Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Teves 5763 - December 11, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Rebbetzin Reikel Soroh Eichenstein o"h
By Betzalel Kahn

On the seventh day of Chanukah Rebbetzin Reikel Soroh Eichenstein was laid to rest at age 92. Her levaya was attended by leaders of Torah and chassidus.

She was born in Trisk in 5671 (1911) to Rav Moshe Mordechai Mitrisk, eldest son of Rav Yaakov Arye Mitrisk zy"o, the son and successor of the holy Maggid of Trisk, and to Rebbetzin Malka daughter of Rav Boruch Meir from Zaranitsh, a grandson of Rebbi Aharon of Chernobyl zy"o.

She grew up in close contact with her grandfather, Rav Yaakov Arye, and her grandmother, Feige, daughter of Rov of Rachmastrivka zy"o. During the First World War her grandfather, Rav Yaakov Arye transferred his court to Kobal. When he passed away in 5678 (1918), her father settled in Lublin, where many Trisk Chassidim were resident and thousands streamed to his tefillos and tishen.

Already in her youth she was renowned for her intelligence and sharpness and her fame spread throughout Poland. She had the merit of knowing the tzaddikim of the Chernobyl court and many of the gedolim and tzadikim of the prewar generation. She also stayed in the Belz court for half a year with her brother, Rebbi Yochonon, rov of Horishov, and son-in-law of the Belzer Rebbe.

When she was bas mitzvah she became engaged to Rav Menachem Zvi Eichenstein, son of Rav Yehoshua Heshel of Zitchov-Hodorov, who had moved to the United States in 5784 (1924) and served a congregation in Chicago. He sent his son Menachem Zvi to the yeshivos of Rav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky and of the Daas Sofer in Pressburg, so that he could follow in the footsteps of Torah and yir'oh of his holy ancestors.

A few years later she got married in Lublin, where the Lubliner Rav, HaRav Moshe Shapira ztvk"l made one of the sheva brochos in honor of her father, and praised her greatly. Her husband was supported by his father-in-law and associated with the gedolim of Poland and the students of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin. Her first-born son, Rav Dov Ber shlita, was born in Lublin. In 5798 (1938) she moved to Saint Louis in the United States where her husband had become rov. Saint Louis had a concentration of Trisker chassidim.

During the Holocaust her husband, together with her older brother Rav Avrohom zt"l, made efforts to save her father, and they obtained a visa for him that would have enabled him to escape via Switzerland. Her father responded in a letter that he wished to share the fate of his chassidim and he was in fact killed al kiddush Hashem together with his family and most of his congregation.

In 5710 (1950) her husband was appointed rav of the entire city, where he preserved religious standards, and the town acquired an excellent reputation throughout the world. The Rebbetzin supported him in all activities, both in connection with kashrus and the establishment of chadorim and yeshivos.

She was famous for her hachnosas orchim and great rebbes and roshei yeshiva as well as many shluchei derabonon stayed in their home. They were all impressed by her personality and the maamorei Chazal with which she was familiar. She assisted all of them by doing and getting others to act, and altogether played a large part in the establishment of many Torah and chesed institutions.

About one and a half months ago she developed severe pneumonia, but bechasdei Hashem she recovered and returned home. However, last Tuesday she was hospitalized with a temperature and on Thursday close to midnight she returned her soul to her Maker.

She had the merit of seeing her descendants acquire greatness in her lifetime. Both her sons are marbitzei Torah: HaRav Dov Ber, former rosh yeshiva of Mishkan Hatorah and rov of Bell Harbor, HaRav Yehoshua Heshel, rosh yeshiva of Yad Aharon, and her son-in-law, Rav Dovid Lehrfeld, rov in Miami Beach. Her oldest grandson, the Trisker Rebbe, continues the holy dynasty.

Because of Chanukah and Rosh Chodesh no hespedim were held, but her son Rav Yehoshua spoke some parting words and described her share in her husband's limud haTorah and leadership of the town. Her grandson the Trisker Rebbe applied to her the posuk, "And the life of Soroh was 127 years" -- all of them equally good, both during her periods in Poland and the United States and during her widowhood when she came to live in Eretz Yisroel and continued her many activities. He also applied to her the ma'amar Chazal, "Whoever is accustomed to light a candle will have sons who are talmidei chachomim": in the merit of having given light to everybody, she had the merit of having sons who are gedolei Torah and grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are great talmidei chachomim. He also mentioned the remarkable fact that over the last half a year she had said several times that she had been promised to stay alive during Kislev and exactly on Rosh Chodesh Teves she passed away, and it is brought down that Teves stands for tikover beseivo tovo.

The funeral procession continued to Har Hazeisim, where she was buried next to the grave of her great husband in the Vohlynia section, where all the Rebbes of Chernobyl dynasty are buried.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.