Yesterday the sad news of the passing of HaRav Shaul Wagschal zt"l reached Eretz Yisroel from Gateshead. HaRav Wagschal was one of the outstanding mezakei harabbim of our generation and author of many Torah works.
HaRav Shaul Wagschal zt"l is a descendant of HaRav Shaul Wagschal zt"l one of the gedolim of Poland. On his mother's side he was a descendant of the Chasam Sofer. At the age of 11 he left the home of his father HaRav Yehoshua Aron and his mother Hinda Leah to go to England with the rise of the Nazis in Germany. In England he became a student of HaRav Moshe Yitzchok Segal, zt"l, the rosh yeshiva of Manchester. Later he went to learn in Gateshead.
In those days he was completely isolated from his family, but he dedicated himself to spiritual growth, and was successful. He was chosen as a son-in-law by HaRav Dovid Badil zt"l, one of the founders of the Torah community in Gateshead and who was sometimes called the Chofetz Chaim of England.
After his marriage he joined the Gateshead Kollel. Seeing the devastated state of Jewry, he did his share to build up Torah by writing many very popular seforim in English. His works provided a foundation for a Torah life in all spheres.
Many gedolei Torah asked him to translate his seforim into Hebrew. In particular, HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, who was the nossi of the Mercaz Artzi leTaharas Hamishpochoh in Eretz Yisroel, had his sefer Tahars Am Yisroel translated by the Mercaz into Hebrew. Until today the Mercaz prints thousands of copies each year. Other halachic and mussar works of his were translated into Hebrew and enjoyed significant success.
He served as the menahel of the Talmud Torah and Beis Yaakov in Gateshead for many years. He also gave shiurim in the Gateshead Seminary that were very popular.
He is survived by sons and sons-in-law who are marbitzei Torah and rabbonim. He was niftar in New York City, where he lived after marrying his second wife, who was dedicated to his learning. He merited to learn Torah until the day he passed away. He was buried in Gateshead.