Last Tuesday, the 9th of Shevat, Rebbetzin Soro Pesha Ben-
Menachem, o"h, daughter of HaRav Isser Zalman Meltzer
author of Even Haezel, and wife of R' Yitzchok Meir,
zt"l, author of Parshas Hamelech, returned her
pure soul to its Maker. The petirah occurred in the
Negev settlement of Tifrach.
Rebbetzin Ben-Menachem was born in Slutzk on Simchas Torah,
92 years ago (5667-1907). She was the daughter of HaRav Isser
Zalman Meltzer and Beila Hinda, daughter of HaRav Shraga
Feivel Frank. In 5685 (1925), her family left Slutzk and
settled in Yerushalayim. In 5690 (1930) she married HaRav
Yitzchok Meir Ben-Menachem.
Her entire life was one long saga of mesiras nefesh to
her husband and parents. From her youth she was known for her
perception, and many sought her advice. In her insightful
manner, she knew how to benefit others graciously, while
seeking nothing for herself. She especially excelled in
kibbud ov vo'eim.
As the daughter of a great talmid chochom, she had
great spiritual capacities and was deeply sensitive to the
needs of her fellows. She was a model bas Yisroel who
personified the words of Shlomo Hamelech, "Kol kvuda bas
At the age of 72, she went to live in Tifrach with her son-in-
law and her son. She regarded this step in her life as a
mission of helping strengthen a mokom Torah, and paid
no heed to the difficulties involved. For twenty-three years
she merited to accompany the yeshiva kedoshah of
Tushia- Tifrach, where her son-in-law, HaRav Aviezer Piltz,
is rosh yeshiva, and her son is an eminent
On Tuesday morning, the bitter news of the petirah of
the righteous Rebbetzin Soro Pesha spread quickly throughout
the settlement. Residents and bnei yeshiva, along with
all of the chareidi communities of the Negev, were cast into
a deep pall of mourning.
The levaya proceeded from the courtyard beside the
yeshiva's study hall, where hundreds of bnei yeshiva
and avreichim, as well as residents of Tifrach and the
nearby communities, had gathered. The procession was headed
by gedolei haTorah, roshei yeshiva, roshei kollel and
rabbonim of the Negev chareidi communities, who bemoaned the
Her son-in-law, HaRav Aviezer Piltz, the rosh yeshiva
of the famed Tushia-Tifrach yeshiva, delivered a stirring
hesped, in which he dwelled at length upon his mother-
in-law's remarkable character. He stressed her deep concern
for her fellows and her willingness to live in the Negev
under the most Spartan conditions: all for the sake of Torah.
He spoke about her dedication to her parents, and her
dedication to her own children.
"Today, we are accompanying the embodiment of shimusha
shel Torah -- one who merited to literally pour water
over the hands of the her illustrious father and her
illustrious husband, throughout her life," HaRav Piltz cried
"Your sole concern was for the welfare of others. . . You did
not live for yourself, but for us. . . . Even though you
prayed that you would never need the help of other people,
Hashem wanted us to merit to live within your shadow. You
pleaded and warned me not to keep you at home during your old
age, so that you wouldn't be a burden on us. Throughout your
life, you took care of so many people, but requested that you
not be a burden on others. Nonetheless, Hakodosh Boruch
Hu wanted you to do a kindness by your very presence. You
did not live for yourself, but for us, so that we could merit
to be in your presence and to be of help to you. You lived
for Klal Yisroel so that they would be able to see a
model of a genuine eishes chover and a bas talmid
chochom and see one whose very bones were saturated with
Torah. We have come here to accompany Torah. . .
"It is difficult, but necessary to appraise the value of the
empire of Torah which we are accompanying, the shimusha
shel Torah which we are accompanying. So many merits. May
you be a meilitzas yosher for your son and daughter
who cared for you with unparalleled mesiras nefesh.
May you be a meilitzas yosher for the entire family
and for this sacred place, so that it remain in its purity
and shleimus. . . . May you be a meilitzas
yosher for Klal Yisroel. . . and may we merit to
inherit [all of your outstanding traits]."
Similarly stirring hespedim were delivered by HaRav
Yaakov Friedman, rosh yeshiva of Tushia-Tifrach and
HaRav M. Ben-Menachem, her son, who stressed her illustrious
character traits and the wisdom and yirah she had
imbibed in her father's and husband's great homes.
She was laid to rest prior to dusk on Har Hamenuchos in
Yerushalayim, near the graves of her husband and her father.
After the burial, HaRav Dan Segal delivered moving words of
parting and a hesped, in which he weepingly described
the great loss of a woman who could leave the world without
fear, because her days had been the days of a daughter of
gedolim, days of the wife of a godol, and days
of genuine support of avodas Hashem.