The Jewish community of Brooklyn mourned the a loss of respected Rebbitzen and precious link to the Gedolim of yesteryear, with the petirah of Rebbetzin Shaindel Malka Katz, a”h, on Monday night.
The nifteres was the widow of Harav Aharon Arye Katz, Rav of Khal Bais Aharon, and the daughter of the Faltishaner Rebbe, Harav Elazar Twersky, zy”a, and Rebbitzen Rivka Ruchel, a”h.
Her father was a scion of the Skverer- Chernobler dynasty; her maternal grandfather was Harav Meir, the Shotzer Rebbe, zy”a.
The Rebbetzin who was born in Teves 5684/1924 arrived on the shores of America in 1948, two years after getting married to Harav Aharon Arye in postwar Bucharest, Rumania. He was a beloved and esteemed talmid of the Satmar Rebbe, Harav Yoel Teitelbaum, zy”a.
Harav Katz bought the house of the Shul almost immediately upon his arrival, on Ocean Avenue and Avenue K in Flatbush, before Flatbush was the thriving frum community it is today. The shul, named Bais Aharon was not only a makom tefillah, but also a place where anyone in need of assistance would come. Though he never veered an iota from the hashkafos of his Rebbe, as well as from the chumros and minhagim — the shul held by the later zman of Rabbeinu Tam — he and his Rebbetzin were beloved by all.
Rebbetzin Katz wanted her husband to be free to devote his time to learning Torah, so she opened her own pre-school. It was very successful and grew to 180 students. Today it is run by her daughter-in-law, tbl”c.
When a prominent Rebbe, who was a mechutan, visited he commented, “You have more students here than I have in the yeshivah.” She would feed large numbers of guests on a regular basis and had only commercial pots in her kitchen, with the only “normal size” pot the one she used to cook eggs.
She would give tzedakah generously, helping out many yungeleit so that they would stay in learning. On numerous occasions a baal simchah would call the Rav commenting that he must have made a mistake because they got two checks: He gave one and she gave one. She would generously pay her children’s and einiklach’s bills, always trying to help them out. Her essence was giving.
Her husband, Harav Katz was niftar twenty-five years ago.
She is survived by her sons: Harav Mordechai Avraham, Rav of the Torah Vodaath minyan in Boro Park; Harav David Shlomo, Rav of Khal Bais Aharon; Harav Meir, Rosh Kollel of Seret; Harav Shia, Magriver Rav; Harav Yehonoson, Faltishaner Rav in Flatbush; and her daughters, Rebbetzin Rosie Horowitz, Rebbetzin Esther Ginsberg and Mrs. Rivka Ruchy Rubin.
Yehi zichrah baruch.