Rebbetzin Malka Hager, a”h, the widow of the Kossov Zolitchick Rebbe, zy”a, was niftar on Wednesday night, 22 Kislev. She was 90 years old. The Rebbetzin was remembered as a humble pillar of chessed who was zocheh to raise two prominent Boro Park Rabbanim, the Kossover Rebbe, shlita, and the present Kossov Zolitchick Rav, shlita, who serves as Rosh Yeshivah of the Vizhnitzer Yeshivah Ketanah of Boro Park.
The Rebbetzin was born in 1926 in Dezh, Romania. Her parents, Reb Yechezkel Shraga and Miram Sander, Hy”d, were known in the community for their open home which provided daily meals, “teg” to many of the local yeshivah students, among many others who availed themselves of their hospitality.
Both of the Rebbetzin’s parents perished during the Holocaust and she herself was deported to a concentration camp where she managed to survive. Shortly after liberation, she found herself imprisoned again as a result of a libel, this time by the communist authorities who had taken control of Romania. A message was sent to the Belzer Rebbe, Harav Aharon Rokeach, zy”a, on her behalf and, in a story of open hashgachah pratis, the Rebbetzin was released shortly afterward.
Immigrating alone to Eretz Yisrael, she lived for a short period of time in Tel Aviv, in close proximity to the tzaddik whose brachah had helped secure her freedom. During the years she spent living in Bnei Brak, she would look out a certain window at an appointed time daily to catch a glimpse of the Chazon Ish as he passed by, a sign of the deep respect for talmidei chachamim that her parents had planted deep within her.
The Rebbetzin traveled to America, where she married Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel Hager, zy”a, the Kossov Zolitchick Rebbe, a descendent of the Vizhnitzer dynasty.
The Rebbetzin continued her proud mesorah of tzedakah and chessed thoughout her life. She and her husband went to great lengths to lend financial support to struggling talmidei chachamim, and wives of bnei Torah who frequented the Rebbetzin’s robe shop were dependably given generous discounts or even given merchandise free of charge.
In the early 1970s, Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel founded the Kossov Zolitchick beis medrash in Boro Park upon the advice of his cousin, the Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz, Harav Chaim Meir Hager, zy”a. The Rebbetzin cared for the shul and its mispallelim with great dedication for many years.
The levayah took place on Wednesday morning at the Kossov Zolitchick beis medrash before proceeding to the main Vitzhnitzer beis medrash in Monsey, followed by kevurah in the Vizhnitzer beis hachaim.
The Rebbetzin is survived by, ybl”c, her sons, Harav Chaim Yechezkel, Rav of Beis Medrash Kossov Zolitchick and Harav Shraga Feival, Kossover Rebbe, as well as by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Yehi zichrah baruch.