Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Teves 5764 - January 21, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











R' Zodok Kestenbaum, z"l
by Betzalel Kahn

R' Zodok Kestenbaum z"l, a prominent philanthropist from Miami, Florida, was brought to rest this week in Eretz Yisroel.

The deceased was born in Hungary and survived the Holocaust. After the war he managed to move to Eretz Yisroel until he was forced to move once again, this time to the US. Hashem blessed him in his commercial ventures and he became one of Miami's leading supporters of Torah. He bought a building to house the Lakewood Kollel which was set up in Miami, and was among the first to daven shacharis regularly at the Kollel. For decades he participated in the shiurim given there.

He would travel to Eretz Yisroel several times per year, visiting one yeshiva after another with the goal of upholding the Torah world. He contributed to many yeshivas around the country and assisted needy families. His will calls for a foundation that will continue his acts of tzedokoh and chesed.

Many people took part in his levaya in Miami, where he was eulogized by the rosh kollel, HaRav Yaakov Gross, who praised his great dedication to the Kollel, maintaining Torah and other holy endeavors.

His aron was brought to Eretz Yisroel, where he had purchased a plot during his lifetime. At the levaya were roshei yeshivos, numerous bnei Torah he had helped during his lifetime and family members. HaRav Moshe Mann, rosh yeshivas Be'er Yitzchok, delivered a hesped in which he associated the deceased with the verse, "Halo porose lero'ov lachmecho . . . veholach lefonecho tzidkecho ukevod Hashem ye'asfecho," as well as the verse, Eitz chaim he lemachzikim boh, saying the Torah supported him. HaRav Mann said when the Chayei Odom eulogized his mechuton the Gra, he said, "He would bring philanthropists to provide the means for poor talmidei chachomim to learn Torah," which is what the deceased did whenever he would come to Eretz Yisroel for a few days. He would literally bring himself to numerous yeshivas around the country, appearing in a simple and humble manner, and provide the means for talmidei chachomim to learn Torah.

R' Zodok Kestenbaum z"l was also eulogized by his relative, Rav Yitzchok Keller of the US, who noted his great devotion to his family, Lakewood Kollel in Miami and every other dovor shebekedushoh.


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