Rebbetzin Miriam Feldman, a”h, 96, a celebrated mechaneches and fountain of ahavas Yisrael and simchas hachaim, was niftar on Wednesday, 11 Elul. She was the widow of Harav Hirsh Feldman, zt”l, the former Mashgiach of Yeshivas Mir in Flatbush.
The Rebbetzin was born in 1920 in a small town in western Galicia, where her father, Harav Chaim Lieberman, zt”l, served as Rav. The family were descendants of many hallowed dynasties including Ropshitz, Sanz and Dzikov. Her mother, Rebbetzin Tirtzah, a”h, was a granddaughter of the Beitcher Rebbetzin, a”h, a daughter of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. As such, the nifteres was one of the Sanzer Rav’s few remaining great-grandchildren.
The spirit of kedushah and ways of the tzaddikim of past generations permeated the family’s home and made an indelible impression on young Miriam. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, the Liebermans were exiled to Siberia. There, they suffered terribly at the hands of the Soviets, but held fast to Torah and mitzvos with tremendous mesirus nefesh.
After two years, they were transferred to the Bukhara region, together with many other prisoners. There, she married Harav Hirsh Feldman, a talmid of the Talmud Torah of Kelm and Yeshivas Mir. With their refined middos and sophisticated understanding of the inner meaning of the vastly different traditions they had inherited, the union was a unique blend of the mesorah of Sanz and the lofty world of the baalei mussar.
After the war’s conclusion, the couple settled in Paris, where Rav Feldman led a yeshivah together with Harav Mordechai Pogramansky, zt”l. In 1950, upon the invitation of Harav Avraham Kalmanowitz, zt”l, Rav Feldman joined the newly founded Yeshivas Mir in Brooklyn as its Mashgiach Ruchani. In those years, the Rebbetzin served as a surrogate mother to countless numbers of her husband’s talmidim, ready to cook meals, do laundry, or tend to a long and varied list of needs.
As a teacher in several mosdos, including Bais Yaakov of Brighton Beach, Yeshiva of Brooklyn’s girls division and Masores Bais Yaakov, she was admired and adored by staff and students alike. Former talmidos remember the warmth and enthusiasm with which she skillfully imparted not only knowledge, but a deep love of Yiddishkeit.
The Rebbetzin suffered several tragedies during her adult life, including the loss of her youngest son, Chaim, z”l, as well as those of her son-in-law and daughter, Rabbi Zev Weiss, z”l, and Mrs. Chashie Weiss, a”h. Harav Feldman was niftar 39 years ago, leaving the Rebbetzin a widow while still in her fifties. Despite these harsh blows, she accepted the Divine decree with steadfast emunah and resilience.
The levayah was held Wednesday afternoon at Yeshivas Mir. The aron was then flown to Eretz Yisrael, where an additional levayah was scheduled to take place at the Brisker Kollel in Yerushalayim, followed by kevurah on Har Hazeisim.
The Rebbetzin is survived by her son, Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Feldman; daughters, Mrs. Tirtzah Puretz, Mrs. Reisel Melber, and Mrs. Rechel Reiner, as well as by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Yehi zichrah baruch.