Son-in-law of the Kol Aryeh
Thursday, 28 Sivan/June 6, marks the 111th yahrtzeit of Harav Yaakov Ehrenreich, zt”l. Rav Ehrenreich descended from Harav Shabbtai Sheftel Horowitz of Prague, zt”l, (c. 1561/1619), mechaber of the Kabbalistic work Shefa Tal. He resided in Sabrantz, Hungary, and was a talmid of Harav Shlomo Zalman Ullman, Rav of Makava, Hungary, mechaber of Yerios Shlomo. Reb Yaakov became a son-in-law of Harav Avraham Yehudah Hakohen Schwartz, zt”l, Rav of Beregsazs and Mahd in Hungary and mechaber of She’eilos U’teshuvos Kol Aryeh (known as the Kol Aryeh after his sefer).
After their marriage, the Ehrenreichs initially resided with the family of the Kol Aryeh in Beregsazs, and later in Sabrantz, Reb Yaakov’s native city
After their arrival in America circa 1880, Reb Yaakov served as a role model for Yidden on these shores as he raised a family of frum, erliche Yidden and was active as a prominent askan for Torah causes. He served as Rosh Hakahal of Kehillas Ahavas Yeshurun on the Lower East Side. After Reb Yaakov’s petirah on 28 Sivan 5662/July 3, 1902 at the age of fifty-six, he was brought to rest the following day at Washington Cemetery on the outskirts of Boro Park. His matzeivah describes him as a “Rabanei hayakar, hamuflag v’yerei Hashem oheiv Torah upoel tzedek.”
Rav Ehrenreich’s sons who had remained in Europe developed into Gedolei Yisrael under the tutelage of their grandfather, the Kol Aryeh. His older son, Harav Shlomo Zalman, was Rav of Shamloh in Hungary and wrote Leshem Shlomo and other sefarim. His younger son Harav Chaim Zvi succeeded the Kol Aryeh as Rav of Mahd and wrote Ketzei Hamateh, a commentary on the classic Mateh Ephraim, and She’eilos Uteshuvos Kav Chaim.
Reb Yaakov’s daughters married and established homes in America that carried on their family’s legacy.
Harav Ehrenreich is buried a short distance from Harav Gedalia Yosef Bernstein, zt”l, a well-known, inspirational figure of the Jewish community of Brownsville in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
On the day of the yahrtzeit, numerous Yidden will visit Rav Ehrenreich’s kever at Washington Cemetery to recite Tehillim and tefillos. The kever is located in section 3 of the cemetery, the stretch between Bay Parkway and 21st Avenue, on Sacks Road. For more information, contact the cemetery office at the intersection of Bay Parkway and MacDonald Avenue (phone number 718-377-8690). The cemetery hours are 8:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.