Following difficult yissurim (suffering and tribulations) that accompanied a prolonged illness, Rav Baruch Kornfeld z”l was niftar in Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital. This Wednesday, 19 Cheshvan, would have been his 29th birthday.
The niftar’s life was difficult by any definition of the word, losing a son to illness in the USA. A number of years later, he found himself fighting the battle of his life as well.
Prior to his illness, he was known as an askan in the true sense of the word, a pillar of the Kiryat Gat community. Anyone and everyone who turned to him received assistance.
Even while hospitalized, he continued helping others and he would work to bring a smile to terminally ill patients admitted alongside his bed. When he was permitted to return home for a few days, he would receive calls from the hospital, asking if he might come in to cheer some people up.
Those around him say he never complained and he did not obsess over his own bleak condition, but spent his time assisting those around him, encouraging others.
On Sukkos, when his condition had already deteriorated, he was able to attend a simchas beis hashoeva in Bnei Brak that was arranged for him. Chadrei Chareidim reports those present can attest there was nothing in the air other than undiluted simcha, felt by all.
When asked how he deals with such suffering with a smile, he would respond without hesitation “It is written in the Zohar HaKadosh that before HaKadosh Baruch Hu sends down a neshama in need of a tikun, he probes to determine where he can place this neshama, so that it will not be compromised and it will achieve the required tikun”.
“I merited this!” he shouted. “HaKadosh Baruch Hu selected me, deciding I am suited for the special neshama that was 4.5-years-old and I believe I did my utmost for him, and now, it is time to return the entrusted soul.”
The niftar is survived by his wife and a daughter, along with thousands of friends and supporters. The levaya began on today at 11:30 from the niftar’s home in Kiryat Gat and kvura was at 13:30 in Har Menuchos in Yerushalayim.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)