Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

5 Tishrei 5760 - September 15, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Sponsored by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Produced and housed by

Malka Devorah Ellis o"h

by Betzalel Kahn

Shocked and stunned, thousands of Jerusalem's residents, led by gedolei Torah, roshei yeshiva, rabbonim and bnei Torah accompanied Rebbetzin Malka Devorah Ellis o"h, eishes chover to HaRav Simcha Doniel Ellis, the mashgiach of the Eretz Yisroel-Lakewood yeshiva currently on Sorotzkin Street, on her last earthly journey. She was only 40 years old at the time of her petirah.

On the faces of the those at the levaya, signs of the shock at the tragic accident which took the life of the rebbetzin were still evident. Malka Devorah, came out with her small son to wait for the bus to take him to school. She asked a neighbor to watch her son as she crossed to the garbage bin. A large tractor of the municipality was clearing the remnants of the refuse that still remained after the week- long city employee strike, and it was working very quickly. She was run over by its wheels and the ambulance crew that arrived quickly had nothing to do but note her death. The tractor driver, an employee of the city, was taken in for questioning, where it was discovered that he has a long history of serious traffic violations.

Malka Devorah was born in 5719 (1959) in the United States. Her parents, Reb Avrohom and Reitzel Strauss, are among the pillars of chessed of the Torah community of Cleveland. Already as a young girl signs of her outstanding chessed were evident in her warm manner of helping others and sharing their burdens.

She married R' Simcha Doniel Ellis, currently the menahel ruchani of the Lakewood Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel, and together they built a genuine Torah home, where they raised their four children.

From the moment of her arrival in Eretz Hakodesh, she became deeply attached to it despite all of the difficulties that normally accompany the process of acclimating to a new environment.

Rebbetzin Ellis was well known in Kiryat Mattersdorf for her chessed activities. She engaged in many acts of quiet chessed, and was one of the founders and pillars of the neighborhood's Chessed Yad leYad organization, which assists women after childbirth.

It was one of her supreme values to enable her husband to devote himself fully to Torah and spiritual pursuits, and she worked hard to accomplish this. For many years, she assisted ailing women and women after childbirth, in the context of the Chessed Yad leYad organization of Kiryat Mattersdorf in Yerushalayim. The example that she set in this field, transformed it into a prestigious and sought-after occupation. Although this was a source of income for her, she yearned to perform such chessed without remuneration, saying that she was forced to accept payment for her work because of various considerations that required this. For her it was nonetheless truly a labor of love, which she performed with her entire heart and with boundless love and warmth. Over the years, she prepared thousands of meals for women after birth, nurturing their bodies while at the same time bolstering their spirits.

Women, say Chazal, gain their share in the World to Come on the merit of their waiting for their husband's to return from the beis medrash and for taking their sons to study Torah. Malka Devorah, o"h, lost her life in a tragic accident as she was taking her small son to talmud Torah. This was symbolic of her entire life, which she devoted to her children and her home. She spoke with her children with grace and in a pleasant manner, encouraging them, and accompanying their development in their learning. When she spoke with her children on the telephone, their eyes lit up as a result of her unique way of relating to them.

Malka Devorah was great in her ahavas Torah, great in her chessed, great in her love of Eretz Hakodesh, great in her love of her fellow jew, and well known for the remarkable impact her glowing personality had on her entire surroundings.

Her home was always open to guests and to people in need on Shabbosim, yomim tovim and at all times. She and her husband ylct"a, extended much advice and succor to all who turned to them. Recently she began to guide kallos lesheim Shomayim, and aspired to devote more and more of her time to this vital area.

Malka Devorah was true to her name: Malka denoting refinement and grace, and Devorah -- unlimited industriousness.

The large throng which attended her levaya -- pained and weeping -- keenly felt the great loss to the community. The deep esteem in which she was held by the community was manifested in the large size of the entourage, a sign of which was that the roads in the entire area were closed off for two-and-a-half hours by the police because of the levaya.

Hespedim were delivered by: HaRav Eliezer Schwartzman, rosh yeshiva of Lakewood, HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the rosh yeshiva of the Mirrer yeshiva, HaRav M. Glick a ram in the Lakewood yeshiva, HaRav Yisroel Gans, one of the rabbonim of Kiryat Mattersdorf and a ram in Kol Torah, HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi one of the roshei yeshiva of the Mirrer yeshiva, as well as by her husband, HaRav Simcha Doniel Ellis.

After the levaya left the yeshiva, it stopped in front of her home, where HaRav Sholom Eisman, in whose home Malka Devorah was a bas bayis prior to her marriage, delivered a hesped.

All of the maspidim noted her outstanding middos, as well as the timing of the petirah -- the day after Rosh Hashanah, on Tzom Gedaliah, a day on which we all recited the selichah that stresses the shortness and uncertainty of life: "Azov noh ben odom, azov noh . . . beterem yisofeh . . . -- Leave your sins and the vanities of this world, . . . before you are taken before your time. . . " They said that she was the finest of the roses, who was plucked form our midst in order to arouse us all to teshuvah, and in order to be a melitzas yosher on behalf of Klal Yisroel.

She is survived by four children, the youngest of whom is only five-years-old, and by her illustrious husband, her eminent parents, and her brothers and sisters.

All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.