Rabbi HaGaon Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg passes away at 101 Tzl’B

 Jerusalem – Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, the Rosh Yeshiva of Mattersdorf prominent Yeshiva Torah Ore, one of Kiryat Mattersdorf’s most highly regarded Rabbonim, and a member of Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, who was renowned for wearing dozens of pairs of tzitzis passed away this afternoon Sha’arei Tzedek hospital, at the age of one hundred and one.  HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg ( חיים פנחס שיינברג‎) (1910-March 20,2012) was a Polish-born, American-raised Haredi  rabbi  and rosh yeshiva  who, since 1965, made his home in the Kiryat Mattersdorf  neighborhood of Jerusalem , Israel . He was the rosh yeshiva of the Torah Ore yeshiva in Kiryat Mattersdorf and Yeshivas Derech Chaim in Brooklyn . He was a posek  (decisor of Jewish law), considered by many to be a Gadol HaDor , and is often consulted on a range of communal and personal halachic  issues. He was one of the morei d’asra (rabbinic leaders) of Kiryat Mattersdorf, together with Rabbi Yisroel Gans and Rabbi Yitzchok Yechiel Ehrenfeld. He was also a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah  of Israel.

Early years

Scheinberg was born in 1910 in Ostrov, Poland, the second son of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Scheinberg and Yuspa (Yosefa) Tamback. He was born in his father’s absence, as earlier that year, his father had left his wife and firstborn son Avraham Nosson to go to America to avoid conscription  into the Polish army . Though he planned to work and send money back home, his father was fired from job after job because he refused to work on Shabbat . Soon he did not have enough money to rent a room, and spent months sleeping on New York City’s East River Drive  with a pillow, a blanket, and an umbrella. Meanwhile, his mother, who had moved in with her parents, also struggled to make ends meet, milking cows at dawn for Polish farmers. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the family lost contact. By 1919, the family patriarch had saved enough money to open his own tailor shop and brought his wife and children to America. At age 9 the younger Scheinberg moved with his family into a small apartment on the Lower East Side , where his mother gave birth to twins, Shmuel and Chana Baila. After briefly attending public school, Scheinberg enrolled in the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School  (RJJ), where he studied until age 14. At that time, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Herman , who influenced promising young Jewish men in New York City to advance in their Torah learning , encouraged him to transfer to Rabbi Yehuda Levenberg ‘s Beis Medrash LeRabbonim yeshiva in New Haven, Connecticut , where no secular subjects were taught. Herman also decided that the youth would make a good husband for his third daughter, Bessie, who was then only 12 years old. By the time Scheinberg left the yeshiva at the age of sixteen and a half, he was regarded as a masmid (diligent student) and had made a siyum  on Shas . At age 17 Scheinberg progressed to Yeshiva University ‘s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary . There he learned under Rabbis Shlomo Polachek  (known as the “Meitcheter Ilui”), Moshe Soloveichik , and Shimon Shkop . His learning partners included Rabbis Avigdor Miller , Moshe Bick , Mordechai Gifter , and Nosson Meir Wachtfogel , future leaders of American Torah Jewry. When Scheinberg was 19, Herman suggested the match with his 17-year-old daughter and the Scheinbergs agreed. Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz , who was a guest at the Herman home at that time, wrote out the tenaim (engagement contract). At his mother’s suggestion, Scheinberg studied for semichah  (rabbinic ordination) in the months before his wedding. He was ordained by Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik, Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel , and other rabbis of the yeshiva before his chuppah .

Mir, Poland

With the encouragement of his father-in-law, Scheinberg and his new wife spent their first five years of marriage in the town of Mir, Belarus  (then Poland). They lived next-door to the yeshiva, where Scheinberg immersed himself in learning while his wife coped with the impoverished lifestyle. There was no running water, the only source of heat was an oven in the center of their apartment, and the unpaved streets were always muddy. Bessie, however, encouraged her husband to grow in learning, and he developed a reputation as one of the yeshiva’s biggest masmidim (diligent students). Theirs was one of the few families in Mir; most of the student body was unmarried. Scheinberg was also one of the few American students at the Mir. Herman had already sent his son, Nochum Dovid, and his wife to Mir right after their marriage, and a few years later, he sent his daughter Ruchoma and her new husband, Moshe Shain, as well. Scheinberg’s younger brother, Shmuel, came to learn at Mir at the age of 14; he managed to escape on one of the last ships leaving Europe before World War II broke out. The Scheinbergs’ first two daughters, Fruma Rochel and Rivka, were born in Poland. When they were expecting their first child, Scheinberg and his wife visited Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan  (the Chofetz Chaim), a leader of Ashkenazi Jewry  at the time, to receive his blessing. When Scheinberg asked the Chofetz Chaim for an additional blessing since he had come all the way from America to study at the Mir, the Chofetz Chaim quipped, “Moshe Rabbeinu  came down all the way from heaven to teach theYidden  Torah . What’s the big deal about coming from America to Europe?!” Then he blessed them. While in Europe, Scheinberg also learned at the Kaminetz  yeshiva and received semicha from Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz. In 1935 the Scheinbergs returned to America because his American citizenship would have expired after more than five years abroad. Soon after his return, Scheinberg was offered the position of mashgiach ruchani  of the Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim  in Queens  founded by Rabbi Dovid Leibowitz . He served in that position for 25 years, until leaving to open his own yeshiva, Torah Ore. Scheinberg was known for the warm and caring relationship he developed with his students, and for the chesed  he and his wife did for neighbors and visitors in their small apartment. Often their daughters slept two to a bed to make room for unexpected guests. During this time, Scheinberg also became the Rav of Congregation Bakash Shalom Anshei Ostrov on the Lower East Side, where he gave shiurim  (classes) to working men. The Scheinbergs had two more daughters, Chana and Zelda, and a son, Simcha, in New York. They also raised Rivky Kaufman, one of the seven orphans of Bessie’s sister Freida, after the latter’s sudden death in 1938. With the help and encouragement of his brother, Rabbi Shmuel Scheinberg, and his son-in-law, Rabbi Chaim Dov Altusky (Fruma Rochel’s husband), Scheinberg opened the Torah Ore yeshiva in the Bensonhurst  section of Brooklyn  in 1960. The yeshiva opened with six students and grew steadily, enrolling many local Sephardi  boys who were attracted by Scheinberg’s Torah knowledge and warmth. The Scheinbergs treated their students as their own children, raising money to marry them off and even pay their dentist bills.

Move to Israel

Torah Ore yeshiva in Kiryat Mattersdorf , Jerusalem .

In 1963 Bessie’s sister Ruchoma visited their father in Israel and toured a planned Haredi housing development in northern Jerusalem called Kiryat Mattersdorf , which was being developed by Rabbi Shmuel Ehrenfeld , the Mattersdorfer Rebbe, who was Ruchoma’s neighbor in New York. Upon her return, she told Bessie about her desire to buy an apartment there, and Bessie also expressed interest in buying an apartment. Though Scheinberg was skeptical about relocating his family and his American yeshiva to Israel, he made a pilot trip to tour the development and decided that it could work. The Scheinbergs, their daughter Fruma Rochel and her family, their son Simcha and his family, and over 20 of Scheinberg’s students moved into their new homes in May 1965. Rabbi Asa Wittow, a married student who had learned under Scheinberg since 1960 and who also served as his driver in New York, made aliyah  with him and moved into the same apartment building. He has served as Scheinberg’s driver ever since. Scheinberg first established the Torah Ore yeshiva in the Diskin Orphanage  building in the Givat Shaul neighborhood. Two years later, the Six-Day War  broke out, and many American tourists headed home. Scheinberg encouraged his students to stay, and none of the American students at Torah Ore left the yeshiva. During the war, Scheinberg showed his complete devotion to his students, giving them encouragement and sleeping together with them in the bomb shelter . After the war, Scheinberg undertook plans to build a permanent home for his yeshiva. Torah Ore moved into its present building in Kiryat Mattersdorf in 1971. As of 2011, the yeshiva enrolls nearly 800 students, including over 500 kollel  students. Bessie was a key partner in her husband’s work, supporting him and his students and opening her home to the many people who sought her husband’s counsel. They even installed a telephone in their bedroom so callers could reach him at any hour. On Simchat Torah , when hundreds of singing and dancing students escorted Scheinberg home from the yeshiva after services, she would look on from their fifth-floor apartment. When he came upstairs, he would say to her, “Did you see that? Did you see all those students singing and dancing? That was all because of you. It’s all yours, Basha”. Similarly, when she came into the yeshiva, he would give up his seat for her, saying, “Basha, this seat belongs to you”. Scheinberg became a central address for Americans in Israel seeking guidance for raising children, finding a neighborhood to live in, shidduchim , and medical issues, as well as regular halachic questions. His approbation is sought for many Hebrew-  and English-language  halacha books for adults and children. The English sefer  Rigshei Lev: Women and tefillah – perspectives, laws and customs cites his halachic opinions extensively. In 2000, his neighborhood lectures to English-speaking women were compiled in a book by ArtScroll .

Later life

Bessie, who had been in ill health for years, died on 21 October 2009 at the age of 96. They had been married for 81 years 24 days. Even in his later years, Scheinberg continues to fly abroad to fund-raise  for his yeshiva. He always took the Talmudic  tractate of Niddah  with him and tries to learn all 72 dapim  (folio-pages) during the flight. He was known for never wasting a minute, using the time he spends walking or driving to yeshiva immersed in Torah study. According to his driver, Rabbi Wittow, he always sat with a sefer in front of him, even at a wedding, and propped a Mishnah Berurah  on the shelf above his kitchen sink while he washes dishes. He was also famous for wearing many layers of tzitzit . At first, he wore about 150 pairs, but later, due to his fragile health, he wore only about 70 pairs. He had said that he wore them on behalf of people who do not fulfill this mitzvah , but Wittow believes that that is not the main reason. Thanks to Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

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Eli Goldsmith aka the Midnightrabbi inspired, is originally from a well-known family, in the music biz and entertainment industry, from London, has transferred his upbringing and talents to be at the cutting edge of culture and Jewish talent hosting events for many programs. He studied in England at John Lyons School Harrow, Woodhouse College and Sussex University! Continuing his education in Israel, Talmudic Law and group council at Ohr Somayach, Kollel Aiza Birah and Kollel Boston, in Derech Hamelech and Rabbi in 6 well-known programs where was named honorably the Midnightrabbi by the beloved students themselves, He has rounded off his outlook with a large breath of wisdom including the "7 habits" from Stephen Covey to become the “10 habits” practical business successful approach. Working as a Consultant in the well-known Charity for 4 years, the Jaffa Institute and sister program the Bet Shemesh Educational Center is where he honed his talents in management and formed a bond with many special people worldwide. Recently working as a Consultant and Office manager of UKA United Kashruth Authority. And as a Counselor at Retorno a REHAB center. Eli was excitedly consulting @Grantwatch.com, Hiko.Energy.com & Campuscasa.com as Customer Service & Sales Executive updating their Social media, @Student Services at MJI Institute. Eli Goldsmith is looking for new opportunities to inspire, alongside performing successfully as a Customer Service Executive at Nu Mark LLC. Eli contributes to HR and training with CX talks and positive professional feedback. Speaking in front of large audiences with confidence and inspiration. Eli is dedicating his spare time to the Future Special Education. This is the key to the root of the issue in Education! Partner with Founder of Unity Inspires Projects aka UPI! Unityinspiresprojects@gmail.com & for consultancy & speaker :) Eli G for your phone specialists Customer Service Manager - eligcellularisrael@gmail.com

6 responses to “Rabbi HaGaon Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg passes away at 101 Tzl’B”

  1. midnightrabbi says :

    Off the leveaya today and 6pm Rav Ezriel Tauber speaking in english today, see below and comments , only simchas Bd’H! A huge loss, he blessed my marriage and daughter… http://midnightrabbi1eligoldsmith.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/tiferes-yonoson-moshe-a-new-spirit-arises-in-jerusalem/

    • midnightrabbi says :

      only good news friends Massacre in Toulouse

      Adar 29, 5772 • March 23, 2012

      A Heartfelt Plea from Mrs. Chava (Eva) Sandler of Toulouse

      My heart is broken. I am unable to speak. There are no ways for me to be able to express the great and all-consuming pain resulting from the murder of my dear husband Rabbi Jonathan and our sons, Aryeh and Gavriel, and of Miriam Monsonego, daughter of the dedicated principal of Ozar Hatorah and his wife, Rabbi Yaakov and Mrs. Monsonego.

      May no one ever have to endure such pain and suffering.

      Because so many of you, my cherished brothers and sisters in France and around the world, are asking what you can do on my behalf, on behalf of my daughter Liora and on behalf of the souls of my dear husband and children, I feel that, difficult though it may be, it is incumbent upon me to answer your entreaties.

      My husband’s life was dedicated to teaching Torah. We moved back to the country of his birth to help young people learn about the beauty of Torah. He was truly a good man, loving, giving, and selfless. He was sensitive to all of G‑d’s creatures, always searching for ways to reveal the goodness in others.

      He and I raised Aryeh and Gavriel to live the ways of Torah. Who would have known how short would be their time on this Earth, how short would be the time I would be with them as their mother?

      I don’t know how I and my husband’s parents and sister will find the consolation and strength to carry on, but I know that the ways of G‑d are good, and He will reveal the path and give us the strength to continue. I know that their holy souls will remain with us forever, and I know that very soon the time will come when we will be together again with the coming of Moshiach.

      I wholeheartedly believe in the words of the verse: “The L-ord has given, and the L-ord has taken away; blessed be the Name of the L-ord.” I thank the Almighty for the privilege, short though it was, of raising my children together with my husband. Now the Almighty wants them back with Him.

      To all those who wish to bring consolation to our family and contentment to the souls of the departed: Let’s continue their lives on this Earth.

      Parents, please kiss your children. Tell them how much you love them, and how dear it is to your heart that they be living examples of our Torah, imbued with the fear of Heaven and with love of their fellow man.

      Please increase your study of Torah, whether on your own or with your family and friends. Help others who may find study difficult to achieve alone.

      Please bring more light into the world by kindling the Sabbath candles this and every Friday night. (Please do so a bit earlier than the published times as a way to add holiness to our world.)

      The holiday of Passover is approaching. Please invite another person into your homes so that all have a place at a Seder to celebrate the holiday of our freedom.
      Along with our tearful remembrance of our trials in Egypt so many years ago, we still tell over how “in each and every generation, they have stood against us to destroy us.” We all will announce in a loud and clear voice: “G‑d saves us from their hands.”

      The spirit of the Jewish people can never be extinguished; its connection with Torah and its commandments can never be destroyed.

      May it be G‑d’s will that from this moment on, we will all only know happiness.

      I send my heartfelt condolences to the Monsonego family for the loss of their daughter Miriam, and I pray for the speedy recovery of Aharon ben Leah, who was injured in the attack.

      Thank you for your support and love.

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