The passing of Rebbetzin Neitchu Landau, a”h, wife of Harav Naphtali Landau, z”l, the Chuster Dayan, was announced with great sorrow.
A picture of the noble eishes chayil of prewar Europe, Rebbetzin Landau, the product of a family of great Rabbanim, carried herself with an exceptionally aristocratic bearing. At the same time, her outgoing personality, humor and nonjudgmental nature made her a friend to people of all ages and types. She embodied the image of a loving and giving wife, mother, and grandmother, whose primary concern in life was to care for her beloved family.
Rebbetzin Landau was born in 1927 in Chust, Hungary. Her parents were Harav Yaakov “Yakel” and Sima Friedman, Hy”d.
Rav Yakel served as Chust’s Dayan, dealing with most of the prominent town’s halachic she’eilos. Accustomed to the stream of townspeople who sought her father’s psak, young Neitchu, known for her sharp mind, knew several preliminary questions to ask before allowing people to speak directly to her father.
In addition to the influence of her parents’ home, a bastion of Torah and hachnasas orchim, Rebbetzin Landau also merited to spend several summers with her grandfather, Harav Shlomo Lazer Weizel, z”l, the Rav of Tenneva, a known talmid chacham and baal mofes.
At the tender age of 17, Rebbetzin Landau was deported, together with her family, to Auschwitz. Miraculously saved from the selektzia at arrival, after a few months she was transferred to a labor camp where she worked in a munitions factory.
In 1945, she married Rav Naphtali in Grossvardein, Hungary. There, Rav Landau, who had also acted as a posek in Chust before the war, was heavily involved in helping to deal with issues of agunos and other halachic problems of the postwar era.
The couple immigrated to America in 1946, living in Williamsburg for many years before moving to Boro Park in the early 1960s. In a short while, Rav Landau became one of the major adjudicators of dinei Torah, serving on batei din together with many Gedolei Yisrael, including Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, and Harav Yonasan Steif, zt”l. In their many years together, Rebbetzin Landau was the quintessential eishes chaver, doing whatever she could to assist and care for her husband.
Besides the tremendous efforts that Rebbetzin Landau put into her own household, she was constantly involved in chassadim of all sorts. Not only was she a reliable address for countless individuals in need, she had a founding role in Tomer Devorah of Boro Park, Bnos Tzion of Bobov, and Satmar’s Beis Rochel and worked tirelessly for several bikur cholim societies.
She is survived by her son, Harav Binyomin Landau, Tosher Dayan of Boro Park; and her daughters Rebbetzin Simi Katz, Rebbetzin Toba Frankel, Rebbetzin Esther Feiner, and Rebbetzin Rochel Issacson.
Yehi zichrah baruch.