The Boro Park community and especially the kehillah of Ger were plunged into great sadness and mourning over the petirah of Riva Zelcer, a”h, age 8, who passed away after a nine-month bout with a fatal illness.
A large and heartbroken crowd gathered yesterday afternoon at Shomrei Hadaas Chapel, with many traveling back to Brooklyn early from the Catskills, to pay a final tribute to a precious young life.
Harav Dovid Olewsky, Rosh Yeshivas Bais Yisrael d’Ger, the first maspid, built on the nifteres’ name Riva, which is similar to the Hebrew word to include or increase, wishing that her untimely exit from the world — miut (exclusion) — should be a harbinger of an increased bounty of good tiding. His mention that the nifteres herself, realizing her difficult situation, had asked to be brought to kevurah in Eretz Yisrael, elicited audible cries from the emotional crowd.
Riva’s parents, Reb Chaim Zev and Mrs. Chana Leah Zelcer, are respected members of the community. He is a member of the Zichron Avrohom Gerrer shtiebel. Her grandparents, Reb Moshe Zelcer and Reb Ephriam Landau, are both highly respected members of Boro Park’s Gerrer kehillah.
Reb Moshe spoke with great strength and emunah, expressing his thanks to Hashem for the “gift” that his family was able to have for the eight short years of Riva’s life.
Following the tearful levayah, the aron continued to JFK airport en route to Eretz Yisrael for kevurah.