The sudden, tragic, passing of Harav Efraim Yechezkel Panet, zt”l, at the young age of 49 during a brief visit to London plunged his family, friends, and admirers into mourning. Harav Panet was widely recognized as an outstanding personality, who advised and cared for all those around him.
Harav Efraim Yechezkel Panet was born on Erev Yom Kippur 1966. His father was Harav Dov Berish Panet, zy”a, Dezher Rebbe and and Rav in Kiryas Eliezer, Haifa. In his youth, Efraim Eliezer was able to learn from the ways of his saintly father. He followed in his ways, continually striving for aliyah in Torah v’avodah. He was known for his deep knowledge of Torah, both in niglah and nistar, and was regularly consulted about the removal of ayin hara. Harav Efraim Yechezkel was closely associated with Bobov, in particular Reb Shlomo and Reb Naftuli Bobov, zy”a. After he settled in Bnei Brak, he lived in Ramat Aharon and frequented the Bobov-45 Beis Hamedrash.
He became an exceptional expert in the field of Kashrus and kashrus supervision, gaining the confidence of, ybl”c, Harav Moishe Yehudah Leib Landau, Mara D’Asra of Bnei Brak. Following the petirah of his father, Harav Efraim Yechezkel became widely known for his sage advice and wisdom that he gave freely in order to help many people who came to him.
The whole life of Harav Efraim Yechezkel was dedicated to the needs of others. Whenever he heard of a family or an individual who was in need, he rushed to their aid. Often, the recipients of his ma’aseh chessed were amazed at the large sums of money that he gave. However, he was always most particular that the chessed should be hidden from the rest of the world, and very few people were ever aware of the extent of his activities.
Besides providing for the gashmiyus needs of people, he was also most successful in helping to support broken and dispirited souls who needed to be revived and healed. He made himself as a father for dispirited and dejected bachurim, until they felt cared for and able to continue living. They considered him like a malach from Heaven.
During the past week, Harav Panet visited Antwerp and then travelled to London in order to take part in a simchah. On Sunday, he suddenly felt unwell at his lodgings. Despite the intensive efforts of Hatzolah, they were unable to revive him. Following the recent legal intervention, the coroner instructed that a CT scan should take place. This took place on Tuesday and immediately afterwards the levayah took placed in Stamford Hill.
The maspidim in Stamford Hill were led by Harav Efraim Padwa, Mara D’Asra, followed by the elder brother of the niftar, Harav Yosef Panet, Dezher Rebbe of Ramot, Yerushalayim. The last maspid was Harav Yosef Binyomin Wosner, Rav of Satmar, London, who announced that a Keren Yesomim had been established in order to support his young almanah and his unmarried children.
The levayah in Eretz Yisrael took place late Tuesday evening from his house in Bnei Brak. The levayah passed by Bobov-45 Beis Hamedrash where the niftar davened regularly. He was finally laid to rest in the Beis Hachaim Chelkas Spinke. He is survived by, ybl”c, his eishes chayil, his children who are all dedicated to follow his derech bakodesh together with his many admirers and friends who benefitted from his tzidkus.
Yehi zichro baruch.