On Monday, 26 Shvat-February 8, Mrs. Reizel Ovitz, a Holocaust survivor passed away in Bnei Brak at the age of 105.
Mrs. Ovitz was born on 8 Elul, 5675 in Desest (Desești), Romania, which is near Sighet (Sighetu Marmației) in the Marmarush (Maramureș) County. Her father, Reb Dovid Aryeh Ovitz, was a prominent Visnitzer chasid, and her mother Ita Rachel was the daughter of Reb Yaakov Hersh Wider, a renown baal chessed of Desest.
When WWII broke out and the Jews in the vicinity were ordered to work on Shabbos, Reizel confronted the authorities and managed to get her father exempted from desecrating Shabbos. She continued with her devotion to the welfare of her parents until they were deported to Auschwitz.
During the Holocaust, she was confined to the Stutthof Concentration Camp as well as a factory near Leipzig which produced airplanes for the German Airforce.
After the war, Reizel married her cousin, Reb Dov Berel Ovitz, who was close to the Imrei Chaim of Visnitz, zy”a. Although they planned to move immediately to Eretz Yisrael, they stayed for a while in the Admond DP camp near Salzburg, where they oversaw much of the religious needs of the refugees.
In Shvat, 5708, they arrived in Eretz Yisrael and settled in Haifa, where Reb Berel served as a shochet and mohel for several decades. Reb Berel was known as a superb baal tefillah, and together with Reizel raised a family of dedicated to Torah and chassidus. In 5747/1987, after the passing of her husband, Reizel moved to Bnei Brak to be closer to her children.
In the summer of 5779/2019, her family gathered with her at the Kosel to recite Tehillim, giving thanks to Hashem for the past and to pray for the future, after which she blessed her many offspring. The emotional gathering, in which a 104-year-old Holocaust survivor returned victoriously to the Kosel, received wide media coverage at the time.
As her energy waned in the last few weeks, she spoke constantly about her desire to greet Moshiach. On 26 Shvat, she returned her soul to Heaven.
Mrs. Reizel Ovitz, a”h, is survived by ybl”c her sons Harav Shlomo Yosef, Menahel of the Beis Din of Bnei Brak and mechaber of Sefer Siddur Hatefillah, and Harav Dovid Aryeh, Ros Kollel Itim LaTorah in Kiryat Visnitz and Menahel of Talmud Torah Mishkenos Yaakov in Bnei Brak; her daughters, the wife of Reb Binyomin Rosenstein and the wife of Reb Dovid Yaakov Green; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren who follow in the path of their ancestors.
Tehi zichrah baruch.