This past Monday, a throng of thousands accompanied the Admor
of Zutchka, HaRav Yitzchok Eizek Rosenbaum, zt"l, on
his last earthly journey. He was niftar at the age of
The levaya, leaving his beis medrash on Be'er
Mayim Chaim Street in Bnei Brak, was attended by many
admorim and rabbonim, headed by the Admor of Vishnitz,
the Admor of Gur, the Admor of Sadigora, the Admor of
Alexander, the Admor of Sanz, the Admor of Lublin, the Admor
of Strikov, the Admor of Nadvorna, the Admor of Czernoble,
the Admor of Machnovka, the Admor of Bohush, the Admor of
Cleveland, the Admor of Kretchinef, the Admor of Darag and
the Admor of Viaslava.
Before the departure of the procession, hespedim were
delivered by HaRav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner and HaRav Shmuel
Unsdorfer, who announced that in line with the custom of the
Admorim of Nadvorna, all sons of an admor who has
passed away then preside as admorim. Thus, the
niftar's son, HaRav Nosson Dovid, will preside in the
niftar's beis medrash in Bnei Brak, while the
sons who live abroad will preside in their places of
Hespedim were also delivered by the Admor of Nadvorna-
Hadera as well as by HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, the av
beis din of Ramat Elchonon, and by the niftar's
son, HaRav Nosson Dovid.
In Jerusalem, the levaya set out from Kikar Shabbos,
where the niftar's son, the Admor of Stanislav --
arriving from abroad directly to the levaya in
Jerusalem -- delivered a hesped. Yet another
hesped was delivered by the niftar's
mechutan, the Admor of Erloi. From Kikar Shabbos, the
levaya proceeded on foot to Har Hazeisim, where the
niftar's forbears are buried.
Among the masses of mourners in Jerusalem were many
admorim, including the Admor of Belz, the Admor of
Shomrei Emunim, the Admor of Rachmastrivka, the Admor of
Mazhmigrad, the Admor of Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok, the Admor
of Zevihl, the Admor of Stropkov, the gaavad of the
Eida HaChareidis, members of the BaDaTz and many prominent
rabbonim and marbitzei Torah.
Toward twilight, the Admor of Zutchka was buried in the
cemetery on Har Hazeisim, where hespedim were
delivered by the Admor of Shomrei Emunim and the Admor of
The Admor, HaRav Yitzchok Eizek Rosenbaum, zt"l, was
born ninety-five years ago on Teves 21, 5666 (1906), in the
city of Czernoble in the Bokivina region of Romania. His
father was HaRav Isomor, the venerable Admor of Nadvorna, and
his mother was the righteous Malka, daughter of HaRav Osher
Yeshaya Rubin of Kolbisof, grandson of the Rav of Rupschitz.
HaRav Yitzchok Eizek was named after his grandfather, HaRav
Yitzchok Eizek of Komarna.
From his youth, he was known for his tremendous
hasmodoh and industriousness, traits which
characterized him throughout his entire life, even in his
final days. His father hired one of the prominent Chortkover
chassidim, Rabbi Yitzchok Shapira to teach his
When HaRav Yitzchok Eizek was eight, he and his family moved
to Austria, and from there to the home of his grandfather in
Kretchinef. Later on, they returned to Czernoble, where he
married Chana, o"h, daughter of HaRav Nosson Dovid
Hacohen Hollander, the rav of the Galician city of Amsana.
Immediately after his wedding, his father asked him to
preside as rav and admor in the city of Vashkowitz.
Two years later, he moved to Zutchka.
During the Holocaust, HaRav Yitzchok Eizek left Zutchka on
foot, along with his family and the entire community. On his
back he bore a bag which contained his manuscripts, of which
he said: "This is my share of all my toil." Nazis, suspecting
that they were espionage documents, confiscated them. In
order to salvage the documents, the Admor gave all of his
money to a Nazi officer who promised to return the
manuscripts. Of course, the promise was not kept.
During the Holocaust, while residing in the city of Balta, he
experienced a miracle. The Admor, who occupied an upstairs
room, hid 50 Jews in the cellar. Nazis arriving at his
dwelling conducted a search, and found the Admor reciting
Tehillim. They decided to hang him then and there, and
asked: "Are you afraid of G-d?"
"Yes!" he decisively replied. They snatched the
Tehillim and threw it out of the window, into the
muddy yard. (He saved that sefer Tehillim until his
final day.) Then they removed the rebbetzin and the
children from the room and placed a rope around his neck. The
Nazi jeered: "Now pray."
The Rebbe began to say Vidui from: "Oshamnu,
bogadnu. . ." until "Rachum vechanun."
When he reached these words, the Nazi stopped him and said:
"Enough!" A commanding officer then entered and said, "Let
the rabbi live a bit longer."
As the Nazi was leaving, the Admor's son heard the Nazi
mutter: "He's a saintly man. G-d will punish."
The Admor publicly commemorated that miracle every year.
Immediately after the war, the rebbetzin fell deathly
ill. However, she recovered miraculously and lived until 5742
(1982). After the war, the Admor reached Prague, and in 5707
(1947) published his Hame'oros Hagedolim about the
aseres hadibros. At the end of the sefer, he
printed a letter of gratitude to his brother-in- law, the
Admor of Kachnia of the United States and to the Admor's
wife, his sister, tibodel lechayim tovim ve'arukim who
helped secure his release. He then left for America, where he
resided until 5733 (1973).
He established his beis medrash in Boro Park, where he
was beloved by all. He was best known for his efforts to
safeguard the honor of Shabbos Kodesh. During that
period, a number of Jewish stores in the area were open on
Shabbos. When he tried to correct the situation, people
attempted to dissuade him, claiming that the storekeepers
wouldn't listen to him out of fear that competitors might
deprive them of their livelihoods. But he ignored these
warnings and, every Shabbos, went to the stores with his
chassidim and pleaded with the storekeepers in a
genial manner to close their shops. Sometimes he was forced
to promise them financial help, in exchange for the "damage"
which they believed would be incurred by closing their shops
For ten consecutive years, he grappled with this problem,
until he finally succeeded in closing all stores on Shabbos.
He also succeeded in closing a nearby movie theater that was
operating on Shabbos. Today, no one believes that stores were
open on Shabbos in the heart of a chareidi neighborhood.
He innovated a novel idea in the United States of those days.
He would place a set Shabbos table on an open truck. A driver
would then drive through the Jewish neighborhoods and
announce the time of candle lighting.
For many years, he tried to find halachic solutions for the
problem of opening bottle caps on Shabbos. In time, he
founded the Shoneh Halochos enterprise in Bnei Brak for the
review of hilchos Shabbos.
In 5724 (1964), his daughter Shifra, who had been the wife of
the Admor of Varadan, HaRav Yosef Leifer, passed away. She
was survived by three small daughters. HaRav Yitzchok Eizek
accepted his lot with love.
He was outstanding in his kibbud ov vo'eim, even in
his final days. A long time after his father had passed away,
he would send letters to his sisters every erev Rosh
Hashonoh, saying that by honoring his oldest sister he
was fulfilling the mitzvah of "lerabos ochicho
After the petirah of his father, he moved to Eretz
Yisroel and began to preside in his father's beis
medrash in Yad Eliyahu, Tel Aviv, where he was active on
behalf of the education of Jewish children.
In 5741 (1981) he established his beis medrash in Bnei
Brak, and two years later, moved to the current beis
medrash on Be'er Mayim Chaim Street, where he founded a
kollel and talmud Torah. Later on, he also
built a mikveh in the building.
His home was open to all Jews at all hours, and he refused to
designate reception hours. He claimed: "The Jews who seek me
need a yeshua or an eitzo now," stressing that
this practice might arouse rachamim with Hakodosh
Boruch Hu, so that all hours would be those of
rachamim and eis rotzon.
His tremendous diligence was exemplary. Once a great-grandson
from abroad who was studying in Eretz Yisroel came to
visit him. The Admor was so immersed in his studies that he
didn't recognize his own kin, and asked who he was. When the
youth explained that he was the Admor's great- grandson, the
Admor blessed him, and returned to his studies. In his
sefer, Hatsniyus VeHayeshua, he apologized to his
offspring for this behavior.
He poured over his seforim day and night, and the old-
fashioned typewriter on which he personally typed out his
many chiddushim was constantly on his table.
His avodas hakodesh was remarkable. He would go before
the teiva on Rosh Hashonoh and Yom Kippur during all
of the services: from the eve of the holiday until its end,
including the Torah reading and the shofar blowing.
After the prayer services, his face would glow, and he didn't
seem tired from the exertion.
He would often restore sholom bayis to families, and
make peace among people. He did this in a most unassuming
manner. He drew many closer to their Father in Heaven.
Once a baal teshuva told him about his many
difficulties. The Admor advised him to study Orchos
Tzaddikim. When the young man claimed that he had no one
with whom to study, the Rebbe held a daily shiur with
him, which continued for two years. When questioned about
that practice, the Admor replied: "What can I do if I benefit
from the shiur?"
Recently, he became very weak, and the community was asked to
daven for his recovery. He recuperated, and during the
weeks in which he felt better, he would shower brochos
upon Am Yisroel.
On Sunday, 13 Tammuz, he felt ill, and was taken to Laniado
hospital. During the ride to the hospital, his situation
deteriorated. At the hospital, efforts were made to revive
him, and top-ranking doctors were brought to his bed. At 1
A.M., he returned his pure soul to its Maker. At the time of
his petirah he was surrounded by a minyan which
recited pesukei hayichud and nishmas.
Despite the late hour, the bitter news spread rapidly
throughout the Kiryat Sanz neighborhood, and at 2:15 A.M.,
the levaya left the hospital and headed towards Bnei
He is survived by an illustrious family: 13 years ago, he
merited to see a fifth generation. His sons are: Rabbi Meir
of Caracas, HaRav Yisroel of Stanislav, HaRav Nosson Dovid,
the rav of the Chassidei Zutchka community, and his sons-in-
law, HaRav Osher Yeshaya of Nadvorna-Hadera and HaRav Yosef
Leifer of Varadan. He is also survived by grandchildren and
great-grandchildren, all of whom are following in his