This past Erev Shabbos, Parashas Re’eh, the Boro Park community bid a mournful farewell to Mrs. Reizel Fleischer a”h, the mother of ybl”c, noted askan Reb Yitzchok Fleischer. Through many trials during and after the Second World War, the nifteres exemplified a generation of “simple” Jews who were ready to show great mesiras nefesh for Yiddishkeit.
Kina Reizel Fleischer was born in Budapest in 1922 to Reb Meir Yitzchok z”l and Mrs. Baila Fernbach a”h. There she attended the city’s Jewish girls’ school as well as imbibed the elevated chinuch of her parent’s home.
In the early years of the war, many Jewish refugees from Poland and other Nazi-occupied lands fled to Budapest hoping to find safety there. However, the local Hungarian authorities took great efforts to deport these expatriates. The Fernbachs, at great personal risk, hid a family of three young Jewish children in their own apartment, saving their lives.
With the Nazi invasion of Hungary, young Raizel and her mother were successful in avoiding deportation by obtaining false papers and posing as non-Jews. However, in a testament to their great dedication to Yiddishkeit, even under the most difficult of circumstances, they would meet regularly and remind each other of their true identities.
In 1946, she married Meilech Fleischer, a Bluzhever Chassid, originally from Galicia. The couple wed in Budapest and soon after immigrated to Argentina.
The family settled in the city of Santa Fe, where Reb Meilech established a textile business. Unfortunately, the town offered very little by way of an established Jewish community. Despite the lack of support and amenities of Jewish life, Mrs. Fleisher went to tremendous lengths to preserve the high spiritual standards with which she had been raised.
With great self-sacrifice, the Fleischers sent their only son, Yitzchok, at the tender age of 12, to New York to study in the Bobover yeshivah. The couple was not even able to participate in their own son’s bar mitzvah, which was held shortly thereafter.
A year later, the Fleischers were able to obtain entry to America and settled in Boro Park, where they raised their family.
She is survived by her son, Reb Yitzchok, and daughters; Mrs. Shifra Friedman, Mrs. Chaya Klein, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Yehi Zichrah Baruch.