HaRav Moshe Mordechai HaLevi Chodosh zt"l
Thousands participated in the levaya of HaRav Moshe Mordechai Chodosh zt"l on Wednesday afternoon, 28 Tammuz. HaRav Chodosh was rosh yeshivas Ohr Elchonon in Jerusalem and all its affiliated institutions. He was 75 at his passing.
HaRav Moshe Mordechai Chodosh was the son of the long-mashgiach of Chevron Yeshiva "Knesses Yisroel" HaRav Meir HaLevi Chodosh. Rav Moshe Mordechai was born on 14 Kislev 5701 in Yerushalayim. His mother was Rebbetzin Tziviah Leah, daughter of Rav Naftali Menachem Hutner, a rov in Eishishok, Lithuania, and Rebbetzin Kreina.
Moshe Mordechai was named after HaRav Moshe Mordechai Epstein zt"l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Slobodka and brother of Rav Moshe Mordechai's grandmother, Rebbetzin Kreina.
He went to the Yavneh cheder on Avinoam Yellin Street, under HaRav Yaakov Moshe Korlansky zt"l. Later he learned in Yeshivas Tiferes Tzvi under HaRav Michel Shelpovarsky zt"l. He did not stay there long but went to Petach Tikva to Yeshivas Or Yisroel, where he became close to the Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Yaakov Neiman zt"l and HaRav Yosef Rozovsky zt"l. HaRav Neiman once said that he was one of six of his talmidim who had established important yeshivas.
Reportedly, he already went on to learn in Chevron Yeshiva not long after his bar mitzvah. His friends say that he was known as a ben aliyah in the yeshiva, and as the youngest son of the Maschgiach, he helped his father.
In 5726 (1966) he married his wife Rebbitzen Sarah tichyeh, the daughter of HaRav Yehoshua Dov Lapin zt"l who in turn was the son-in-law of HaRav Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky zt"l.
He was among the first members of the Kolel Chevron in Machaneh Yehuda together with HaRav Moshe Yehoshua Cohen and HaRav Aviezer Piltz shlita. The roshei yeshiva HaRav Yechezkel Sarna zt"l and HaRav Moshe Chevroni zt"l used to come and say shiurim to the kollel, and his father used to come to say shmuessim.
Aside from his greatness and toil in Torah, he was also known for his "Slabodke" character - which is to be expected given his august heritage.
For three years he served as the rosh yeshiva of Knesses Yehuda in Sanhedria Murchevet. In 5737 he and his father decided to start a new yeshiva which was called Meor Yerushalayim. The yeshiva was located in the building that belonged to Chevron Yeshiva in Geulah, which had left to its new campus in Givat Mordechai. Their Israeli yeshiva shared the premises with Dvar Yerushalayim of HaRav Boruch Horowitz shlita. HaRav Meir still lived in his apartment on that campus.
A few years later HaRav Moshe Mordechai met HaRav Simcha Wasserman who had founded and headed a yeshiva named after his father, HaRav Elchonon Wasserman Hy"d, in Los Angeles. HaRav Simcha wanted to move his yeshiva to Yerushalayim and he asked the Steipler Gaon for advice on doing this. The Steipler advised him to get together with HaRav Meir Chodosh. The Mashgiach was very happy with the idea and they folded their yeshiva in to the new one. HaRav Simcha asked HaRav Moshe Mordechai to lead it. So they became parters in yeshivas Or Elchonon in Yerusalayim. Two years later HaRav Simcha moved to Yerushalayim to help in its development.
In its early years the yeshiva was in the Ezras Torah neighborhood. Many recall the scene on Yom Kippur during Kol Nidrei when HaRav Moshe Mordechai davened before the Omud, and his father and HaRav Simcha Wasserman stood on either side of him holding the sifrei Torah. Talmidim cherish the memories of this scene to this day.
The yeshiva eventually moved to its current home in Romema, where the neighborhood changed over the years from industrial to residential.
HaRav Chodosh also founded a yeshiva ketana which is led by HaRav Moshe Bunim Kraus shlita. He also established a branch of the yeshiva in Tiveria, and in Modiin Illit, as well as Knesses Meir in Rishon Letzion.
The levaya as it left the yeshiva.
Some months ago he got sick, and since then had been in and out of the hospital. He managed to join the yeshiva last Shavuous and it lifted up the atmosphere.
In the last week his health deteriorated rapidly. On Wednesday morning, 28 Tammuz, he returned his soul to his Maker, surrounded by family and talmidim.
The first maspid was his brother, HaRav Aharon Chodosh, the mashgiach of Mir Yeshiva who told how he was involved in Torah from his youth, and how well he had applied the lessons they learned from their father.
Next to speak was his brother-in-law, HaRav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, rosh yeshivas Ateres Yisroel and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei
HaTorah. "I am pained by your loss, R' Moishe, R' Moishe. Who would have thought? Ai! He bloomed and caused his yeshiva to bloom." He said
that his father-in-law used to call him, "A zeeser Reb Moshe.
HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky, rosh yeshivas Ponovezh Yeshiva and a Member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah spoke. "A great fire! Chazal say that Nadav and Avihu were greater than Moshe and Aharon, but a fire came and consumed them.
HaRav Naftoli Chodosh, mashgiach of yeshivas Ohr Elchonon and a brother of the niftar, said, "All his Torah was lesheim Shomayim."
A ram in the yeshiva, HaRav Zalman Goodman, read the will of the niftar, that called for the appointment of his son HaRav Chaim Aryeh Chodosh, and his son-in-law HaRav Tzvi Eliezer Weinfeld, as joint roshei yeshiva.
His great friend HaRav Aviezer Piltz spoke and described how hard it was to maspid a man who was so full of life. Also maspidim were his mechutan HaRav Yisroel Meir Weiss, and his son and son-in-law, the new roshei yeshiva.
He is survived by his wife, three brothers, five sons and three sons-in-law and well as grandchildren and thousands of talmidim.