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









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Torah Events Commemorate the Second Yahrtzeit of HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth, zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

On the second yahrtzeit of Antwerp Gavad HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth zt"l, a series of events were held in his memory and le'ilui nishomoso.

At his beis medrash in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood, which was named Derech Chaim after his petiroh, a mishnayos siyum was held during Sholosh Seudos on Shabbos Parshas Vayechi with his family and talmidim in attendance. The siyum was conducted by his son HaRav Dov Tzvi, the rov of the beis medrash, who spoke emotionally about his late father, stressing the joy of Torah he constantly felt. He also spoke of his special hanhogos while learning. Although he was proficient enough in the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi to recite them word for word, when he learned it was as he were seeing the words for the first time, with all the fondness and pleasure of the initial encounter.

The special gathering was wrapped up by HaRav Binyomin Finkel, who had been close to HaRav Kreiswirth and told stories of his fabulous hanhogos: gladdening the hearts of orphans and widows, dedicating his talent and genius to the pursuit of chesed and understanding what the needy lacked. He also spoke about HaRav Kreiswirth's prayers, saying he would bring forth the words like one counting precious stones and was totally engrossed in the siddur, totally absorbed in his labor of the heart, like a son speaking to his father.

A halochoh shiur was given between Kabbolas Shabbos and Ma'ariv by his son-in-law, HaRav P. Zelivansky, rosh Kollel Kodshim, which was founded by his father-in- law. He explained the custom of gathering on the yahrtzeit to sit before the niftar just as talmidim sat before him during his lifetime, reviving his memory as if he were still alive, and then, when they review his divrei Torah they connect to the essence of his soul and therefore "the lips of tzaddikim speak from the grave."

On motzei Shabbos a large Melave Malka was held at Beis Medrash Hagodol Ahavas Chaim in Yerushalayim's Kiryat Tzanz neighborhood, where HaRav Kreiswirth served as nossi. A siyum of Shas learned by his talmidim and relatives for his neshomoh was held. The actual completion was conducted by his son. HaRav Rabinovich spoke of HaRav Kreiswirth's love for every single Jew, which stemmed from his love for Our Father in Heaven.

Divrei chizuk were delivered by his brother-in-law, HaMashgiach HaRav Shlomo Wolbe, who spoke of the wretched financial state the Torah world is now in and the constant decrees against the holy yeshivas, ending with a prayer that the niftar serve as a meilitz yosher Above for the Torah and yeshiva world, just as he took care of them during his lifetime.

HaRav Kreiswirth's mechuton, HaRav Lefkovitz, rov of beis knesses Heichal Moshe in Bnei Brak, spoke in the family's name saying everybody felt his closeness and concern for each and every individual and the great hakoras hatov felt by them and all those close to him who went in the light he shed for years.

The closing speech was delivered by Rav Avrohom Y. Lazerson, one of the heads of Chinuch Atzmai, who described the deceased's concern for the poor of Jerusalem and the city's chesed institutions. He said Jerusalem lost two great men of chesed, HaRav Kreiswirth and his loyal assistant R' Yechiel Michel Gutfarb.

On Sunday large crowds visited HaRav Kreiswirth's grave at Har Hamenuchos to pray and pour out their hearts before Borei Olom on the difficult state of affairs in Eretz Hakodesh and to ask for salvation for Klal Yisroel and individual Jews. HaRav Kreiswirth's son-in- law HaRav Zelivansky spoke of the deceased's fabulous middos and exceptional humility, which he acquired from his father, HaRav Avrohom Yosef. He also issued a call to follow in his path and learn from his fabulous ways and unique hanhogos.


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