Gedolei Yisroel, roshei yeshivos, rabbonim,
dayonim and thousands of bnei Torah and bnos
Yisroel took part in the levaya for Rebbetzin
Soroh Grossbard o"h the widow of HaRav Nachum Abba
Grossbard zt"l on 9 Elul in the middle of the
The funeral procession went from her home to Yeshivas
Ponovezh Letze'irim, where she was eulogized at length by
leading Torah and mussar figures. Her mechuton,
HaRav Nissim Karelitz shlita, said, "We stand before
the mittoh of a great woman who was the eishes
chover of a very great man, and she built many great
homes of Torah and mitzvos."
Said HaRav Dovid Menachem Schneider, "I had the merit of
knowing her a bit and this kind of gadlus was rare
even in bygone days."
Afterward her nephew and grandson (her daughter's son) HaRav
Aharon Zeev Grossbard, the mashgiach of Yeshivas
Ponovezh, spoke of her exemplary tznius. "Why does the
story about Miriam appear immediately after Poroh Adumoh?"
he added. "To teach us that the death of a tzaddik
atones. She was taken from us in Elul to atone and stir all
of us [to teshuvoh]".
Eulogies were also delivered by her sons and son-in-law. The
levaya then proceeded to the Ponovezh Cemetery where
she was laid to rest at 2:00 am alongside her husband, who
lies buried in close proximity to his rov muvhok, the
Mashgiach HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein zt"l, and HaRav
The Rebbetzin grew up under the wing of her grandfather HaRav
Dovid Baharan, the son of HaRav Nochum of Shadik and the son-
in-law of HaRav Akiva Yosef Schlesinger. Her father, HaRav
Yaakov Weissfish, was the grandson of HaRav Yaakov Dovid
Spector, the brother of HaRav Yitzchok Elchonon of Kovno.
One of the outstanding students of the Bais Yaakov School in
Jerusalem during its early years, she was recognized for her
exceptional abilities, her thirst for learning and her desire
to help others. Dozens of girls would gather in her home
every Shabbos to study Medrash and commentaries on
parshas hashavua, not uttering a word of casual
Following her graduation she split her time between teaching
at the main school and the school in Katamon and her many
acts of chessed. Much of the burden of caring for her
siblings rested on her young shoulders since both their
parents had passed away.
During this period, when the proper hashkofoh was
obscure for many people, she succeeded in inculcating
yiras Shomayim and Torah in innumerable students and
helped start innumerable homes based on Torah and
She married HaRav Nachum Abba Grossbard, one of the leading
students of HaRav Shimon Shkop of Grodno and HaRav Boruch Ber
Leibowitz of Kamenitz. He was saved from the jaws of death
when he joined Yeshivas Mir in exile. In Shanghai he was
among the top students and formed a close bond with HaRav
Upon arriving in the US he immediately started teaching in
Yeshivas Rabbenu Yaakov Yosef, where he worked to build
Jewish life, helping to end the spiritual desolation
prevailing in the US during that period.
Following a 45-minute conversation with the Brisker Rov, she
left behind her jobs and activities in Eretz Yisroel in order
to marry him and to take part in his harbotzas Torah
in the US.
When their children reached the age of chinuch they
left behind their positions in the US to return to Eretz
Hakodesh. Ever since then she invested all of her energy,
wisdom and ability into building a great home for the sake of
Hashem and His Torah. Her home regularly served as a beis
vaad lechachomim and was a source of inspiration for many
She was highly regarded by the Brisker Rov, HaRav Levenstein,
HaRav Aharon Kotler, HaRav Shach and other gedolei
Torah and roshei yeshiva. Her entire life she fit the
image of the great women of past generations. Her whole life
was devoted to ahavas haTorah, mussar, chinuch, tefilloh,
tzedokoh and chessed. She could see the Hand of
Hashem in everything and at all times and took extreme care
to maintain high standards of purity in speech and deed.
A few weeks ago she fell sick and early last week she
returned her soul to her Maker. During her period of illness
she constantly thanked HaKodosh Boruch Hu for all of
His kindnesses and gracious thanked everyone who helped her
in any way. Before every treatment she would ask Hashem to
help it heal her—except for her last day, when she
said, "Ribono Shel Olom, do with me as You see fit."
During her final hours she arranged all her affairs and then
with great serenity and patience, prepared herself for the
transition to the World to Come.
Rebbetzin Soroh Grossbard o"h is survived by her sons
and sons-in-law, her daughters and daughters-in-law, who are
gedolei Torah veyiroh, marbitzei Torah veMussar and
educators carrying on her prodigious legacy.