Rabbi Emanuel Gettinger, z”l, long-time Rav of the Young Israel of the West Side and president of the historic Ezras Torah tzedakah organization, was niftar on Friday in Chicago.
“He was a true gadol b’Torah,” said Rabbi Shlomo Besser, Rav of Khal Bnei Yisrael Chaim of Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “When he came to the West Side, someone who was among the greatest talmidim of Rav Hutner, it picked up the whole neighborhood.”
Rabbi Gettinger led the Young Israel since its founding in 1953. Among his many talents was the ability to custom his vast Torah knowledge to the wide variety of congregants and to approach all sorts of situations with his signature calm disposition.
In his younger years, Rabbi Gettinger was an active educator in the Yeshivah of Crown Heights as well as other mosdos. He also led Derech Chochma, an organization to support yeshivos and Day Schools.
Rabbi Gettinger’s father-in-law, Rabbi Naphtali Riff, a great-grandson of the Netziv, led Ezras Torah from 1958 until his petirah in 1976. Upon his passing, his trusty son-in-law became tremendously involved in the legendary organization, eventually being appointed as its president.
“He was an unbelievable talmid chacham, with an amazing sense of humor, and always had a twinkle in his eye,” said Rabbi Mordechai Besser, principal of Manhattan Day School.
His is survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Rochel Gettinger, sons Rabbi Rafoel Moshe, Rosh Yeshivas Medrash Chaim of Lakewood; Rabbi Yisroel Gettinger, Rav of Khal Bnei Torah in Indianapolis; and a daughter, Dr. Sarah Ungar of Chicago.
Yehi zichro baruch.