A large crowd accompanied Mrs. Malka Raizel Sheinfeld, a”h, the wife of Harav Moshe Zev Halevi Sheinfeld, shlita, of Tel Aviv, daughter of Harav Yitzchak Meir Levin, zt”l, leader of World Agudas Yisrael and son-in-law of the Imrei Emes of Gur, zy”a, on her final journey on Monday morning. She had passed away Sunday night at the age of 89.
Malka Sheinfeld was born in Warsaw to her renowned father, Harav Yitzchak Meir Hakohen Levin, zt”l, and Rebbetzin Devorah Mattel, a”h, on Shabbos, 27 Shevat 5685/1925. Her father was the oldest son of Harav Chanoch Tzvi Hakohen, zt”l, of Bendin, who was the son-in-law of the Sfas Emes of Gur, zy”a. Her mother was the daughter of the Imrei Emes of Gur, zy”a. She grew up in a home of greatness, and throughout her life, would longingly recall the days in the presence of “Der Zeideh Rebbe” and “Der Zeideh Rav” (the grandfather, the Rebbe and the grandfather, the Rav.)
Malka Raizel was named for her great-grandmother, the mother of Rebbetzin Chaya Ruda Yehudis, a”h, and the wife of Harav Noach Shachor of Biala, zt”l. She followed the path of her namesake in wisdom and righteousness, and strove to emulate her eminent family.
Her father, Harav Yitzchak Meir Levin, zt”l, was instrumental in helping his father-in-law, the Imrei Emes, in establishing Agudas Yisrael in Poland. He met frequently with many Gedolei Yisrael and Malka had the privilege of seeing many of the Gedolim of that time, from across the spectrum of chareidi Jewry, in the capacity of these meetings.
She once went with her grandmother, Rebbetzin Faiga, the wife of the Bendiner Rav, and her mother, Rebbetzin Mattel, to the Chofetz Chaim, zy”a, when he was visiting Warsaw. The Bendiner Rebbetzin asked the Chofetz Chaim to daven for them that they should see nachas from their offspring. The Chofetz Chaim emotionally responded, “oif dem darf men gut horoven — one must invest a lot of effort in the chinuch of children” and blessed them that they should reap the fruits of their labor.
Black clouds began to gather over Europe and Hitler, rose to power. A short time before the war, young Malka dreamed that a huge cloud of smoke suddenly separated her from all her friends. She kept her dream to herself, and only after the war, when it emerged that she alone of all her friends had survived, did she understand what it meant. She would ask, “Why did I survive when my friends and extended family did not?” She strengthened herself with firm emunah in Hashem, established a new generation with joy and generosity, and carried her grief in her heart in silence.
When war broke out, she was fortunate to be able to escape with her parents and her grandfather, the Imrei Emes. They endured a miraculous journey and reached the coast of Eretz Yisrael.
After the war, she married Harav Moshe Zev Halevi Sheinfeld, shlita, also a survivor, and a grandson of Harav Henoch Landau, zt”l — of the eminent Gerrer chassidim in Krakow and a confidant of the Imrei Emes. The shidduch was completed in the home of the Rebbe in Yerushalayim, who also served as mesader kiddushin.
With the establishment of her own home, Malka opened her heart and home to anyone in need, and intuited what everyone needed. She also supported her husband in all his work on behalf of the Klal, as well as for individuals. She offered her home with graciousness for whatever need it could fill. Many important meetings were held there, where matters of importance to chareidi Jewry in Eretz Yisrael and in Tel Aviv were addressed. These meetings were attended by the leaders of chareidi Jewry in that generation.
She invested all of her efforts in raising her children to Torah and Yiras Shamayim, and indeed, she established a generation of children and grandchildren who gave her much nachas and devotedly cared for her in her later years.
Mrs. Sheinfeld was extremely devoted to her parents, especially to her mother after her father passed away. Together with her older brother, Harav Yehudah Leib Levin, z”l, she undertook to care for her. Her mother’s home in Yerushalayim became her second home.
In addition to her older sister, Rivka Yocheved, and her husband Reb Simchah Rapaport, her sister-in-law Pessel, and their children, who were killed during the Holocaust, Hy”d, Mrs. Sheinfeld also lost a 12-year-old sister, Chaya Ruda Yehudis, a”h, after they both fell ill with a dangerous illness. Malka recovered, while her sister did not. When they arrived in Eretz Yisrael at the beginning of the war, her brother, Habachur Pinchas Yaakov Levin, z”l, a renowned Gaon, passed away suddenly. The Imrei Emes said of him “Rochev Aravos [Hashem] is pleased as this clean, pious soul comes up to Him.” Her brother, Harav Leibel Levin, z”l, the founding editor of the Hebrew Hamodia, passed away suddenly in the prime of his life. But she bore all her suffering quietly; she turned her silence into an art, and measured her words carefully.
In the last few years, she suffered greatly.
On Sunday afternoon, she was taken to the hospital with complications of her condition, and later that evening she passed away, surrounded by all her children.
The levayah departed from her home in Tel Aviv, attended by the Gerrer Rebbe, shlita. A hesped was delivered by her cousin and mechutan, Harav Yitzchak Dovid Alter, shlita, a son of the Pnei Menachem, zy”a.
At the cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, a hesped was delivered by Harav Moshe Pinchas Zander, shlita, the Gerrer Rav in Tel Aviv, who described the righteousness and greatness of the nifteres.
After the kevurah, emotional words of farewell were delivered by her grandson, Harav Elazar Meir Rand. He said that just two weeks ago, his grandmother told him that when a person goes on to the next world, he takes nothing with him — not gold, not silver, not yichus and not even good health, which we daven for so much. Only when he leaves behind zera beirach Hashem does he have with what to go On High. He asked in the name of the family that she continue to be a melitzas yosher, and daven for them and for yeshuos for Klal Yisrael, as she always had.
Mrs. Sheinfeld is survived by her husband, Harav Moshe Zev Sheinfeld; her sons Reb Shabsi and Reb Avraham Mordechai, and her daughters Mrs. Ruti Rubinstein and Mrs. Faigy Katz, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.