Friday, May 22, 2015 THE JEWISH PRESS Page 87
In Memoriam In Memory Of Rabbi Leonard (Leibel) Pearl By The Family It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our father, Rabbi Yehuda Leib (Leonard) Pearl, z”l, affectionately known as Leibel to his close family and friends. He was niftar on the 26th of Nissan, Wednesday, April 15. Rabbi Pearl was born in 1916 in New York City where his father, Rabbi Ben Zion Pearl, was the rabbi of a very large shul in Harlem, and was also a wellknown public speaker. Shortly after his bar mitzvah, his father suddenly passed away. By the age of 14 he had graduated high school and his father’s friends sent him to the Mir Yeshiva in Poland where he learned for the next eight years from 1931 through 1939 including two years in the Yeshiva of Grodno. As a young American talmid in the Mir, he was privileged to become close with many great gedolim including the Mir mashgiach, Rav Yerucham Levovitz, zt”l; the rosh yeshiva of Grodno, Rav Shimon Shkop, zt”l; and many other gedolim of the time. He was able to spend time with Rav Chaim Ozer, zt”l,
and as well as a day with the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, from whom he received a special berachah that he passed along to his family each time he benched his children and grandchildren. He was also zocheh to befriend many of the future gedolim of Klal Yisrael who were learning there during those years. The mashgiach assigned Rabbi Chaim Shereshevsky to be his mentor and rebbe and they remained lifelong friends. Rabbi Shereshevsky was able to get out of Poland and come to America with his help during the War. Rabbi Pearl brought a camera from America and took unbelievable pictures in the Mir and Grodno of the gedolim and talmidim. These pictures that he brought back with him were treasured by him for the rest of his life and have been used in seforim both here in the U.S. and in Eretz Yisrael. Through a series of miracles Rabbi Pearl was able to come back to America safely from Europe in 1939 and became a rav, mechanech, and administrator par excellence. He was the principal of Salanter Yeshiva and the Concourse Center of Israel Talmud Torah in the Bronx for many years.
His powerful public speaking, brilliance, kindness, caring and unparalleled sincere warmth were obvious to everyone who had even a casual relationship with him. His talmidim from all over the world have been contacting us with their remembrances and special stories of his influence on their personal and professional lives. His wife, Jean Kass Pearl and children, Rabbi Chaim Ben Zion Pearl, Mrs. Sharon Pearl Auman, Dr. Dovid Pearl, a”h, and Mrs. Reena Whitman, his grandchildren and great grandchildren were his greatest joys and they always felt his love and constant devotion. He, in turn, was the object of their greatest pride and respect. Our family was so privileged to have been the children of a person of such high caliber, as he taught us by example of his modesty, humility, greatness and wisdom. His life was not an easy one, fraught with many challenges, but Hashem, in his mercy, allowed us have him for a long time. May his merits and acts of chessed be a zechus to his family and all of Klal Yisrael, hastening the coming of Mashiach and techiyas hamesim.
Remembering The Sweetness Of Friendship By Rochelle Rothman Gitti Lew, a”h, was my “adopted” sister, my best friend. We met through our association with Tupperware, over 38 years ago. Last year, on Shabbos, the 3rd of Iyar, Gitti Lew’s beautiful neshama was taken from us. She was a true tzadekes, warmhearted, and full of compassion. She extended herself to help all those who needed assistance. She would distribute tzedakah money that people gave her from their maaser money, to those in need. She kept them in cups for specific people. No one knew who the receiver of their money would be. Gitti would see to it that the right person would get what they required. She had a steady practice of visiting “friends” she made in several nursing homes in Boro Park. Many times she noted that food was placed on a tray in front of people, but no one made sure they actually ate the food. She took it upon herself to feed people who needed help. She encouraged many elderly people there to say berochos and daven. It was her smiling face they would enjoy each week as she shared her positive views and stories with them. She traveled to three different nursing homes almost every Sunday, after working hard all day taking care of other people’s small children and babies, including some of her own grandchildren. This was done without a car. Her strong emunah was put to the test when she had to undergo major surgeries for tumors in her head. Her devoted sister Nechama, worked diligently and tirelessly with Gitti’s son-in-law Yitzchok, to scour the medical field to find a refuah for her. Hashem will surely give them rewards for their unwaver-
Schnaidman Continued from p.86 not agree, but he disagreed with them respectfully and courteously. Reb Aharon accomplished a great deal in his life through his teaching and his writing. But there is one other aspect to his achievement that may be particularly apt for summing up his life-work. Allow me to introduce it with a little background. While he lived in Washington Heights, until he made aliyah in 1971, Reb Aharon davened on Shabbat morn-
ing fortitude. Throughout her fight to recover, when asked how she felt, she constantly responded “Chasdei Hashem ki lo sumnu.” She continued her schedule of chesed when she felt up to it, as long as she could. All during shiva, her children showed everyone her personal siddur which she carried almost everywhere. It was filled with lists of names for Tehillim. She kept adding names for different yeshuos. There were people who needed children, refuah shelaima, or parnassah. She was thrilled to become a great-grandmother seven months before her petirah. I don’t know how she found the time to do everything she had to do – with all the davening, techinos and Tehillim she recited? All the stories we heard were remarkable. Some of them were written in my previous article last year. Update: In the past year, there have been four babies born now carrying Gitti’s name. Her beautiful family has grown, and is truly emulating all that she and her devoted husband, Chaim stand for. Several months ago her son, Pinchos, and I established a gemach, Kol Tefilos, l’ilui the neshamos of Gittel Udya bas Moshe Eliyahu, a”h, and my mother, Ethel bas Rav Yitzchok, a”h. My Mother’s yahrzeit was on the 22nd of Nissan (last day of Pesach). Previous articles have expounded on my mother’s wonderful history of her involvement with tzedakah
for kallahs. Gitti’s yahrzeit is the 3rd of Iyar. The proceeds of this charity benefit Yad Batya L’Kallah. It encompasses everything Gitti, a”h, and my mother, a”h, stood for in their lives. Yad Batyal’kallah is the only organization of its kind that helps all communities across the United States and in Jerusalem. It provides material goods for approximately 700 impoverished brides a year. All the wonderful activities it have done for over 25 years are detailed on www.yadbatya.org. We sincerely believe these two wonderful women’s neshamaos are truly being uplifted by having this venture benefit this deserving organization. We are offering the rental of special tefillos pamphlets provided on chairs at chupahs. Gitti’s tefillos will continue to be heard through this mitzvah as well as the needed supplies my mother worked hard to assist needy kallahs, will continue to be distributed to kallahs through the money donated for this joint effort. I know my mother’s and Gittie’s neshamaos will truly have an aliyah from our efforts. Please call 718-258-0415 to use this gemach for your upcoming wedding. Now, since both yahrzeits are ten days apart, may the neshamaos of Ethel bas Rav Yitzchok and Gitel Udya bas Moshe Eliyahu be a mailitz yosher for our combined families and for all of Klal Yisrael. Yehi zichrom baruch.
ings with the Yeshiva University minyan then held in the Rubin Shul. I participated in this minyan as well. It was a Yeshivish minyan with no derahsot on regular Shabbatot. Over the years, there was but one exception to the rule of no derahsot. This was on the Shabbat in the fraught days of the Six-day War, in 1967. The gabbaim asked Reb Aharon to speak. From that derashah, I particularly remember his quoting and underscoring the phrase in Bechukotai, “Va-oleich etchem kommeiyut – And I led you tall and proud” (Vayikra 26:13). I would say that Reb Aharon by his exceptional life and works enhanced the kommemiyut, the pride,
of the Jewish world over the several generations of his activity. He did it through the thousands of shiurim and sichot, Torah lectures and guidance talks, on the very highest levels, and his many chasadim, deeds of kindness. He did it by the extraordinary example of his sterling character and exceptional integrity. He did it by his accessibility to those who needed and sought his advice. He inspired people, enhanced the spiritual strength of many, many individuals and, in fact, that of the community as a whole. For me, his entire life elevated the kommemiyut of Torah Judaism and the Jewish people today. Yehi zichro baruch.