Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

30 Tishrei 5766 - November 2, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Chaim Shaul Kaufman, zt"l

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Thousands took part in the levaya in Gateshead, London and Jerusalem of HaRav Chaim Shaul Kaufman zt"l, one of the roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Tiferes Yaakov in Gateshead, England, who returned his pure soul to his Maker on motzei Simchas Torah at the age of 68.

Chaim Shaul Kaufman was born in Berlin to Rav Moshe Kaufman, who moved to Gateshead with his family when Chaim Shaul was two years old. As a child, Chaim Shaul became known as an exceptional masmid. Later at Yeshivas Gateshead he was close to his rabbonim, HaRav Leib Gurwicz and HaRav Leib Lopian, who had so much trust in him that they would ask for his notes from the previous cycle before delivering shiurim.

Once he came to his rabbonim puzzled over how to give a chaburoh. With his clear thinking and the hard work he put into his learning, every sugya was so clear to him he could not understand what was left to explain.

In his 20s he traveled to Yeshivas Lakewood for several months to learn and attend shiurim given by Maran HaRav Aharon Kotler zt"l, who was very impressed by his great aptitude and clarity of thought.

In Elul 5735 he started Yeshivas Tiferes Yaakov together with the rosh yeshiva ylct"a HaRav Ezriel Yaffeh, and continued to teach there for the next 30 years. On Shabbos he would give an in-depth shiur on a sugya taken from parshas hashovua. These insights, a combination of his exceptional bekius and prodigious memory, were eventually published in his great, multi-volume work, Mishchas Shemen.

He passed on his clarity in learning to his numerous talmidim, many of whom reached high levels in their Torah scholarship and now serve as marbitzei Torah around the world.

Having gained wide renown as a gifted speaker who had acquired his approach to Torah and avodas Hashem from gedolei Torah, he was regularly invited to speak around the world. When major events were organized to mark the completion of the Daf Yomi cycle last winter, despite his poor state of health at the time he spoke in the US and at large gatherings in England and Eretz Yisroel.

On Asoroh BeTeves he was diagnosed with cancer, but he continued to deliver shiurim at the yeshiva in spite of the great suffering he was experiencing. Throughout this period, talmidim constantly recited Tehillim for his recovery, including a special minyan at the Kosel at chatzos every Leil Shabbos. Due to the serious decline in his condition he said the time had come to seek a replacement for him.

Following a particularly stirring talk he gave on Yom Kippur between Kol Nidrei and Ma'ariv, he asked all of the talmidim to stand up and recite the verse, "Al tashlicheini le'eis ziknoh . . . "

On the first day of Succos he organized a minyan in his study room and together they recited Vidui. During Chol Hamoed he continued to grow weaker until he passed away after midnight on motzei Simchas Torah after reciting Krias Shema Al Hamittoh.

A cloak of mourning settled on the chareidi community in Gateshead as the dour news spread. A large crowd began to gather outside Yeshivas Tiferes Yaakov to accompany him on his last earthly journey. Tearful hespeidim were given in Gateshead by HaRav Ze'ev Cohen, one of the roshei yeshiva, HaRav Avrohom Ehrentreu, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Sunderland, HaRav Ezriel Rosenbaum, a ram at Yeshivas Gateshead, HaRav Tzvi Baksht, a mashgiach at Yeshivas Tiferes Yaakov, HaRav Avrohom Osher Cohen, a ram at the yeshiva, and his only son, HaRav Yosef, who spoke movingly.

The aron was then brought to London after being met near Manchester by some of Europe's leading rabbonim along with thousands of his talmidim and other admirers who had come to offer their final respects and to accompany the deceased. There he was eulogized by HaRav Binyomin Ze'ev Kaufman, rosh kollel of the Manchester Kollel, HaRav Yisroel Horowitz, a dayan in Manchester, and the Admor of Horodonka.

The aron was then brought to London for the main segment of the levaya during which the deceased was brought into Beis Knesses Adas Yisroel, where thousands were of participants were on hand, including HaRav Yosef Tzvi Halevy Dunner, rav in London and one of the elder leaders of the European rabbonim who made a special effort to take part in the levaya.

Hespeidim were given by rabbonim who had traveled from Europe and the US, including HaRav Elchonon Halperin, av beis din of the Radimshala kehilloh in Golders Green, HaRav Efraim Padwa, the gavad of London, HaRav Aharon Dovid Dunner, a dayan in the Beis Din of the Uunion of Orthodox Congregations, HaRav Mattisyohu Salomon, the mashgiach of Yeshivas Lakewood, and the deceased's nephew HaRav Avrohom Sonenstein, a ram at Yeshivas Gur in London.

On Friday morning several thousands of talmidim and other admirers awaited the arrival of the aron in Jerusalem at the Rachmastrivka beis medrash in Givat Moshe.

The first of the maspidim was HaRav Tuviyoh Weiss, the gavad of the Eida Hachareidis of Jerusalem, who was followed by HaRav Eliyohu Falk of Gateshead, HaRav Mordechai Yosef Kanovsky, mashgiach at Yeshivas Gateshead, the deceased's son-in-law and his only son.

The levaya then proceeded to Har Hamenuchos Cemetery, where he was buried in the rabbinical section. After stimas hagolel HaRav Ezriel Yaffeh, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Tiferes Yaakov, delivered a heart-rending hesped, bringing the talmidim to bitter tears as they realized the greatness of the loss.

Short words of parting were offered by HaRav Yehuda Leib Witler, mashgiach at the yeshiva.


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