The Torah world is mourning the tragic loss of the Z’kan Ha’admorim, the Rachmastrivka Rebbe, zy”a.
Levayah was held at 4 p.m. at the main Rachmastrivka beis medrash in Boro Park, followed by kevurah in the Rachmastrivka section of Har Shalom Cemetery in Airmont.
The Rebbe, Harav Chai Yitzchak Twersky, was born in 1930. His parents were the Rachmastrivka Rebbe Harav Yochanan, and Rebbetzin Esther Rivka, daughter of Harav Nachman Yosef Wilhelm, zichronom livrachah.
The Rebbe, Harav Yitzchak was a talmid of Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt”l, and was part of the shiur that learned in the latter’s home.
The Rebbe married the Rebbitzen, shetichyeh, daughter of the Skverer Rebbe, Harav Yaakov Yosef, zy”a, and moved to the United States. He stood at his father-in-law’s side and formed an incredibly close relationship with him. The Skverer Rebbe entrusted him with overseeing the chinuch mosdsos in Skver.
After the petirah of the Skverer Rebbe in 1968, Harav Yitzchak stayed in New Square until the petirah of his father, Harav Yochanan, on 20 Kislev 5742 – 1982, after which his older brother, Harav Yisrael Mordechai, zy”a, became Rebbe in Eretz Yisrael and Harav Yitzchak became the Rachmastrivka Rebbe in America. The two Rachmastrivka Rebbes were extraordinarily close, and regularly exchanged letters.
He bought a shul in Boro Park from the Dejer Rebbe, zy”a, who was moving to Miami. He insisted on buying an existing shul, not opening a new one, as that would mean taking people away from someone who already had a shul.
The Rebbe’s Boro Park home soon became a place where Yidden from across the Torah spectrum came to seek chizuk and advice. He was widely respected in the Yeshivah world for his vast Torah knowledge. He was mechazeik many broken souls, and guided many who had no connection to his chassidus.
For years he refused to establish his own institutions or allow his chassidim to open a school, until the chassidus grew to a degree that young families were struggling to find a yeshivah for their children, at which point he relented. Today there are Rachmastrivka chadarim in Boro Park, Monsey, and Lakewood, a Yeshivah Ketanah and Yeshivah Gedolah, in addition to a girls’ school in Boro Park.
While there were only a handful of Rachmastrivka chassidim in America when he became Rebbe, over the decades so many individuals who previously had no relationship to him gravitated to the Rebbe’s warmth and greatness, that it became a flourishing kehillah.
Over the years, five volumes of the Rebbe’s Torah, titled Amaros Tehoros al haTorah, and two volumes on Moadim, were published, and were warmly accepted by the Torah world. Many who were not familiar with the Rebbe personally gained an appreciation of his greatness through learning his seforim.
His humility was legendary. The warmth with which he greeted every Yid who came to see him was palpable. As hard as he tried to hide his lofty levels of the avodas Hashem, those who came in contact with him sensed it and were inspired by merely being in his presence.
At the levayah, the Rachmastrivka Dayan Harav Meyer Yosef Rubin, shlita, who is a grand child of the Rebbe, asked mechilah in the name of the family and the kehillah. As he uttered the words “the Rebbe zechuso yagein aleinu,” there was a tremendous outburst of anguish heard from the thousands gathered for the levayah. He also thanked Harav Menachem Nachum Twersky, shlita, for his devoted care day and night to oversee the health and other needs of the Rebbe. Finally, he thanked the shamashim for their trusted service of every need of the Rebbe.
The Rachmastrivka Rebbe, shlita, of Yerushalayim spoke via phone hookup, and quoted pesukim from Eichah as well as phrases from selichos which describe the tragedy and the loss of tzaddikim.
It was announced that Harav Dovid Moshe, shlita, the oldest living son of the Rebbe, will succeed the Rebbe in Boro Park, and the other sons will be mamshich as well.
Kevurah was in the Rachmastrivka chelkah in the Nehar Shalom Beis Hachaim in Airmont, NY.
Zchuso yagen aleinu.
אבל גדול וכבד בעולם התורה והחסידות עם הסתלקותו של זקן אדמו״רי ארה”ב, כ״ק האדמו״ר רבי חי יצחק טברסקי מראחרמסטריווקא ארה״ב