Thousands of Bnei Brak and Jerusalem residents headed by
maranan verabonon, roshei yeshivos and other bnei
Torah took part in the funeral for Rebbetzin Lifsha
Feinstein o"h, the widow of HaRav Yechiel Michel
Feinstein, on Sunday. She passed away at the age of 90.
The Rebbetzin was born in Sivan 5678 (1918) to HaRav Yitzchok
Halevi Soloveitchik (Reb Velvel) in the city of Brisk, two
months before her grandfather, Reb Chaim Brisker, passed
away. When she was born her grandfather was in Minsk and sent
a letter to Warsaw saying he had a granddaughter born to him
and from the light on her little face it was clear she was
When the pedagogical inspector for the province of Brisk
arrived in town he was very impressed by her grade on a
geography test. When he recommended she be granted a special
scholarship and sent to university, Reb Velvel had her
withdrawn from the school immediately.
He then sent a letter to Mrs. Soroh Schenirer asking her to
send a teacher to the city of Brisk for the sake of the girls
in the town, and within days a teacher arrived, setting up a
class that eventually became the town's Bais Yaakov
When the Nazis rose to power the Brisker Rov had to move to
Vilna, while his family members remained in Brisk, waiting
Based on explicit instructions from HaRav Boruch Ber
Leibowitz zt"l, the adults in the family moved to
Vilna, while those who had not yet reached the age of
chinuch remained in Brisk.
The young Lifsha parted from her mother, taking with her two
of the Brisker Rov's children: her brother Rav Meir, and her
sister Rebbetzin Schiff. Upon parting, her mother gave her a
gold necklace and earrings, saying they might never meet
When she reached the town of Lida to cross the border
illegally she joined a group of two wagons, but when her
wagon lost contact with the lead wagon, she and the other
passengers were caught by the Russians, who confiscated the
jewelry she was carrying and forced her to sign the
confiscation form. She refused to sign to avoid chilul
Shabbos, despite the danger her refusal involved.
One day a wagon driver, who had been sent by her father,
arrived to smuggle her across the border. But she was not
home at the time and a young refugee girls claiming to be the
Rov's daughter took her place.
Eventually, months later, the young Lifsha rejoined her
father and her siblings in Vilna.
In 5700 (1940) she moved to Eretz Hakodesh with her father,
settling in Jerusalem, where she was entrusted with the task
of running the Brisker Rov's household, both in terms of
kashrus (including the task of koshering chickens) and
raising her younger siblings.
In 5706 (1946) she married HaRav Michel Feinstein and the two
moved to Tel Aviv where their home, as a center for the
city's Torah activities, became a focal point for
chinuch and yiras Shomayim.
With her brother's guidance she set up a talmud Torah
and paid the salary of the melamdim every month.
Based on her father's instructions she would address her
questions to the Chazon Ish. On one of the occasions when she
went to speak with him, the Chazon Ish stood up in her honor,
saying she should be accorded respect for two reasons —
as a bas chover and as an eishes chover.
She recalled that the Chazon Ish asked her how they used to
check for chometz in her father's home, as well as
various other practices, saying every word her father spoke
is Torah and halochoh. During the War of 1948 the Chazon Ish
sent her matzoh for the Seder Night.
When her husband started his renowned kollel at Beis
Knesses Rama in Tel Aviv she was totally dedicated to the
kollel's success, seeing to the needs of every
avreich, distributing not only the monthly stipends,
but clothing and bonuses for special family occasions as
well. She also worked hard to accommodate the shiurim
her husband gave, including Fridays during the winter months,
erev chag and Motzei Shabbos.
In 5736 (1976) the family moved to Bnei Brak, where they were
greeted by the Steipler Rav upon their arrival. Her husband
moved the kollel to Rechov Ben Yaakov, and in order to
allow more avreichim to join, she would write
fundraising letters. Her efforts to promote and run the
kollel continued until her dying day.
She set up a bridal gemach at a time when that was a
rarity. In response to her inquiries, the Chazon Ish replied
in writing that it was a fine idea, and her father praised
her efforts as well.
She always prayed three times a day and on Shabbos would
constantly recite Tehillim, Shir Hashirim and
Maamadot. Every Erev Rosh Chodesh she would go to the Kosel
to pray, even later in life when the trip was difficult for
Last Shabbos afternoon she collapsed unexpectedly. Ezer
Mitzion paramedics performed CPR and the medical staff at
Maayanei Hayeshua Medical Center managed to stabilize her
condition, but Sunday morning she returned her soul to her
Maker with her family members at her bedside.
When news of her petiroh spread, students from
Yeshivas Beis Yehuda gathered outside her home. The
levaya proceeded to the yeshiva, where she was
eulogized by her brother, HaRav M.D. Halevi Soloveitchik,
rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Brisk, her sons, HaRav Chaim
Feinstein and HaRav Dovid Feinstein, who also serve as roshei
yeshiva at Yeshivas Brisk, and HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky.
The levaya continued at the deceased's daughter's home
in Jerusalem, where gedolei Yisroel and roshei
yeshivos were joined by thousands of bnei Torah.
Hespeidim were delivered by her brother, HaRav Meir
Soloveitchik, her son-in-law, HaRav T. Kaplan, and HaRav Y.
She was buried shortly before sunset near the gravesites of
her husband, HaRav Michel Feinstein, and her father, the
Brisker Rov zt"l.
Rebbetzin Lifsha Feinstein o"h is survived by her sons
and sons-in-law, who are gedolei Torah and gedolei
Mussar, grandchildren and great-grandchildren continuing
her prodigious spiritual legacy.