She was a woman of tremendous wisdom and great warmth. In consonance with her regal bearing and noble character, she did great deeds, privately and modestly. An exemplary daughter, sister, wife and mother, she left as her eternal legacy an example of what a Bas Yisrael should be. The words of Shlomo Hamelech’s Eishes Chayil describe her aspirations, strengths and stellar accomplishments.
Mrs. Leah (nee Landau) Levi was born in 1957 to her esteemed parents, Reb Efraim, z”l, and, tbl”c, Brocha Sheindel Landau. Reb Efraim, a Holocaust survivor who was a devoted Bobover chassid fin der heim, played a major role in reestablishing that chassidus in America after the war. The Landaus initially lived in Crown Heights, later settling in Boro Park.
Leah attended Bais Yaakov Elementary and High School. She was admired and appreciated by her classmates for her maturity, her friendly nature, calming influence and practical wisdom. Her warm sense of humor sparkled, making it a pleasure to be in her company.
In 1976, Leah married, ybl”c, Reb Shmuel Tzvi Levi, of Uruguay. A son of parents with a strong familial connection to the Nitra kehillah, Reb Shmuel Tzvi is a highly respected member of Emunas Yisrael, led by Harav Moshe Wolfson, shlita.
Reb Shmuel Tzvi and Leah raised a beautiful family. Until her children grew up, Mrs. Levi invested all her kochos into their care and chinuch. Being a full-time mother at home was a source of great satisfaction to her.
As her children married and built their own homes, Mrs. Levi continued to nurture them — physically, emotionally and spiritually.
A daughter reflected, “Our mother did everything she could for us. It was her greatest joy to do so.” She delighted in treating her granddaughters to new robes for Yom Tov; in giving gifts, in giving of her time, of her energy.
Perhaps the greatest present Mrs. Levi gave her descendants was her sterling example. Integrity — emes — was her hallmark. Her daily tefillos and Tehillim were never said by rote, but with concentration and feeling. She not only realized the importance of doing chessed; she understood how to do it — with dignity, discretion and pleasantness. Her gevuras hanefesh, inner strength, was wondrous. Even in the most difficult times, she galvanized her koach haratzon to do what needed to be done; to persevere; to hope, and to move forward. The beauty, aristocracy and order of her life were an inspiration.
For many years, she served as executive assistant to Mrs. Ruth Lichtenstein, publisher of Hamodia and Binah, and founder and director of Project Witness. Mrs. Lichtenstein greatly valued Mrs. Levi, for her outstanding personal qualities as well as for her professional excellence. Their mutual connection and admiration were strong.
Mrs. Lichtenstein reflects, “Mrs. Levi was a true role model of what an eishes chayil should be. A very smart woman, she knew when to speak and when to be silent. Her priorities in life were clear. And whoever she was with, at any moment, felt that she was there for them, that they were most important to her.”
Her husband’s shiurim and sedarim were sacrosanct to her. She had a deep appreciation for his Torah and avodah, as well as that of her children and grandchildren. These were the things that mattered to her, which brought her gratification and which she encouraged.
Mrs. Levi is survived by, ybl”c, her husband, Reb Shmuel Tzvi; her mother, Mrs. Brocha Sheindel Landau; her brothers, Reb Shaul and Reb Leibish; her sister, Mrs. Beilu Zisholtz; her sons, Reb Leibel, Reb Mordechai, Reb Nosson and Reb Dov; her daughters, Mrs. Yehudis Rivka Friedman, Mrs. Chana Malka Friedman and Mrs. Pessi Piller; and many grandchildren, kein yirbu, who follow the blessed ways of their ancestors.
Yehi zichrah baruch.