Harav Naftali Halberstam, Zt”l, the Tchakava Rebbe

The Tchakava Rebbe, zt”l.

A pallor of mourning descended on chareidi Jewry on Friday morning with the news of the petirah of Harav Naftali Halberstam, zt”l, the Tchakava Rebbe of Yerushalayim. He was niftar after a short illness at the age of 94.

Harav Naftali Halberstam was born on Tammuz 5688/1928 in the town of Tchakava, Galicia. His father was Harav Yaakov Halberstam, Av Beis Din of Tchakava. He was the great-great-great grandson of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz and the great-great grandson of Harav Boruch of Gorlitz. He moved to Eretz Yisrael with his father, a few years before the war broke out in Europe.

As a bachur he learned at Yeshivas Beis Avraham Slonim under the Nesivos Shalom of Slonim, zy”a.

He was very close to his maternal grandfather, Harav Shalom Moskowitz, zy”a, the Shotzer Rebbe, who offered him guidance after he lost his mother.

When he came of age, he married Rebbetzin Chayah Sarah, a”h, the daughter of Harav Shmuel Shmelke Ginsberg, Rav of Orniash, Hungary.

Together they built a home of Torah and chessed that was open day and night to anyone with halachic questions.

He served as the Chairman of the Vaad Hakashrus of the Eidah Chareidis kashrus system for many decades. He received a special letter from the Gaavad Harav Zelig Reuven Bengis, zt”l, attesting to his yiras Shamayim and devotion to the position.

He treated every Jew with great respect and made special efforts to gladden people by attending their simchos.

In 5728/1968, after the petirah of his father, Harav Naftali was appointed Tchakava Rebbe.

The Rebbe seen learning

He was known for his close ties with Gedolei Yisroel and leading poskim. He was a neighbor of the Brisker Rosh Yeshivah Harav Dovid Soloveitchik, zt”l, maintaining a friendship and regularly conversing with the Rosh Yeshivah.

In the last year, he had been hospitalized several times. In recent weeks, he was in the Laniado Hospital in Netanya. Early Friday morning, he lost consciousness. His condition deteriorated severely. After prolonged attempts to resuscitate him, the Rebbe’s pure soul returned to its Maker.

The levayah set out from Netanya on Friday morning, then to Yerushalayim, via his beis medrash on Rechov Yonah.

Hespedim will also be delivered at Zupnik Square on Rechov Yeshayahu.

The Rebbe will be buried on Har Hazeisim, in the same chelkah as other family members.

He was predeceased by his daughter Rebbetzin Shlomtza Eidel Dina Gestetner, a”h, wife of Harav Shlomo Gestetner, Rav of Gush 80 in Yerushalayim. He is survived by his other daughters Rebbetzin Leah Kahana, the wife of Harav Tzvi Hirsh Kahana, zt”l, the Ziditchover Rebbe of Yerushalayim, who passed away seven years ago, and tbl”c Rebbetzin Ruchama Twersky, wife of Harav Yitzchak Yehudah Twersky, Mashgiach in the Rachmastrivka yeshivah; grandchildren and great- grandchildren, all following in his path of Torah and Chassidus.

Yehi zichro baruch.


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