UNBELIEVABLE: R’ Berish Aurbach Davens for Amud on His Mother’s 102nd Yahrtzeit


The baal tefillah at the Caulfield Bais Medrash in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday night strode up to the amud with vim and vigor, his energy giving onlookers no impression that he is well over 100 years old. R’ Berish Aurbach yb”l was there to daven for the amud on his mother’s 102nd yahrtzeit, and nothing was going to stop him.

R’ Berish lost his mother, Rivka Aurbach (nee Blass), in Biala, Poland in 1920 when he was just a few months old. She had been stricken with typhus and never recovered.

Born in 1920, Berish comes from a chasidic family which had lived in the Polish town of Biala Podlaska for hundreds of years, which is known for its connection to the Gerrer chasidus.

Berish had three older brothers and a sister, as well as a half-brother from his father’s second marriage. His family life was comfortable, and to this day he can recall the Torah that he learned as a youth in his local Polish Talmud Torah.

He was one of the last people to be smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto just prior to Pesach 1943 and shortly before the uprising which led to its extermination at the hands of the Nazis. Aside from his sister who had immigrated to Palestine before the war, all of Berish’s family members were killed in the Holocaust.

Realizing he had nobody left in Poland, Berish contacted an uncle who lived in Australia, who sponsored his visa, allowing him to start a new life on safe shores.

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  1. Despite the huge # of time he has observed this יארצייט, on י”ג כסלו, he has only been able to receive an עליה לקריאת התורה on the actual Johrzeit 28.01469% of the time.

  2. Wow 147: י”ג כסלו can indeed never be on a Thursday. It can happen on a Shabbos but that’s very not often. It comes well often on a Monday, though it did not happen since תש”ע and nextime will be on תשפ”ז. So last few times when י”ג כסלו was on a יום הקריאה was in the years תש”ע, תשע”א, תשע”ד

  3. Love the gartel, mishnayos (kahati) and the bottle of shnapps after davening…
    A true poilishe yid…
    Netzach Yisroel Lo Yeshaker!!!
    Please show this to the next generation that is so confused…

  4. I remember reading this last year…..
    and look forward to reading it again next year!!
    And many years after.
    Better still, his mother should be zoiche to techiyas hameisim b’korov!!