Harav Mendel Gross, who was marbitz Torah to generations of talmidim and served on the hanhalah of the Mesivta of Bobov-45 was niftar suddenly on erev Shabbos morning. He was 66 years old.
From the time that he began his career in chinuch until the time of his petirah, Rav Gross was a beloved Rebbi who maintained an especially close bond with the many bachurim who had the merit to learn from him. Finding a way to connect to talmidim of all levels of abilities and needs, his great clarity as a Maggid Shiur was rivaled only by the sincere caring he imparted to his talmidim.
Rav Gross, with his sharp mind and ahavas haTorah, reveled in imparting the depth of understanding to be tapped in sugyos haShas and in recent years gave a special shiur on Motzoei Shabbosos for elite bachurim in sefarim such as the Ketzos Hachoshen and the Shev Shmatsa.
Yet, he gave his heart and time equally, if not more, for those talmidim who were experiencing hard times in life and struggled in their learning. After spending many hours over a long period of time with one such bachur, he once received a present as a small token of appreciation. The last words of the note that was sent with it spoke volumes, “Thank you for not giving up on me,” wrote the talmid.
Menachem (Mendel) Yechezkel Gross was born in 1951 in Brooklyn. His father, Reb Ahron Shmuel, z”l, and mother, Mrs. Rochel Gross, a”h, were natives of Galicia and had both lost their families in the Holocaust. Reb Ahron Shmuel was a model of the “ehrliche Yidden” of yore, who finished the whole sefer Tehillim daily and was trusted by several Gedolei Yisrael with issues of great importance.
From a young age, Mendel attended Bobover mosdos, and became a dedicated Chassid of the Bobover Rebbe, Harav Shlomo Halberstam, zy”a. This bond would grow as he took on a role as Maggid Shiur. In this capacity, he also frequently consulted with the Rebbe’s son, Harav Naftoli Halberstam, zy”a, both before and after Rav Naftoli succeeded his father as Bobover Rebbe.
As a bachur, Mendel became a close talmid of Harav Yaakov Yosef Halberstam, who was then a senior Maggid Shiur in the mesivta and is today Rav of Khal Chaim Yehoshua.
Recognizing his abilities in learning, Harav Zishe Follman, zt”l, who served as Menahel of the mesivta, appointed him to deliver a shiur, shortly before Rav Gross became a chassan.
In 1973, he married Frumy Buxbaum. As his career progressed, Rav Gross’ schedule became increasingly demanding and unpredictable. In addition to the time he spent preparing and delivering shiurim, Rav Gross spent countless hours counseling talmidim, as well as talking to mechanchim and parents. Through all this, Mrs. Gross remained his trusty counterpart, fully supporting and enabling his efforts.
Twelve years ago, Rav Gross was appointed the Menahel of the mesivta of Bobov-45. From that time on, in addition to continuing to serve as a master mechanech, he was a particularly trusted advisor to the Bobov-45 Rebbe, Harav Mordechai Dovid Unger, shlita.
The levayah was held on Friday afternoon at the beis medrash of Bobov-45.
He is survived by his wife and many children and grandchildren.
Yehi zichro baruch.