Rabbi Shmuel Epstein ZT”L was niftar during the early morning hours on Thursday, 4 Menachem Av 5773 at the age of 84. The niftar maintained a special relationship with Gedolei Yisrael, especially with HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita.
Those who knew the rav speak of this special connection that he maintained throughout his life, first and foremost with the Kehillos Yaakov ZT”L, who he served as driver, and his son, Rav Kanievsky.
Of late, the niftar’s condition weakened and he was hospitalized in Bnei Brak’s Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital. Rav Kanievsky visited him a number of times as did HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein Shlita.
Kikar Shabbos reports the family explained that of late, when Rav Chaim would visit and the niftar’s name was said, Rav Chaim said “he will get through this”. On Wednesday night, hours before he was niftar, when Rav Chaim was informed of his condition instead of saying his name and “he will get over it” the gadol hador broke down in tears. Rav Shmuel was niftar a few hours later.
Family members explain that it was clear to them at that moment, when Rav Chaim cried, that something was different this time.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)