The Chicago community was thrown into mourning by the sudden passing of Rabbi Hillel Mandel, Menahel of Yeshivah Ohr Baruch-Veitzener Cheder at age 62. Rabbi Mandel was a noted master mechanech, and his petirah leaves an unfillable void.
Before arriving in Chicago, where he served as Menahel for fifteen years, Rabbi Mandel was a Rebbi and subsequently a Menahel in Los Angeles, Deal, Montreal and Boston. In each of those communities, the substantial imprint he left was evident, as he helped develop and raise the level of chinuch in meaningful ways.
Rabbi Mandel came from a family of prestigious and well-known mechanchim. His father, Rabbi Nachman Mandel, zt”l, was a renowned mechanech who taught for 65 years, starting in Yeshiva RJJ on the Lower East Side, then in several mosdos in Far Rockaway, and after his “retirement”, he moved to Los Angeles and taught in Yeshiva Toras Emes. His brother, ybl”c, Rabbi Moshe Mandel, teaches first grade in Yeshiva Darchei Torah.
In his younger years, he was a close talmid of Harav Nosson Wachtfogel, zt”l, the Mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, and had the opportunity to observe him closely and internalize his actions.
Rabbi Mandel was a talmid chacham who captivated his listeners when he spoke, and had a tremendous influence on his talmidim. He brought a tremendous sense of seder to the yeshivah, and infused it with an atmosphere simchah through which the talmidim grew to extraordinary heights.
His devotion to his family was well known, as he raised his renowned mishpachah with great dedication.
A levayah was held at noon in Chicago at the Veitzener Cheder, and the aron is scheduled to be flown to Lakewood for a second levayah and kevurah on Tuesday evening.
Yehi zichro baruch.