The yeshivah community in South Fallsburg is mourning deeply the passing late Tuesday night of Rebbetzin Bluma Rosengarten, a”h, the area’s pillar of chessed and the scion of some of the most respected families in American Jewish society. She was 59.
Rebbetzin Rosengarten, or Blumie, as she was known, was described by family and friends as a person who lived for her family’s growth, for a chance at chessed, for the next tefillah b’tzibbur, for another opportunity to answer amen.
“She was a person who did not live in this generation at all,” her son Yitzy told Hamodia on Wednesday as he was returning from the levayah. “In every aspect of her life she was very ruchniusdig.”
Rebbetzin Rosengarten, the daughter of the legendary couple of girls’ chinuch, Harav Boruch, zt”l, and Rebbetzin Vichna, a”h, Kaplan, was married to yblc”t, Harav Avrohom Nosson Rosengarten, a grandson of Harav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg, zt”l.
Born in Williamsburg in 1954, Blumie attended the Bais Yaakov which was founded by her legendary parents. Shortly after her marriage to Rabbi Rosengarten four decades ago, the young couple moved to the fledgling community set up in South Fallsburg by Harav Yeruchum Gorelik, zt”l, and yblc”t, Harav Elya Ber Wachtfogel.
Rebbetzin Rosengarten quickly became the go-to address for all needs or chessed in the close-knit community, which was organized around the Yeshivah Gedolah Zichron Moshe. She arranged meals for the families of women who gave birth and served as a living role model for a Yiddishe woman.
“You could call anyone in South Fallsburg; everyone knew her,” one family friend told a Hamodia reporter.
Family members noted a similarity she shared with her great-grandfather-in-law, Harav Yaakov Yosef, zt”l, whose stated goal was to “corner the market for chessed in America.”
Even when she was diagnosed three months ago with her terminal disease, she did not lose her focus. Coming home from the doctor, she immediately sat down to make phone calls to arrange meals for a woman who had a baby.
Her son Yitzy said that on Wednesday morning, he glanced at his mother’s siddur and found a long list of names of people she davened for. A separate list, she would say, was reserved for people who “baruch Hashem, do not need tefillos anymore.”
“In every part [of her personality] you could write a book about: her tznius, her tefillah b’tzibbur, she would not miss even an ‘Amen yehei Shemei Rabba,’” Yitzy said. “Her tefillos made her happy, even in her final days when she was in tremendous pain.”
The image of her mother stood before her eyes in all her actions, her son recalled.
“It was always, ‘Bubby Kaplan didn’t do that,’ ‘Bubby Kaplan would do that,’ ‘Bubby Kaplan didn’t ask a guest if they want food, you just give it to them,’ ‘Bubby Kaplan would do it like this,’” her son Yitzy said.
When Rebbetzin Kaplan passed away in 1986, Reb Boruch Kaplan came to live with his daughter in South Fallsburg, until his own petirah a decade later. During that time, Rebbetzin Rosengarten devoted herself to her father’s care — “she gave up her existence for him,” her son said.
The Rosengartens lived in a simple apartment but she was always happy. She refused to throw out her dining room furniture, because “how many Gedolim sat on these chairs?” By Gedolim she meant her parents, her grandfather Harav Scheinberg, zt”l, Harav Nosson Wachtfogel, zt”l, the Mashgiach of Beis Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, and others.
Although she lived in South Fallsburg for 38 years, he said, she never tired of admiring the tree in front of her house, looking at it as the symbol of Hashem’s hashgachah.
“She probably told us thousands of times in her life, ‘Mah rabbu maasecha Hashem,” he said.
Rebbetzin Rosengarten’s devotion to the Torah of her husband and sons was exceptional, Yitzy recalled. When her husband, a second seder shoel umeishiv in the yeshivah, was learning he was “completely off limits” to household chores. And when a child missed even a minute of Torah she would make him make it up.
Maspidim at the levayah, which took place in South Fallsburg yeshivah, included (in order of delivery) Harav Avraham Sher, a brother-in-law and a Rav in Monsey; Harav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, Rosh Yeshivah of South Fallsburg; Harav Yisroel Yaakov Kaplan, a brother; Harav Nechemia Kaplan, Rosh Yeshivah of a renowned yeshivah in Yerushalayim who flew in for the levayah; Rabbi Efraim Sher, a nephew and nasi of the Fallsburg yeshivah; her sons Boruch, Reb Yaakov Yosef, Reb Dovid, Reb Yitzchok, Reb Yehudah Leib, Reb Nochum; and her sons-in-law, Reb Chaim Zev Kirshenbaum, Reb Menachem Mendel Kravetz and Reb Yisroel Meir Rayman
Rebbetzin Rosengarten is survived by her illustrious brothers and husband, Harav Avrohom Nosson, and children: Reb Yaakov Yosef, Reb Dovid, Mrs. Devoiry Kirshenbaum, Mrs. Chani Kasnett, Reb Yitzchok, Reb Yehudah Leib, Reb Nochum, Mrs. Vichna Kravetz, Mrs. Tzini Rayman, Esti and Boruch.
Kevurah was in the Skver beis hachaim in New Square; with her father on the right and her mother on the left.
Shivah will be observed at 53 Laurel Park Rd., Apt B, in South Fallsburg until Tuesday morning.
Yehi zichrah baruch.