Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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8 Kislev 5760 - November 17, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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HaRav Rav Mordechai Rimer zt"l

by A. Cohen

A huge crowd led by Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv and HaRav Boruch Shimon Schneerson, rosh yeshivas Kochav Miyaakov, attended the levaya of HaRav Mordechai Rimer, zt"l, the mashgiach of the Kochav Miyaakov- Tchebin yeshiva who was niftar in Jerusalem on Sunday, 5 Kislev.

A daughter of Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv shlita, is married to a son of the niftar.

In line with the request the niftar, no hespedim were delivered at the levaya, and special efforts were made to bury him prior to sunset on Har Hazeisim, next to his father-in-law, HaRav Eliyahu Shachor.

HaRav Mordechai Rimer was a gaon and a chossid, and all who knew him held him in deep esteem. He was highly meticulous in his mitzvah observance, and deeply imbued with love for Hashem. To the thousands of students he produced over the many years as mashgiach, he was a sterling example of a Jew who is deeply attached to Torah and to the Giver of the Torah.

During the Yomim Noraim he regularly served as a ba'al tefilla at the Tchebin yeshiva, stirring the souls of all who heard him, and arousing them to sincere teshuva.

HaRav Mordechai Rimer was born in Munkacz in 5688 (1928). His father, Rav Binyomin, was one of the most prominent Kalushitz Chassidim, and was the rosh hakohol of the Sanz beis medrash in the city.

He grew up in the home of his grandfather, HaRav Arye Leib Rimer, one of the most prominent Sanzer Chassidim in Kashow. His maternal grandfather was HaRav Chaim Yonah Frankel, an eminent Shinaver chossid and a prominent chossid of the Minchas Elozor of Munkacz.

As a child, he studied in the talmud Torah in Munkacz. When the war broke out he was before his bar mitzvah but he nonetheless transferred to the yeshiva of Munkacz where he studied until 5704 (1944). In the winter of 5704 he was taken with his entire family to the ghetto, and on rosh chodesh Sivan of that year he was taken, along with them, to Auschwitz.

The day of their arrival in Auschwitz the entire family was led to the gas chambers, but by a miracle he survived and suffered all of the tortures of Auschwitz until the liberation.

Throughout his life he spoke about the remarkable hashgocho protis he saw daily during that period, and how his life had been saved by great miracles.

On erev Yom Kippur 5705 he, along with many other inmates of the camp, were led to the room from which the Jews were taken to the gas chambers. On Yom Kippur night, he climbed into a sewage pipe, and in that manner escaped from the room and returned to the camp.

On Simchas Torah of 5705, his friends were taken to the gas chambers. However a short while later they returned to their bunk. When Rav Mordechai asked them how such a miracle had occurred to them, they related:

"When we reached the gas chamber, we danced with all our might. The commander asked us why we were happy, and we replied that we were rejoicing because we know that we would soon be in the presence of Hashem Yisborach. Hearing that, the commander told us, `I will not let you have that pleasure,' and he released us."

When he studied in Chevron yeshiva, his friends saw that he didn't go down to the dining room for supper. They told the mashgiach, HaRav Meir Chodosh, who asked him to explain his behavior. Reb Mordechai replied: "I am grateful to Hashem for the privilege of being able to sit beside the shtenderand to study gemora. Why do I have to eat? I satisfy myself with pages of gemora."

Thus he became great in Torah, until he became an illustrious talmid chochom. His friend, HaRav Shaul Barzam zt"l, related that although the two of them would study eighteen consecutive hours a day, Reb Mordechai never missed davening in the yeshiva. He would go to sleep at 2 a. m. and rise at 6 a.m. in order to be able to study before davening.

In 5710, he married the daughter of HaRav Eliyahu Shachor, and began to study in the Chevron kollel, where he remained for twelve years. During that time he completed the entire Shas in depth. The students of the kollel would ask him to explain every difficult Tosafos.

At that time, he began to deliver a shiur for baalei batim bnei Torah in the Achva shul, a shiur which he continued to deliver for forty-five years, up until his final months. His mesiras nefesh for this shiur was unbounded, and he refused to cancel it even when he celebrated the weddings of his children.

Even when he suffered a heart attack, he still arrived in the Achva shul to deliver the shiur.

In 5722, the gaon of Tchebin invited him to be a maggid shiur and mashgiach in his yeshiva, and for thirty- eight years HaRav Mordechai assumed responsibility for the chinuch of the yeshiva's students.

He strove to inculcate his students with love of Torah and yiras Shomayim, and was like both a mother and father to them, attending to all of their needs, both spiritual and material.

His students recall his remarkable discussions, delivered with deep feeling and sometimes even with tremendous sobbing, which aroused all of the bnei yeshiva to reach great spiritual heights.

His tefillos on yomim noraim were the embodiment of the verse, Shifchi kamayim libeich, nochach penei Hashem. He would often say: "A person has to feel close to Hashem, and to beseech him like a son pleading with his father."

He lived a life of kedusha and perishus, and in all of his talks would stress that a person should always be immersed in Torah study, and that Torah should occupy all of his thoughts. Even when a person is involved in material endeavors, he would say his head and heart should be immersed in Torah, like a ladder whose base is on earth but whose top rungs reach heaven.

Recently, he fell ill, and suffered from excruciating pains. Nonetheless, he accepted all of his suffering with love. He would say: Hashem Yisborach who has helped me until now will continue to help me further.

During his final days, he lost consciousness. To the amazement of the doctors and those around him, he would, even in that state, roar verses from Tanach and portions of the prayers for yomim noraim.

He is survived by outstanding children, who continue his illustrious tradition. HaRav Binyomin, the mashgiachof Tchebin yeshiva and the rosh yeshiva of Imrei Tzvi, HaRav Yosef Dovid, HaRav Arye and as well as outstanding sons-in- law and grandchildren.

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