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
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
"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