Last week, thousands accompanied the righteous, modest, G-d-
fearing Rebbetzin Chana Pfeufer o"h on her last
earthly journey. She was 76 at the time of her
Rebbetzin Pfeufer was born in Berlin on the second day of
Rosh Hashonoh, 5685 (1925). Her father, Reb Mordechai Ber,
was one of the most pious Jews in the chareidi Adas Yisroel
community of Berlin. Her mother, Yettel, was the
granddaughter of HaRav Usher Anschel Stern, the rav of
Hamburg and son-in-law of HaRav Nosson Adler, author of
Nesina LaGer and Chief Rabbi of Great Britain.
In her childhood, she studied in the community's chareidi
elementary school where she was an outstanding student and
excelled in her unusual middos.
In 5696 (1936), when the winds of antisemitism began to
blow, her family packed its belongings and made
aliyah to Eretz Yisroel. The family settled in the
Kiryat Shmuel neighborhood of Jerusalem. In Eretz Yisroel,
her father became close with Jerusalem's gedolei
HaTorah, such as the Maharil Dushinski and the Gaon of
Tchebin, and consulted them on every issue.
She completed elementary school, but there was no Bais
Yaakov seminary in Jerusalem. Her mother pleaded with
rabbonim, teachers and prominent askonim to open such
a seminary. As a result of her efforts, a Bais Yaakov
seminary was founded in Jerusalem by HaRav Hillel Lieberman.
Chana was one of its first students.
Along with her seminary studies, Chana volunteered to serve
as a dormitory counselor for immigrant students. She was
loved by her students, to whom she dedicated herself with
special mesirus nefesh. When she graduated seminary,
she was accepted as a teacher in the elementary school of
the Bais Yaakov of Jerusalem, and was an outstanding
In 5708 (1948), in the difficult years in Eretz Hakodesh,
she married HaRav Shmuel, zt"l, son of Reb Menachem
Pfeufer, one of the prominent members of the Petach Tikvah
community and the right hand of the city's gedolei
The couple moved into the well-known Beit Zaks building
opposite the Petach Tikvah Lomze yeshiva. The special
rischa deOraisa of the yeshiva filled her household.
During those years, her husband merited to maintain steady
sedorim in his home with the great gedolei
haTorah living then in Petach Tikvah, such as HaRav
Simcha Kaplan, who became the rav of Tsefas; HaRav Reuven
Gershonowitz, who became the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
Hanegev; HaRav Yosef Rozofsky, who became the rosh yeshiva
of Ohr Yisroel; and HaRav Hillel Goldberg, who became the
rav of Kfar Pines. A Chumash shiur was delivered in
their home by HaRav Shlomo Wolbe.
When they moved to Petach Tikvah she was offered a teaching
job in the local Bais Yaakov school. But when she learned
that a wife of one of the city's prominent talmidei
chachomim supported her entire family and was out of
work, Rebbetzin Pfeufer gave her position to her. She became
an akeres bayis in the fullest sense of the word. As
the mainstay of her household, she raised her children to
Torah, staunchly warding off all foreign ideas and training
them in emunas chachomim.
She was meticulous about her mitzvah observance, and would
only bring meat into her home that had been slaughtered in
the presence of a certain prominent rav. When the bakery run
by a chareidi Jew in Petach Tikvah closed down, she bought
her daily bread in Bnei Brak.
Her life was one long saga of chesed with the living
and the deceased. She helped widows, orphans and unfortunate
people, all of whom found an attentive ear in her home. She
visited the sick in their homes and in hospital, and every
week would tend to elderly women patients in the Beit Arbel
nursing home, making special efforts to attend to all of
their religious needs and organizing affairs for them on
holidays such as Purim and Chanukah.
Her chesed with the deceased was legendary, and she
would perform taharos either in the cemetery or in
the Beilinson hospital whenever she was summoned, even on
arvei Shabbos and arvei yom tov.
When she davened, she would pour out her heart before
her Maker with deep longing, and pray for a long list of
sick and unfortunate people who had given her their names.
She fasted on Yom Kippur Koton and on 7 Adar, as well as on
the fast days during the Shovavim period. She took
the current bloodshed taking place in Eretz Hakodesh deeply
to heart, and was very upset by it.
On Sunday morning, 25 Shevat, she suffered a stroke and was
niftar three days later, on the yahrtzeit of
her husband, in the presence of a family minyan.
At her levaya, hespedim were delivered by HaRav
Boruch Shimon Solomon, the chief rabbi of Petach Tikvah;
HaRav Yissochor Meir, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Hanegev
in Netivot; HaRav Mordechai Rabinowitz, the rosh yeshiva of
Ohr Yisroel; HaRav Shlomo Miller; her son, HaRav Azriel
Pfeufer; her nephew, HaRav Reuven Shapira, a ram in
the Tifferes Tzion yeshiva; and HaRav Yitzchok Adler, the
rav of the Ahavas Chesed shul in Bnei Brak.
She was buried in the Chelkas HaRabbonim in the Segula
cemetery beside her husband, who was niftar seventeen
years beforehand also on the 28th of Shevat.