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8 Tishrei 5772 - October 6, 2011 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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HaRav Gedaliah Eismann zt"l

By Yechiel Sever

Yeshivas Kol Torah students and alumni lay to rest on Motzei Shabbos Shuva HaRav Gedaliah Eismann, the mashgiach ruchani of Kol Torah for over 50 years, who passed away on the night of Shabbos Shuva, 3 Tishrei 5772, at the age of 101.

Gedaliah Eismann was born in Poland on Pesach Sheini, 14 Iyar 5770 (1910) to HaRav Avrohom, a prominent Alexander chossid. From 5788 (1928) through 5790 (1930) he studied at Yeshivas Kletzk, where HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein served as the menahel ruchani, a post he later held at Yeshivas Ponovezh. The young Gedaliah formed a bond with HaRav Levenstein, later learning with him on a regular basis and maintaining the ties for years. At Kletzk he also met HaRav Shach, establishing a bond that grew stronger years later in Eretz Hakodesh.

Later he transferred to Yeshivas Kamenitz, where he learned under the close tutelage of the Bircas Shmuel from 5690 (1930) until 5701 (1941).

During the war years he fled to Eretz Yisroel, where he settled in Jerusalem. During this period he married his wife, Channah Liba, of the Eidelman family of Vilna, whose son was a shamash for HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky zt"l.

Upon arrival in Eretz Yisroel he joined a group of scholars associated with HaRav Isaac Sher zt"l, who helped mold HaRav Eismann's character. In 5704 (1944) he was asked to serve as the mashgiach of Yeshivas Kol Torah, a post he held with distinction for over five decades. During his initial years he worked with the roshei yeshiva, HaRav Yechiel Schlesinger and HaRav Boruch Kunstadt, as well as the Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l. Many of his early students were Holocaust survivors.

He put heavy toil into preparing the talks he gave, based on a profound reading of Chazal. In recent years family members published in book form a number of his talks on the Yomim Noraim in a compilation called Gidulei Mussar.

He helped refine innumerable talmidei chachomim, and even after he stopped actively serving as menahel ruchani, he continued to have an impact on Kol Torah students, avreichim and the teaching staff, who often consulted with him when he came to the yeshiva for tefilloh and seder Mussar.

A few years ago HaRav Eismann moved in with his son Yosef, who cared for him with great dedication. On Shabbos night he passed away suddenly and was pronounced dead by rescue workers. During the course of Shabbos, Kol Torah students and Bayit Vegan residents came to say Tehillim.

The hespeidim began at 10:00 p.m. outside the yeshiva. The speakers included the rosh yeshiva, HaRav Moshe Yehuda Schlesinger, HaRav Yehoshua Neuwirth, who studied under the niftar, HaRav Ezriel Auerbach, the rov of Kehillas Chanichei Hayeshivos in Bayit Vegan, HaRav Yitzchok Yeruchom Borodiansky, the current menahel ruchani, HaRav Yehuda Adess, the rosh kollel of Yeshivat Kol Yaakov, HaRav Avrohom Erlanger, who served as a ram at Yeshivas Kol Torah for many years, HaRav Yisroel Gans, a ram at the yeshiva and a former talmid of HaRav Eismann, HaRav Don Segal, also a former talmid, and HaRav Yosef Eismann, his only son.

HaRav Adess said that for thirty years he accepted upon himself not to speak in public but he made an exception in this case. HaRav Adess said that fifty-five years ago HaRav Gavriel Lerrer zt"l told him that he understood from the Mashgiach that he does not say a sichah that it not applicable to himself. And he also told HaRav Adess that sixty years ago that the Mashgiach stood motionless during Shacharis and Musaf of Yomim Noraim, but he saw a pool of tears on the table. "The character of the Mashgiach is of a nefesh tzaddik venoki. Nothing describes him better than that. Whatever we say will not fully capture his essence, because we have no conception of his neki'us, his tzidkus, his depth and his self- criticism.

"The gaon HaRav Dovid Povarsky zt"l told us that after the passing of the Chofetz Chaim people said that since Chazal say that on the Heavenly Court judging us sit the departed gedolei hador, so we must strengthen our shemiras haloshon. There is no doubt that the Mashgiach will sit on the Heavenly Court and in these Days of Judgment they will therefore be very strict about studying mussar."

HaRav Don Segal said, "When I came to invite him to my wedding he asked me, What do you need me for? You have the whole Mizrach of Ponovezh Yeshiva. I said to him that every father can tell his son the same thing: You have the Mizrach of Ponovezh.

"It was not "stam" that HaRav Shmuel Rozovsky zt"l told me, `A young boy goes from Warsaw to Kamenitz, who can tell and imagine what can become of him? Look at what has come of him, at the talmidim that have come from him!' Morenu the Mashgiach HaRav Yechezkel zt"l said, `I do not succeed with my talmidim, but Rebbi Gedaliah does succeed and is very active.' "

HaRav Yosef Eismann said that HaRav Reuven Grozovsky zt"l once said that Rav Gedaliah was the most important baal mussar that the yeshivas of Lithuania produced. He said that his father was very demanding of his talmidim, but he always said, "I'm telling you? We are talking together."

Following the eulogies the procession set out on foot for Har Hamenuchos Cemetery. The mittoh was carried by talmidim who rose to prominence, with thousands more in tow.

HaRav Gedaliah Eismann zt"l is survived by his son HaRav Yosef, a distinguished avreich at Yeshivas Mir, and his daughter, who is married to HaRav Shlomo Breuer, the menahel ruchani at Yeshivas Beis Matisyohu, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


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