Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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10 Av 5764 - July 28, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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The Admor of Lelov-Yerushalayim, zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

Thousands followed the mittoh of HaRav Shimon Nosson Nota Biderman zt"l, Admor of Lelov Yerushalayim, who returned his soul to his Maker at the age of 74 after seven months of incapacitation due to a heart attack. The procession was led by Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv as well as other gedolei Torah, roshei yeshivos and admorim, shlita.

HaRav Biderman was born in Tiberius to the previous admor HaRav Yaakov Yitzchok on 5 Kislev 5690 (1930). From his early childhood years he displayed sparks of holiness in avodas Hashem and Torah learning. He studied at Yeshivas Chayei Olom in Jerusalem where he was particularly close to the Tchebiner Rav.

He had a very strong bond with his father and joined the group of bochurim gathered around HaRav Yochonon of Karlin, who publicly expressed his esteem for the young man on several occasions.

Upon marrying the daughter of HaRav Dov Ber Hirshman, a pure- minded talmid chochom from one of Jerusalem's prominent families, he began his ascent in kedushoh and tohoroh.

On one occasion a distraught man came to him with a bitter account about how he had become penniless and his family members were starving. Not hesitating he reached into his pocket, took out a sum of money he had received for giving a droshoh and had been saving to buy candlesticks for Shabbos and handed it over to the needy Jew.

As immigration from Western nations increased and secular education expanded, gedolei hador, including HaRav Yechezkel Abramsky called upon him to set up organizations that eventually succeeded in rescuing thousands of souls, transforming them into upstanding Jews loyal to Hashem and His Torah.

The crowning jewel of these efforts was Beit Olot, which provides a warm home for immigrant girls and orphans. The Admor was like a kind, dedicated father to these girls, who went on to set up thousands of homes. He merited seeing them raise children--and even grandchildren--who set up kosher Jewish homes headed by bnei Torah, rabbonim and dayonim scattered throughout Eretz Yisroel.

After his father's passing in Elul 5741 (1981) he set up Or Yaakov Institutions in his memory, a series of kollelim for horo'oh as well as tzedokoh and chessed organizations.

Faithful to the Lelov tradition of ahavas Yisroel he treated every Jew with respect, feeling others' joys and sorrows and praying for them.

His beis medrash was a wellspring of Torah and chassidus where he spread his radiance particularly on Shabbosos and Yomim Tovim, elevating the level of tefilloh and avodoh through his daily preparations for tefilloh and divrei chizuk.

He led Lelov-Yerushalayim with love and dedication. When a group of avreichim settled in Beit Shemesh recently he set up a beis medrash in Kiryat Yeffeh Nof and even took part in the posting of the mezuzoh and dedication ceremony, despite his weakness.

In the early morning hours of Thursday, 1 Teves, with the Chanukah candles still burning and shedding light on his seudas Chanukah, as he rose to give tzedokoh he felt chest pains and collapsed, never to rise again. Seven months and four days later, at exactly the same early morning hour again on a Thursday, his heart failed and he was summoned to Yeshiva Shel Maaloh.

A few hours later the mittoh was brought into his beis medrash in Jerusalem's Beit Yisrael neighborhood to the sound of weeping. After Tehillim and Selichos were recited his son, HaRav Alter Yisroel, gave a few short words of parting. The procession then made its way down the streets of Meah Shearim, winding its way on foot to the Lelov section on the heights of the Mount of Olives, where the Admorim of Zevihl, Amshinov, Rachmistrivke and Shatz were on hand.

HaRav Shimon Nosson Nota Biderman is survived by his brothers, sons and sons-in-law, all of whom are prominent rabbonim, marbitzei Torah and dayonim, as well as Lelov Chassidim mourning their loss.


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