15 years old, she absorbed
tremendous ahavas haTorah, yiras Shomayim and
middos tovos from her grandfather. "All her life,
nothing in the world interested her except for ahavas
Hashem and doing His will and doing chessed and
ahavas chessed with all her heart and soul, and this
is what she passed on to and rooted in all of the family
"Throughout her lifetime she engaged in great endeavors for
Hashem and His Torah. All of the Torah and chinuch
institutions set up at Yeshivas Kamenitz were in her merit.
The 5th of Kislev was the yahrtzeit of her illustrious
grandfather, Maran HaRav Boruch Ber zt"l, and it is
said that before his petiroh, which was also on Erev
Shabbos Kodesh Parshas VaYeitze, he said the verse from the
parshoh, `Veshavti besholom el beis ovi' (Bereishis
28:21). This verse can also be said of the Rebbetzin, who
strove to increase kovod Shomayim all her life through
ahavas Hashem, ahavas Torah, the fabulous
ahavas chessed she had, and without a doubt now she is
going up in peace to Gan Eden, to her great father and