Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

25 Teves 5759 - Jan. 13, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Thousands Attend Levaya of Rebbetzin Sorah Kook o'h

by B. Rabinowitz

On erev Shabbos, the 20th of Teves, a large throng headed by gedolei haTorah, admorim, rabbonim and morei horo'oh accompanied the righteous Rebbetzin Sorah Kook, on her last earthly journey. She was the wife of ylct'a HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok Hacohen Kook, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Meor Hatalmud of Rechovot. They were joined by thousands of Rechovot's residents as well as by students and graduates of the Meor Hatalmud yeshiva, many of whom arrived from all over the country, and students and graduates of the Beer Yaakov Seminary and the Wolf Seminary of Bnei Brak.

Rebbetzin Sorah Kook o'h was born 55 years ago in Tel Aviv. Her father, HaRav Y. Rosenthal, was the av beis din of the city. He was one of the prominent students of R' Zerach Braverman of Yerushalayim and later became a student of HaRav S. A. Milikovsky, av beis din of Charkov and Tel Aviv. She grew up in this home, which was saturated with Torah and chessed, and outstanding in its modest and frugal lifestyle.

Regarding her father, Maran HaRav Eliezer Menachem Shach shlita once said, "He is a Jew from a past generation."

As a young girl, Rebbetzin Kook studied in Gateshead, where she acquired Torah and yiras Shomayim from the heads and rabbonim of the Seminary, especially from HaRav Avrohom Dov Cohen zt'l and ylct'a HaRav Mordechai Miller. These teachings shaped her way of life and served as the cornerstone of her character. She would spend vacations at the home of HaRav Moshe Soloveitchik of Switzerland, and would always refer to the tremendous impact these experiences had on her life.

Upon her marriage, she devoted herself to chinuch and served as a prominent teacher in the Rav Ze'ev Wolf Bais Yaakov Seminary of Bnei Brak and the Bais Yaakov Seminary in Beer Yaakov.

She raised many of her students in her own home and then helped them marry, giving them the feeling that they were her own daughters. Her family relates that she once purchased items for both her daughter and for a kallah from the Seminary. When she returned home, she asked the kallah to come and take the items. When the girl came she burst into tears, and said that she felt just like her daughter, because the Rebbetzin had purchased precisely the same items for both of them. After her students married, she continued to advise them in the chinuch of their children, helping them find yeshivos for them, and then marrying them off, and securing money.

With the founding of the Meor Hatalmud yeshiva in Rechovot, she dedicated herself to the needs of the yeshiva students and her illustrious husband, helping him study Torah and produce generations of bnei Torah, talmidei chachomim, rabbonim and dayanim. In her merit, the yeshiva developed and became one of the finest in the Torah world.

She excelled in her dedication to the mitzva of kibbud av vo'eim, and attended to all of the needs of her parents, placing them before her own. Immediately after her mother's petirah, she fell ill and never recovered. She bequeathed all of her unique character traits to her children -- her only son, HaRav Shmuel, and her daughters, all of whom are pursuing the true Torah path.

Two months ago, she was hospitalized in the Kaplan Medical Center. When she was hospitalized, her husband asked her a number of times whether he should remain in the hospital. But she told him to return to the yeshiva, saying that not only would it not help if he remained in the hospital, but it would cause her to feel worse. Throughout the duration of her illness, bnei yeshiva all over the country as well as the entire chareidi community prayed for her recovery. On Thursday night, the 20th of Teves, she returned her pure soul to its Maker, while surrounded by her family, who bemoaned the great loss.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.