Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

18 Shevat 5769 - February 12, 2009 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Rabbi Yisroel Nulman z"l

By Yechiel Sever

Rabbi Dr. Rabbi Yisroel Nulman z"l, who dedicated his life to teaching yaldei Yisroel Torah and good character traits, was taken from this world on Rosh Chodesh Shevat.

Yisroel Nulman was born in the US in 5679 (1919) to R' Shmuel and Nechomoh. His father, who immigrated from Pastaw a town near Kiev, and his mother, who was born in the US, lived in Newark, New Jersey.

When he was a boy there were no talmudei Torah in the area so his parents hired a private tutor to teach their sons Torah in the afternoon, despite their limited means. At a relatively young age he was sent to a yeshiva far from home where he devoted himself to Torah study, overcoming the harsh living conditions. Later he studied at Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim and Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in New York under HaRav Henoch Leibowitz.

In 5705 (1945) he married Tovah Listokin and continued his learning at the kollel run by Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim — the first kollel set up in the US. He received rabbinical ordination and a few years later took a position as rov and baal tefilloh at a shul in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

Five years later he began running the Jewish school in Scranton, Pennsylvania. At that time many traditionalist Jews in the US sent their children to public schools, not realizing the importance of Jewish education. So besides serving as principal he had to work hard to persuade parents to send their children to the school. Upon graduation, he would ensure that they were sent to yeshiva, often taking them there himself.

Nine years later he moved to New York where he spent the next 18 years working for the administration of the Torah Umesorah chain of schools. He became one of the leading figures in the organization and left a strong imprint on it as he traveled around the US to help start Torah Umesorah schools and talmudei Torah and to guide principals and instructors, who held him in high regard.

He also published numerous articles on Jewish education and pedagogical booklets on derech Eretz and midos tovos.

In 5744 (1984) he and his wife realized their lifelong ambition of moving to Eretz Yisroel, where they settled in Jerusalem's Bayit Vegan neighborhood. From that point on he left behind his work as a public activist, devoting his time to Torah study and writings.

He was always thrilled by divrei Torah, writing in the introduction to one of his books, "Nothing breathes life into a Jew and restores his soul more than the Torah of Life."

During his latter years in Eretz Yisroel he wrote three books on topics related to Hebrew grammar and Yiddish — Kochah Shel Miloh, Bituim BeYiddish Be'Olom HaTorah and Zugt a Gut Vort.

He passed away on Rosh Chodesh Shevat, 5769, at the age of 89. He was eulogized at by HaRav Leib Heiman, the rov of Beis Knesses HaGra in Bayit Vegan, who began by saying it was permitted to deliver hespeidim on Rosh Chodesh because the niftar has the din of a talmid chochom. He went on to describe Rabbi Nulman z"l as a man who devoted his life to Jewish education and self- improvement, and who had the merit of educating yaldei Yisroel who went on to build splendid Jewish families.


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