Cloaked in mourning, thousands from Bnei Brak and Jerusalem,
led by maranan verabonon including HaRav Shteinman and
HaRav Kanievsky shlita, took part in the levaya
for HaRav Gedaliah Schneider zt"l, rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Toras Emes in London. A talmid muvhok of the
Torah luminaries of the previous generation, especially the
author of Bircas Shmuel of Kamenitz and HaRav Yeruchom
Halevy Levovitz of Mir, he passed away on Monday afternoon
three days before Succos (12 Tishrei) at the age of 96.
Gedaliah Schneider was born on 11 Av 5672 (1912). In the town
of Memel the home of the father of the Mussar Movement HaRav
Yisroel Salanter zt"l, to HaRav Moshe Schneider and
Simo Yehudis Schneider.
His mother had been raised in the home of HaRav Hirsch
Levinson, the son-in-law of the Chofetz Chaim zt"l,
because her father passed away. She was a regular visitor at
the home of the Chofetz Chaim, who was the shoshbin at
When HaRav Moshe Schneider started looking for a
shidduch for himself he sent a letter to various
rabbonim in Lithuania, saying that he was looking for a
helpmate, but since he served at the yeshiva in Memel he
wanted a wife who would agree to cook for the yeshiva
students as well. The only reply he received was from HaRav
Levinson, who wrote at the behest of his father-in-law, the
Chofetz Chaim. The shidduch eventually went through and
together the husband and wife set up the great home into
which Gedaliah was born.
When World War I broke out his parents were forced to move
with many other refugees to Holzminden, a German POW camp.
There his father ran all of the spiritual matters for the
other Jewish refugees, such as mikvo'os and
shechitoh. After the war his father decided to move to
Frankfurt and to reopen the yeshiva, serving as ram and
He hired a tutor for his only son, Gedaliah, who was graced
with talent, and invested great time and energy into Torah
study and avodas Hashem. Later he studied under HaRav
Chaim Yosef Jakobovitz, who was an outstanding talmid
chochom. Through his teachings and his father's tutelage
and in a home infused with Torah study and dedication to
Torah, Gedaliah developed a special character.
At the age of 16 his father sent him to study under Rabbenu
Yeruchom Halevy Levovitz of Mir and despite his tender age
Gedaliah clung to the prominent talmidim at the
yeshiva. Rabbenu Yeruchom grew very fond of him, seeing in
him a promising young man who would one day illuminate
Yiddishkeit with his Torah and gadlus.
At Yeshivas Mir he met the leading talmidim of Reb
Boruch Ber of Kamenitz, the author of Bircas Shmuel.
Drawn to the sevoros said in the name of their teacher,
he decided to transfer to Yeshivas Kamenitz, though at the
time it was far more common to transfer from Kamenitz to Mir.
For the next two-and-a-half years he labored over his Torah
studies, cleaving to Reb Boruch Ber, who later reported R'
Gedaliah "is a lamdan and knows how to learn."
Though he studied at Kamenitz he would spend Elul and the
Yomim Noraim in Mir close to the Mashgiach, Rabbenu Yeruchom.
He would then return to Kamenitz for Succos and Simchas
Torah, when Reb Boruch Ber was like a burning flame.
Later he had to move to Baranovitch to avoid getting
conscripted into the Polish army. During his years there he
studied bechavrusa with HaRav Dovid Povarsky, who was
learning at the time in the kollel headed by HaRav
Elchonon Wassermann Hy"d. They formed a close bond, and
eventually it was HaRav Povarsky who secured for him a
permit, allowing him to travel to London. While at
Baranovitch his gave shiurim and talks to
bochurim in the yeshiva ketanoh.
During these years he would spend every Nisan and Av in
Radin, where his mother's relatives lived, and he would go to
the home of the Chofetz Chaim. Once he went to Radin to take
part in the Chofetz Chaim's Pesach Seder and once Rabbenu
Yeruchom said he wanted to invite him to his Seder, but if he
had decided to go to the Chofetz Chaim he wouldn't invite
him. Later he would describe how the Chofetz Chaim's
recitation of Nishmas was forever engraved in his
He built his home in London with Bluma o"h, the
daughter of HaRav Dovid Menachem Morin, who was the first
melamed to teach Torah in the town of Gateshead. Her
only ambition was to marry a ben Torah, so she waited
many years until she had the merit to meet her great husband.
During the Sheva Brochos HaRav Elchonon Wassermann was
staying in London, and the chosson joined him as he
went to collect money for the yeshiva in Baranovitch.
Just before World War II broke out, HaRav Schneider managed
to bring his father and the talmidim at the yeshiva
from Frankfurt to London, thereby sparing them from the
At Yeshivas Toras Emes in London he began delivering
shiurim and talks based on the teachings he had
received from Reb Boruch Ber and Rabbenu Yeruchom, and kept
teaching at the yeshiva for decades.
In 5755 (1995) he moved to Eretz Yisroel, where he continued
toiling in Torah, learning with chavrusas.
During the past two years his health began to fail until the
Monday just two days before Erev Succos, when he returned his
refined soul to his Maker.
Before the levaya set out from Beis Knesses Lederman in
Bnei Brak he was eulogized by his son, HaRav Dovid Menachem
Schneider, the menahel ruchani at Yeshivas Grodna-Be'er
Yaakov; his son-in-law HaRav Naftoli Friedman, a ram at
Yeshivas Ponovezh Letzei'irim; and his son HaRav Chaim Zeev
Schneider, a marbitz Torah and yiroh in
At the Shamgar Beis Halvayos in Jerusalem, eulogies were
given by the ravad of the Eida Chareidis, HaRav Moshe
Sternbuch, the gavad of the Eida Chareidis, HaRav
Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss (both of whom learned at the Toras Emes
Yeshiva in London), and his son, HaRav Dovid Menachem
HaRav Gedaliah Schneider is survived by his sons, HaRav Dovid
Menachem and HaRav Chaim Zeev; his sons-in-law, HaRav Osher
Hillel Blumental and HaRav Naftoli Zeev Friedman, HaRav
Aharon Kransitzky, HaRav Yaakov Zeev Kopshitz and HaRav
Eliezer Rose; as well as grandchildren and great-
grandchildren continuing the spiritual legacy he bequeathed
to him during his lifetime; and his many talmidim.