Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

24 Shevat 5759 - Feb. 10, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Rebbetzin Aliza Shoshana Zilberstein, o"h

by S. Baruchi

On Thursday night, the 19th of Shevat, hundreds of bereft people from all circles of chareidi Jewry accompanied the righteous Rebbetzin Aliza Shoshana Zilberstein, o"h, on her last earthly journey. Rebbetzin Zilberstein was an eishes chover of HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, av beis din and rav of the Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Bark and head of the Beis Dovid institutions of Holon. She was the daughter of the posek hador and omud hahoro'oh, Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv. She returned her pure soul to its Maker after suffering a brief illness, and was 63 at the time of her petirah.

Rebbetzin Aliza Shoshana Zilberstein was born on the fourth of Elul, 5696. In the home of HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, thoroughly saturated with unparalleled omeil haTorah and diyuk halocho, her noble, endearing character, coupled by ahavas Torah, the finest traits, and chessed was fashioned.

As a young girl, she studied in Beis Yaakov Hayoshon of Yerushalayim and then in the Beis Yaakov Seminary. When she came of age, she married HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, with whom she built a home devoted solely to Torah study, Torah dissemination and pure yiras Shomayim.

After her marriage, she moved to Bnei Brak in order to enable her husband to continue his studies in the Slobodke yeshiva. She taught for many years in the Rav Wolf Seminary of Bnei Brak, and assumed full responsibility for the material management of her household, so that her husband would be free to study Torah undisturbed.

In time, her husband was invited to preside as a ram and maggid shiur in the Yeshiva of Lucerne, and, under the guidance of the gedolei hador, the family moved to Switzerland. Although it was difficult for her to part from her family in Eretz Yisroel, she said: "I have nothing in my life except Torah, and will do all that is necessary for Torah's sake and for the sake of its dissemination."

When they returned to Eretz Yisroel, her husband was asked to head the Beis Dovid Institutions of Holon. Although HaRav Zilberstein headed Beis Dovid's kollel, which is known for its outstanding avreichim, he had a tremendous impact on the entire city. In order to deepen this impact and spread Torah to the community at large, the entire family would spend Shabbosim in Holon.

Eighteen years ago, at the direction of the gedolei hador, HaRav Zilberstein was appointed rav and av beis din of Bnei Brak's Ramat Elchonon neighborhood in the City of Torah, Bnei Brak. From that time on, Rebbetzin Zilberstein devoted herself to the neighborhood's chessed needs. With deep insight, she restored sholom bayis to many families.

She was the model of histapkus bemu'at, and would say: "I have nothing in my world but Torah and more Torah, tefilla and more tefilla."

Her health deteriorated during recent months. Nonetheless, she accepted her suffering with love and justified din Shomayim. Even during her most difficult days, she refused to let the male members of her family visit her, saying: "It would be bitul Torah. Sit and learn. Torah is everything."

On Thursday afternoon, she returned her pure soul, which had been refined by much suffering, to its Maker. Her son, R' Arye was beside her bed at the time of her petirah.

On Thursday night, her levaya was held in the central beis medrash of Ramat Elchonon. Her husband delivered a stirring hesped, in which he spoke about the special personality of the nifteres, whose sole aim in life was to increase kevod Shomayim, to increase Torah, to increase sholom bayis, to increase tzedokoh and chessed.

"Sadly, the verse `You have hidden Your face, I was terrified,' has been fulfilled through us. We have received such a blow through the hester ponim of HaKodosh Boruch Hu, and this obligates us to conclude that this world is a narrow bridge, fleeting as a dream. The nifteres knew how to draw the ikkar from this world. She despised all worldly vanities, and took with her only Torah and acts of chessed. She always demanded of us that we go only to the beis medrash, only to study Torah. May she be a meilitzas yosher on behalf of her father, on our behalf and on behalf of all of the residents of the neighborhood and all those whom she knew," said her husband, HaRav Zilberstein.

Her son, Rav Avrohom, author of Avnei Choshen, delivered a moving hesped, in which he said that his mother's sole aspiration was that her children progress spiritually in Torah and yiras Shomayim.

Her son, Rav Arye, one of the prominent avreichim of Kol Torah, noted his mother's greatness. Until the very last moment of her life she yearned for her offspring to grow in Torah. "When I was beside her bed, she asked how I was learning and how Abba was learning. Her life's aspiration was Torah and more Torah, because Torah is the book of the history of man. Man's life is a book, and each day is a page in that book, which must be filled with Torah."

At the end of the hespedim, the levaya proceeded by foot to the Netzivei Yeshivas Ponovezh cemetery for burial. Rebbetzin Aliza Shoshana Zilberstein's o"h, good deeds and lofty character traits accompany her in a kesser shem tov to the world which is all good.

She is survived by her father, HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv as well as by her husband, and sons, daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, all of whom are deeply involved in Torah study and are perpetuating the spiritual legacy she bequeathed them.

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