BDE − Harav Yekusiel Yehuda Meizlish, Zt”l

By Hamodia Staff


Hamodia regrets to inform you of the petirah of Harav Yekusiel Yehuda Meizlish, zt”l, longtime Rav in the Seagate community of Brooklyn. He was 95 years old.

The Rav was born on 30 Shevat (first day Rosh Chodesh Adar I), 5689/Feb 10, 1929 in Neimark, Poland, where his father was Rav. While still a young child, his father, Harav Tzvi Hirsch, zt”l, was appointed to his position in Veitzen, and it was there that the young Yekusiel Yehudah was raised.

He later went to Uhel to learn by his zeide, Harav Dovid Dov Meizlish, zt”l, mechaber of Sefer Binyan Dovid, for a year and a half. During that time he slept on a bench in an unheated building. He met numerous Gedolei Torah who came to visit the ohel of the Yismach Moshe in Uhel on his yahrtzeit on 27 Tamuz, including the Satmar Rav.

Through his grandmother, he received special permission to travel to Sanz for the yahrtzeit of Rav Chaim Sanzer on 25 Nissan, and merited to see the sons of Rav Chaim, Rav Shalom Leizer’l of Ratzfert and Rav Shaya Tchechov, Hy”d.

When WWII broke out, the family fled Uhel, and he was one of the last people to visit the ohel of the Yismach Moshe.

Rav Yekusiel Yehudah stayed with his father throughout the war and served as his right hand man. WHen they were interned in Auschwitz, he worked in the kitchen and smuggled out food, thereby saving the lives of numerous people, including the Verdaner Rabbe, zy”a.

After the war, the Satmar Rav told the Veitzner Rav to go to Chicago to lead the Yidden there and build up the kehillah. Rav Yekusiel Yehudah remained at his father’s side, and he worked tirelessly to enroll children, knocking on the door of parents and begging them to send their children to the cheder that his father opened. Rav Yekusiel Yehuda drove the children to yeshiva, allowing his father the time and peace of mind to continue learning.

After his marriage, he moved to Crown Heights, where his father in law, who was a widower, lived in his house. He always had at least ten guests for the Shabbos seudah so he could bentch with a minyan. Even on the day of his Shabbos sheva brachos, he invited guests to stay in his house. He hardly ever ate supper, giving his food to guests who appeared at his door. In addition to his hachnasas orchim, he was involved in marrying off many yesomim.

Later he moved to Boro Park where he established a shul on 18th Avenue, where today the Spinka Beis Medrash stands.

In the late 1970s, he was appointed as Ra of the Sea Gate community, where he oversaw all aspects of the kehillah.

The levaya will be at 10 a.m. at K’hal Yireim, where Rav Meizlish was Rav, located at 3868 Poplar Avenue.

Yehi zichro baruch.

Photo by Hershy Rubinstein

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