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3 Cheshvan 5763 - October 9, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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The Admor of Lublin ztvk"l
by A. Cohen

On erev Shabbos 28 Tishrei, a large crowd accompanied the Admor of Lublin, HaRav Avrohom Eiger ztvk"l, on his last earthly journey. The Admor, a tzaddik tomim, a gaon and a kodosh, as well as a vestige of illustrious stock, was niftar on Friday morning. He was 89 at the time of his petiroh.

With his petiroh, Am Hashem has lost one of its greatest tzadikim, a humble and unassuming Jew who served Hashem in a remarkable manner from his youth.

A few weeks ago, the Admor contracted a complicated case of pneumonia. Three days before Rosh Hashonoh, the Admor's condition deteriorated and he was rushed to the Tel Hashomer hospital for treatment. On Hoshanoh Rabbah, during the davening, the seforim shrank in his beis medrash, which had been there for over 30 years, suddenly caved in. The incident cast a pall of depression over the congregation.

A week later on Friday morning, he returned his pure soul to its Maker, while surrounded by more than a minyan of family members who cried out, "Shema Yisroel."

When news the petiroh spread, many came to the Admor's beis medrash on Elisha Hanovi Street in Bnei Brak. The Admor's mitta was brought to the beis medrash where he had performed his avodas hakodesh for so many years. The mitta was lowered into the private mikveh in which he had always immersed himself before his tefilloh. The taharoh was conducted there.

Before the levaya left for the cemetery, HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, the gavad of the Zichron Meir neighborhood and the rosh yeshiva of the Chachmei Lublin yeshiva, delivered a stirring hesped.

At the end of the hesped, the huge and weeping throng which accompanied the Admor proceeded to the Shomrei Shabbos cemetery in the Zichron Meir cemetery of Bnei Brak.

Biography: The Admor from Lublin

The Admor of Lublin was named after his father, R' Avrohom Eiger (author of Shevet MiYehuda), who had died just three months before his birth on erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5674 (1914). He joined a long line of admorim stretching back through his grandfather, R' Shlomo Eiger, and his great- grandfather, the great R' Akiva Eiger, all the way to the founder of the dynasty, R' Leibele Eiger, also known as the Toras Emes, who his elder twin brother Hy'd was named after.

His righteous mother was the daughter of HaRav Dovid Weidenfeld of Warsaw, who was the father-in-law of several gedolim: the Beis Yisroel, the Gerrer Rebbe; HaRav Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel Weinberg, the Admor of Slonim-Tel Aviv; the Rov of Bandin, HaRav Mendel Levine Hy'd, the son of Rav Chanoch Tzvi HaKohen of Bandin; and the son of Rav Nosson Schpeigelglass of Warsaw. The Admor of Lublin was particularly close to his uncle, the Beis Yisroel.

As a child he was influenced by R' Azriel Meir Eiger, the Admor of Lublin, who headed Lubliner kehillos in Pilov and Otvotzk.

In his youth R' Avrohom Eiger studied under the tutelage of Rav Yechezkel of Ostrovtza, the son of Admor Meir Yechiel of Ostrovtza. He would spend long hours learning with his twin brother. Years later he once saw his grandsons taking a sip of water after an hour of intensive study. "When I would learned with my older [twin] brother," he told them, "after three hours of straight learning we would begin to get a taste of the learning, then we would learn for another few hours."

As committed as their daily learning schedule was, on Shabbos all of their time was even more devoted to Torah. They would finish the Shabbos meal and begin a long, uninterrupted study session, snatching just a short nap during the night either before or after the learning.

Before the outbreak of World War II he was living in Otvotzk with his cousin, Rav Mendel Eiger, at the home of the elderly HaRav Azriel Meir. He later recounted that when a number of admorim came to part with the sickly man before the war, HaRav Azriel Meir told him and his cousin to flee Poland quickly, saying if he had the strength he would leave as well.

Traveling on foot with a group of Jews, they came across the Amshenover Rebbe, HaRav Shimon, along the way. His wagon was really too full to pick them up, but upon seeing them he said, "You I should leave here?" and took them along.

In their wanderings they came to Vilna and from there traveled to Japan and on to Shanghai along with the renowned Yeshivas Mir.

The Shanghai refugees were astounded by his yiras Shomayim. After the war, when everyone else's spirit was broken he, a lone bochur with no family, would spend hours learning.

R' Avrohom Eiger was widely recognized as a ben aliya. It was known that he would check all of his food for bugs by sunlight.

From Shanghai he went to Hanoville, France where he married the Rebbetzin Tzima Simo, o'h, the daughter of HaRav Dovid Anilewitz of Munzhov. His first daughter was born in Hanoville. The distinguished Rebbetzin bore the burden of running the home, earning a living and raising the children. The Rebbetzin passed away on the 7th of Tishrei 5738 (1978). Following her petiroh he married his second Rebbetzin ylct'a, the daughter of HaRav Yosef Ozer Yanovsky of Lodz, who stood by his side devotedly until his last day.

In 5709 (1949) R' Avrohom Eiger moved to Israel, settling in Jerusalem for a year. He set up the Lubliner Beis Chassidim in Tel Aviv and the Lubliner kehilloh urged him to assume the mantel of leadership. He was reluctant, but gedolei olom, particularly the Chazon Ish, the Beis Yisroel, the Belzer Rebbe and the Tchebiner Rebbe, agreed that he should accept the title of Admor. The Chazon Ish said he had an obligation to accept the leadership for the sake of his holy forefathers' honor.

Upon arriving in Tel Aviv he had a special relationship with the Belzer Rebbe. He also began to develop close ties with HaRav Moshe Mordechai, the Admor of Lelov.

In 5715 (1955) he relocated to Bnei Brak, setting up his home and beis medrash in the Neve Achiezer neighborhood, where he set up Yeshivas Ahavas Torah for Sephardic bochurim.

His neighborhood, which attracted many Holocaust refugees during this period, overflowed with the simchah shel mitzvoh he radiated, for he encouraged all Jews to serve Hashem with joy.

In 5723 (1963) R' Avrohom Eiger set up his beis medrash in the center of Zichron Meir.

HaRav Wosner said that the Lubliner Rebbe reminded him of R' Akiva Eiger, and indeed some roshei yeshivos came to see him in order to witness this.

He is survived by his sons, Rav Shlomo and Rav Azriel Meir; his sons-in-law, the Amshenover Rebbe, Rav Zissman Michoel Teisel, and the son of the Modzhitzer Rebbe, Rav Pinchas Moshe Taub; grandchildren who are also talmidei chachomim and great-grandchildren, all continuing along his path.


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