Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Av 5761 - July 25, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Simcha Zissel Halevi Levovitz zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

This past Monday 3 Av, thousands of bnei Torah, headed by roshei yeshiva and rabbonim, accompanied the gaon and tzaddik, HaRav Simcha Zissel Halevi Levovitz zt"l on his last earthy journey. He was a vestige of dor dei'ah, the son of the Mashgiach, HaRav Yeruchom of Mir ztvk"l, and was 93 at the time of his petiroh.

HaRav Simcha Zissel HaLevi Levovitz was born in 5668 (1908) in the Lithuanian town of Ozovnet. At the time of his birth, his father HaRav Yeruchom was the menahel ruchani of the yeshiva of Kelm, and would return to his home only on holidays.

In his youth, HaRav Simcha Zissel studied in the best yeshivos of that time -- Grodno, Telz and Brisk -- becoming among those yeshivos' finest students, and in particular becoming close to Maran the Rov of Brisk. With the outbreak of the Second World War, he immigrated to America. In America he married the daughter of HaRav Naftoli Carlebach zt"l.

After his marriage he founded a yeshiva in Boro Bark, from which he produced an entire generation of students. For over fifty years he taught and studied Torah, and published his father's writings and those of the great mussar geonim, whose ways he embodied and whose approach to study he followed.

He was an outstanding talmid chochom, well versed in every aspect of the Torah. For scores of years he dedicated himself to the task of publishing his father's works, in the form of the many volumes of Daas Chochmoh Umussar, which truly enlightened the world with his father's wisdom. He knew his father's teachings by heart and felt that publishing those works was his main purpose in life.

At the levaya, HaRav Shlomo Wolbe said that he owed HaRav Simcha Zissel a deep debt of gratitude. "There wasn't a day in which I didn't study those seforim. The introductions to each volume, were themselves like books," HaRav Wolbe said.

For years he served as the rosh yeshiva of the Boro Park yeshiva, where he taught many students, some of whom who were literally saved spiritually on his merit. These students were deeply attached to him for years and today many of them hold Torah positions in Eretz Yisroel and the United States. He was the head of the entire Levovitz family, and saw to the needs of all of Rav Yeruchom's offspring, carrying the burden of the family on his broad shoulders.

Recently he fell ill and did not recover. His levaya in the United States was attended by a massive throng which accompanied him to the airport. When the aron arrived at the Mirrer yeshiva in Jerusalem, it was met by thousands of bnei Torah and his students, headed by roshei yeshiva and rabbonim. Hespedim were delivered by: HaRav Shlomo Wolbe, HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky, one of the roshei yeshiva of Ponevezh and HaRav Yeruchom Kaplan, the niftar's nephew. At the closing of the grave, his nephews, HaRav Tzvi Kaplan and HaRav Naftoli Kaplan delivered hespedim.

He is survived by three sons and one daughter. His sons are: HaRav Yeruchom, HaRav Yisroel and HaRav Osher Michoel. His son-in-law is HaRav Avrohom Moshe Faivelson. His entire family, including his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, are following in his footsteps.


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