Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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26 Tishrei 5760 - October 6, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Rebbetzin Tova Gittel Deutsch, o"h

by B. Rabinowitz

The Negev chareidi community was cast into deep mourning upon learning of the petirah of the righteous Rebbetzin Tova Gittel Deutsch, o"h, wife of HaRav Avrohom Deutsch of Ofakim. She passed away after bitter suffering for five years due to a serious illness. She leaves behind 17 children and a pained, bereft family.

The levaya, held on the second day of chol hamoed, was attended by a large throng. It was headed by maranan verabonon the gedolei haTorah, roshei yeshiva, rabbonim, and many family members. She was buried on Har Hamenuchos in Jerusalem.

Rebbetzin Deutsch was born on the 14th of Kislev, 5714 in Kiryat Ata. Her father is Reb Nochum Leichter. Her maternal grandfather was Reb Moshe of Zanetz, Hungary: a great Torah supporter, whose home was open to all. In this home, saturated with the outstanding qualities of her great forbears, Tova Gittel imbibed pure yiras Shomayim and love of Torah and chessed. Her other ancestors included HaRav Kalev Feivel Schlesinger who was the av beis din of Toplachan in Czechoslovakia, author of Toras Bar Nash and an outstanding student of the Ksav Sofer. His son, Reb Nochum continued in his father's footsteps. He was the author of the Chazon Nochum.

Despite her unique talents and the fact that she was one of the finest teachers in the Beis Yaakov system, she was totally unassuming. Her close friends say that she was a living mussar book, and that this aspect of her character was particularly evident during the period of her difficult illness. She was known for the extreme care she took not to hurt or offend anyone nor to speak unkindly or inconvenience others.

She built her home on the banks of Torah and yirah with great mesiras nefesh and extraordinary wisdom. In her pure yiras Shomayim and her histapkus, she was a living instance of the Jewish mothers of yore. She was particularly kindhearted, and lavished boundless love on each and every one of her children, caring for their individual needs with endless patience.

She inculcated her children with love of Torah, teaching them to have middos tovos and genuine yiras Shomayim and emunah. She devoted herself with every fiber of her soul to her husband, enabling him in his Torah dissemination, his kiruv activities and his many acts of chessed.

She and her husband, HaRav Avrohom Deutsch, one of the leaders of the chareidi community of Ofakim, built an outstanding Torah home. HaRav Avrohom is known to all for his many communal activities and as the head of prominent kollelim in the Negev.

Five years ago, it was learned that a malignant disease was festering in her body, and the doctors said that she had only a short time to live. However, her husband made great efforts to help her overcome her illness, and during that period she underwent a number of operations as well as difficult treatments in Eretz Yisroel and abroad. She bore her suffering with love, and did all in her power to behave in a pleasant manner to all who visited her, although she suffered excruciating pain.

During that period, she merited nachas from her children and grandchildren. Her daughter married Rav Yisroel Greenblatt, one of Ofakim's finest avreichim. While she was sick, her family conducted the household in accordance with her aspirations and way of life.

Before her final trip abroad for treatments, she participated in the wedding of her son, the prominent avreich Rav Elkana, to the daughter of HaRav Boruch Auerbach zt"l, and merited to see grandchildren and to derive true nachas from them.

Prior to the yomim noraim, she expressed a desire to return to Eretz Yisroel to her home in Ofakim. However, her strength gave way, and she was hospitalized on erev Succos. At first, her condition improved. But on the second day of chol hamoed it rapidly deteriorated, and she soon was called upon to return her pure soul to her Maker.

The bitter news spread rapidly throughout the chareidi community of Ofakim as well as other Negev chareidi communities. Those who had prayed for her recovery were now overcome by mourning over her petirah. All were deeply shocked by the terrible catastrophe which had befallen the family.

In the afternoon, a huge throng assembled in at the Shamgar funeral home in Jerusalem. It was headed by maranan verabonon, gedolei haTorah, roshei yeshiva, rabbonim, and many members of the chareidi communities of Ofakim and its environs. The weeping of the entourage over the great and terrible loss reached the heavens.

Because it was chol hamoed, no hespedim were delivered, except for brief words of parting by her father-in- law, HaRav Yehuda Tzvi Deutsch, one of the important talmidei chachomim of Yerushalayim and the words of the moro de'asra of Adas Yerei'im of Ofakim, HaRav Shimshon Pinkus.

She is survived by her eminent husband, HaRav Avrohom, her father, Rav Nochum, and 17 children, the youngest of whom is only five years old. All her sons are outstanding talmidei chachomim who are studying in the tents of Torah. Her daughters are pursuing the path she charted for them. She is also survived by grandchildren and nine brothers and sisters. The entire community of Ofakim feels orphaned, and deeply mourns her petirah.

On Monday night, the 2nd of Cheshvan, at seven p. m., a his'orerus rally will be held in the Kivisi Hashem synagogue in Ofakim. It will be attended by prominent roshei yeshiva of the Negev as well as by rabbonim and family representatives.

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