BDE: Reb Nisan Leser, Prominent Bobover Chasid

Nisan Leser
Reb Nisan Leser,, zt”l (Hershey Rubinstein)

Early Monday morning, Reb Nisan Leser, one of the elders of Bobov in Boro Park was niftar at the age of 98.

Reb Nisan was born in Brigel (Brzesko), Galicia (today in Poland) to a prestigious chassidishe family. He began learning in the local Yeshiva Eitz Chaim, part of a network of yeshivos established by the Kedushas Tzion of Bobov, zy”a Hy”d. At a young age, he travelled to Bobov where he imbibed in the environs of kedushah.

When WWII broke out, he was sent to Auschwitz, and employed great mesiras nefesh to help his fellow Yidden as well as to fulfill many mitzvos under unimaginable conditions. When he arrived, the guards made the Yidden shower in freezing water, and then walk unclothed from the shower area to the bunks over an ice-covered path. The Nazi guards kept a count of the prisoners who went back and forth to make sure each one suffered the torture and indignation of their persecution. When Reb Nisan saw that an elderly Yid was unable do as commanded, he walked back to the showers a second time and endured the brutal cold once again.

During his stay in the concentration camp, he managed to barter with some POWs to acquire a shofar in order to fulfill the mitzvah on tekias shofar on Rosh Hashanah. For Pesach, he procured some flour and managed to bake matzos in the camp.

After liberation, he stayed in the DP camp at Bergen-Belsen, where he married Gittel née Shachter, and they had two children before they immigrated to the United States. Immediately upon his arrival, he made his way to the Bobover Rebbe, walking through the streets of Manhattan adorned in his shtreimel and chassidishe attire. He remained a devoted Bobover chassid his entire life.

Upon the advice of the Skverer rebbe, zy”a, he opened a butcher store in Williamsburg, but his main occupation was his Torah, his davening and his tzedakah. He was known to learn every free minute he had, and arrived forty-five minutes before the beginning of davening in order to prepare and have enough time to daven properly. He collected funds through which he supported several needy families, all done with the utmost secrecy in order to uphold their dignity.

Reb Nisan exuded an aura of kedushah and simchah as he shunned all material needs, seeking only to serve Hashem and raise doros of chassidishe descendants. He is survived by his sons Reb Avraham Aron, Reb Yitzchak Shulem and Reb Beirish; and his daughters Mrs. Perri Goldklang, Mrs. Freidy Fleishman, Mrs. Malky Perl, Mrs. Tziri Reinhold and Mrs. Rechy Wachsman; and dozens of grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren who are following his path of Torah and chassidus that he blazed for them.

Yehi zichro baruch.

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