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14 Adar II, 5782 - March 17, 2022 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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HaRav Yedidia Yechiel Michel Gutfarb zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

This past Tuesday, 28 Adar, was the levaya of the pillar of tzedoko and chesed, HaRav Yedidia Yechiel Michel Gutfarb zt'l. He was niftar after years of suffering which he accepted with love.

The petiroh was on the 28th of Adar (Monday night) after chatzos in the presence several minyanim, and with the recitation of Shema Yisroel.

HaRav Yechiel Michel Gutfarb was born on the 28th of Adar, 5717 (1957). He studied in the Eitz Chaim Talmud Torah under his father, the renowned mechanech HaRav Shmuel Gutfarb who was niftar two years ago. Later he studied in the Mirrer yeshiva, with much yegia.

Even when he was a bochur in the yeshiva, he was known as an exceptional baal chesed with a compassionate heart and unique he'oras ponim.

After he married he increased his chesed activities, which he continued with great mesiras nefesh until his final day. In one of his droshos, HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth zt"l, the gaavad of Antwerp said that Rav Yechiel Michel was his mentor in matters of tzedokoh and chesed. Indeed the two worked side by side and together supported and encouraged thousands of widows and orphans for over twenty years.

HaRav Gutfarb suffered from excruciating pains for nearly twenty-five years, accepting his lot with love. He pored over his Torah studies his entire life, and knew by heart every maamar chazal which pertained to the strengthening of oneself. He himself strengthened and encouraged other people in critical times.

Although he was very ill, he tried not to miss his steady chavrusas or his shiurim in Zichron Moshe. His entire aim in life was Torah study. Even though he was occupied with the mitzvos of gemilus chassodim and tzedokoh, they did not interfere with his steady shiurim.

After the petiroh of his father, he felt that the finest form of kibbud ov would be to found a special kollel for the study of mishnayos be'iyun, so that his offspring would study various sugyos in Zeroim, which are rarely stressed.

Even though he was very weak this past year, he did not forego his shiurim.

He was very beloved by former gedolei Yisroel zt"l, such as HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, HaRav Yitzchok Weiss, author of Minchas Yitzchok and HaRav Freund, who would often inquire about his health. He was also beloved by the current gedolim, yibodlu lechaim tovim ve'arukim, among them Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, who visited him a number of times and displayed constant interest in his condition.

In recent years, HaRav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher appointed him gabbai of the Zichron Moshe shul. Since then, the beis medrash flourished and the number of shiurim held there, nearly 18 hours every day, expanded. The outer appearance and the cleanliness of the beis medrash also markedly improved, as a result of his efforts to show kovod to beis Hashem.

At his levaya, a heart-rending hesped was delivered by his brother, HaRav Ben Tzion Gutfarb, and by his sister's son-in-law, HaRav Shmuel Chechik.

At the Mirrer yeshiva in the Beis Yisroel neighborhood, hespedim were delivered by: HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the rosh yeshiva of the Mir, who read parts of HaRav Gutfarb's tzavo'oh and declared: Shema Yisroel and "Hashiveini Hashem Eilecho venoshuvo" before thousands; HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, the rosh yeshiva of Maalos HaTorah, HaRav Yisroel Grossman, the rosh yeshiva of Pinsk-Karlin, HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, one of the roshei yeshiva of the Mir and by the niftar's oldest son, the chosson Yisroel Meir neiro yo'ir.

From the Mir the levaya continued to the Zichron Moshe beis medrash where a hesped was delivered by HaRav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher.

He was buried on Har Hamenuchos beside his father. After the grave was closed, a hesped was delivered by HaRav Pinchos Zelivanksi, HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth's son-in-law.

HaRav Gutfarb is survived by two sons, the oldest of whom is to be married right after the shiva, a daughter and his widow, who assisted him with much mesiras nefesh.


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