This past Monday (4 Teves) a large throng, among them
thousands of students of the Beis Yaakov Seminary,
accompanied the renowned mechaneches, Rebbetzin Zisa
Chazan, on her last earthly journey. She was the wife of
HaRav Yehoshua Chazan, yibodel lechayim arukim, and
was 54 years old at the time of her petirah.
Rebbetzin Chazan was born in Jerusalem, the daughter of HaRav
Avrohom Goldshmidt, yibodel lechayim arukim. She grew
up in a home steeped in Torah and chessed. Already as
a child, mussar study was her daily fare. Even before
her marriage, she began to teach. After she married HaRav
Yehoshua Chazan, together they built a home of Torah,
yirah and chessed.
Women in need of advice would call her nearly all day, and
the broken hearted and downcast turned to her for succor.
Many of those women wondered, at the levaya, how they
would continue to manage without their encouraging
conversations with Rebbetzin Chazan.
Her prayer was well known. She would rise at vosikin,
and daven, a practice which had a deep impact on her
She was identified by many with the monumental efforts to
inculcate the importance of shemiras haloshon, and was
also very active in kiruv rechokim. Her lectures and
classes on loshon hora were avidly attended by women
from all over the country, and with her clear presentation
and pleasant manner, she guided many onto the Torah path. She
was able to present her message in a way that was pleasant
but deeply engaging.
She gave lectures all over Israel. She never refused an offer
to speak, and would travel long distances in order to arouse
women and girls to intensify their shemiras
For over thirty years, she was a mechaneches in the
Beis Yaakov Seminary in Jerusalem ("Yashan"), where she
instilled midos tovos and pure yiras Shomayim
in her students. In recent years she also taught in other
seminaries that opened up.
She was a role model of an eishes chover, and the
epitome of tsnius. She was also very active in helping
baalos teshuva in their new path in life.
Five years ago, she underwent urgent medical treatments for
two-and-a-half weeks. Due to her situation at that time, it
was difficult for her to speak, and her only contact with her
surroundings and family was by means of writing and hints.
Her situation was grave and she was almost completely
Subsequently, she recorded her impressions of her hospital
stay. She wrote that she had tried, throughout her entire
life, to give to others, but during her hospital stay she was
very much on the receiving end. She said that perhaps she had
been placed in such a situation because when a person wants
to be a true giver he must, at least once in his life, feel
the other side -- that of the recipient. Being a recipient,
she explained, enables one to be a better and more complete
giver, and teaches one how to empathize with feelings of the
recipient without degrading him.
Hundreds of women and girls who had done teshuva as a
result of her influence and efforts wept bitterly at her
levaya, along with the thousands of Beis Yaakov
students she had taught over the years. They mourned the
spiritual mother, who passed away in the prime of her life,
leaving behind a bereft family, and a bereft community.
The levaya left from the Shamgar funeral home. The
entire parking area and driveway was filled with mourners,
many of them thousands of Beis Yaakov girls who had been her
students. Her husband delivered a hesped, bemoaning
the loss to the family and the loss to her students, while
relating a number of remarkable incidents in her life of
Torah and kedusha. He spoke about her mesiras
nefesh for the education of Jewish young women, and
described how she would wander from city to city, settlement
to settlement, in order stress the importance of shemiras
haloshon. He also related how she sanctified Hashem's
Name in her conduct.
Afterward, hespedim were delivered by HaRav Michel
Zilber, HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, one of the roshei
yeshiva of the Mirrer yeshiva, HaRav Levi Yitzchok
Halperin, HaRav Aryeh Shechter, HaRav Yisroel Gans, one of
the roshei yeshiva of Kol Torah, and HaRav Yehuda
Yosephi. All spoke about her unique lifestyle, the
outstanding role she played as a mechaneches, and her
many efforts to inculcate the concept of shemiras
The levaya proceeded from Shamgar to the Beis Yaakov
Teachers Seminary, where thousands of students from all of
the Beis Yaakov seminaries in Jerusalem assembled. Shocked by
the great loss of their beloved mechaneches whom they
all loved and revered, they wept bitterly. The principal of
the seminary, HaRav Bunim Levine and HaRav Binyomin Finkel
delivered hespedim, as did her son, HaRav Yosef
She is survived by her husband, HaRav Yehoshua, an
outstanding talmid chochom, and by her children, sons-
in-law and grandchildren, all of whom are pursuing the path
she charted for them.