On Sunday, 18 Nisan (chol hamoed Pesach), Rav Shimon Dovid
Biegeleisen Hy"d was buried in New York. He was a
prominent Belzer chossid, who was killed in the
treacherous terrorist attack on the World Trade Center last
September 11 just before Rosh Hashonoh. He was 42 years old
at the time of his petiroh. The authorities informed
the Biegeleisen family on Yom Tov Sheini that the
niftar's body had been found.
Reb Shimon Dovid Biegeleisen, the son of R' Yaakov Shlomo
Biegeleisen, a prominent Belzer chassid, was born in
Brooklyn. In his parents' home, he learned his love of Torah
He studied in the Rabbenu Chaim Berlin yeshiva in America,
and married the daughter of R' Yaakov Stern of Flatbush. She
is an eishes chayil who helped her husband raise
their children to Torah and yiras Shomayim. After his
marriage he continued to study in kollel and later
began to work. He was an expert in property deeds, and the
vice president of a large financial firm which dealt in this
field. He also continued his Torah studies, maintaining
shiurim in the mornings and in the evenings until his
final day. He was known as a very fine avreich,
outstanding in his yiras Shomayim and good
middos. All regarded him as a genuine friend, and a
very kindhearted person, who was especially devoted to his
family, his parents, his in-laws, and to the chinuch
of his children.
The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center occurred on
Tuesday, the 23rd of Elul. After the first plane crashed into
the first building, Reb Shimon Dovid called his home and told
his wife that something very serious had occurred in the
other building, and that if she heard reports about it, she
should know that they weren't referring to the building in
which he was located, where everything was under control.
Afterwards, he called his parents with the same message. His
mother asked him to leave the building, and he replied that
the rescue forces had asked everyone to remain in their
offices in order not to arouse a panic.
His mother once more asked him to try to leave the building
which, sadly, he didn't manage to do, since a second plane
crashed into the building in which he was located. The plane
crashed around the 74th floor, and his office was on the 97th
floor. While the fire raged and the suffocating and heavy
smoke billowed, the telephone system still worked. He and his
friends took a heavy table and broke a window in order to let
in air. He called his family and described his situation.
They in turn arranged a conference call with a doctor, who
recommended that he lie on the floor and put a wet rag on his
face, since the smoke rises.
Later on, he also spoke with his friends and told them: "I
see that I won't be able to leave here," and asked them to
recite "Mizmor leDovid Hashem ro'i lo echsor," which
he himself was reciting at that point. His son also recited
that kapitle beside the niftar's mitoh at the
As Reb Shimon Dovid was speaking and reciting the
kapitle, he told them about the horrors and said that
pieces of the ceiling were falling. Then a scream was heard
and the connection was broken. Later on it was learned that
the building had collapsed at that moment.
As directed by the rabbonim, his family began to sit
shiva on Tzom Gedaliah, about ten days after the
event. Recently, the Belzer chassidim began to build a new
beis medrash on Fifth Avenue in Boro Park, and it will
be called Binyan Shimon Dovid.
The levaya left the funeral home on Sunday, and passed
the construction site of the beis medrash, where the
foundations have already been dug. Then it continued to Beis
Dovid cemetery of the Shomrei Hadas community.
Hespedim were not delivered because it was chol
hamoed. The dayan of the Belzer community, HaRav
Shlomo Gross, recited chapters of Tehillim and said:
"We must be grateful to Hashem that we live in a country
which spends millions of dollars in order to locate the
remains of the kedoshim and doesn't say that it is a
R' Shimon Dovid Biegeleisen is survived by his father, his
mother, his mother-in-law, his wife and five children. His
three sons study in Yeshivas Rabbenu Chaim Berlin. The
oldest, Elkonoh Mordechai, is 19. The other two are Yisroel
Yaakov and Moshe Yehuda. His youngest daughter is nine.