The Jewish world was cloaked in mourning after the Admor of Nadvorna, HaRav Yaakov Yissochor Ber Rosenbaum zt"l returned his soul, purified through suffering, to his Maker Thursday morning at the age of 82, after heading Nadvorna institutions for 34 years.
The Rebbe was born in the city of Seret on 23 Nisan 5690 (1930) to the Admor, HaRav Chaim Mordechai Rosenbaum, author of Dvar Chaim, and his mother Leah, the daughter of the Admor of Kratshineff, HaRav Eliezer Zeev. Even at a very young age it was evident that he had a great desire to serve his Creator with his whole heart. Growing up in such a holy home, he imbibed the spirit of Torah and tefilloh, as well as the desire to help every Jew as much as possible.
During World War II he and his family were exiled to a camp in Djorin in Transnistria, where he adhered to all of the Chassidic customs under trying conditions. He was known to break the ice to tovel under very trying conditions.
At a tender age he engaged in acts of chessed recalled by camp survivors. On one occasion, for example, he managed to obtain an enormous quantity of wood that he managed to hide in the forests and that many used to keep their homes heated throughout the Ukrainian winter. After their release, he joined his brother, Yitzchok Eizak Hy"d in helping to smuggle Jews across borders on their way to Eretz Yisroel.
While his father was still trying to obtain immigration visas for the family members, the Admor decided to make his way to Eretz Yisroel on his own, because he was eager to study at the Yeshiva of HaRav Dushinsky in Jerusalem. With his father's consent he boarded an illegal ship bound for Israel.
During the voyage he found a way to lower himself on ropes to tovel in the sea water during the journey, and throughout his lifetime he was known for his mesirus nefesh to purify himself in various mikvo'os. Out of food tins he built himself a shack on the roof of the boat and he spent the entire journey in there.
During the time he learned in the yeshiva of HaRav Dushinsky he was very dedicated to learning and grew immensely. He became close to many of the geonim and tzaddikim of Yerushalayim and was already known for his advice in many areas. He was especially known for his advice about chinuch which was a very difficult area in those days.
In 5709 (1949) his father the Admor ztvk"l arrived in Eretz Yisroel and after a short stay in Yerushalayim he moved to Jaffa. When the elder Admor founded the yeshiva Maamar Mordechai - Nadvorna, the young man moved to Jaffa to help in the yeshiva.
In 5720, after he married, he moved to Bnei Brak. By this time his father had also moved the yeshiva to Bnei Brak. Already then people from all over the world turned to him for advice and support. When the elder Admor passed away on 15 Teves, 5738, the Admor ztvk"l, his only son, stepped in to fill his role.
He worked hard to create proper learning frameworks for children and was known for his boundless ahavas Yisroel. He was always ready to help in any way that he could. He was known to maintain contact with hundreds of medical professionals and other officials, and he did not hesitate to contact them at any hour of the day or night to help out a suffering Jew.
The Nadvorna family is known for its tzedokoh, and the Admor gave out funds even when he did not have enough food for his own family. He also would dispense needed funds for strengthening Torah. Even until his last days he would stuff envelopes with money that he would send to the needy.
Even after his reception hours sometimes lengthened to 12 hours at a stretch, the Admor never missed his regular minyan with the yeshiva at 7:30 am. On Shabbos he would also daven early, without any reference to the late hour that his Tisch ended. He used to keep a twice-weekly taanis dibbur, in addition to the taanis dibbur of the month of Elul that he inherited from his father zt"l.
Two and a half years ago he grew ill but he endured his sickness with strength and dignity. In recent weeks he was very weak. After attending the wedding of one of his grandchildren on Sunday night, the next morning his condition deteriorated until he passed away on Thursday morning, leaving his flock devastated.
The enormous levaya set out from Kiryat Nadvorna in Bnei Brak, passing the length of Rechov HaAdmor of Nadvorna and Rechov Chazon Ish. The procession resumed at the Nadvorna beis medrash in Jerusalem on Rechov Ezra and he was buried at Har Hazeisim alongside other luminaries from Nadvorna.
He is survived by his sons, HaRav Eliezer Zeev, HaRav Meir Yitzchok Eizak, HaRav Asher Yeshayoh, HaRav Yosef Naftoli, HaRav Shmuel Shmelke, HaRav Aharon Dovid and HaRav Yisroel, as well as his four daughters, married to HaRav Sholom Aharon Ashkenazi, HaRav Zalman Shapira, HaRav Naftoli Sheinbalg and HaRav Asher Anshil Katz.