In Yerushalayim’s Toldos Avraham Yitzchak beis medresh, this Shabbos was a painful one, one during which chassidim exhibit great difficulty trying to overcome the pain, sorrow and loss, seeking to embrace the Shabbos malka.
According to community leaders, Rav Aryeh Leibish was a well-know figure, one who was regarded for his profound Torah knowledge as well as his ability to welcome everyone on an equal level, always part of the tzibur, always there for those in need.
Born 37 years ago, on 23 Shvat 5731 to HaRav HaTzaddik Rav Nachum Ephraim Teitlebaum Shlita, the Volover Rebbe of America. Rav Aryeh Leibish was a dominant figure in the Rebbe’s kashrus organization, one known for its pristine standard.
Rav Aryeh Leibish studied in Binyan Dovid Yeshiva in Williamsburg, under the direction of Rav Chanina Acraham Leitner ZATZAL. His keen abilities quickly became apparent to all.
A number of people who knew him from childhood testify to his unique character, abilities and his sensibilities to the troubles of others. At age 16 he exhibited his total familiarity with hilchos Shabbos. His knowledge was not superficial, but he would cite sources in depth, from a Gemara to the last detail of a Tur Beis Yosef.
From Williamsburg he went to Yeshiva Toras Moshe D’Satmar in Montreal. Rav Levin, from the yeshiva, relates a story.
It was the year that the Ball Beirach Moshe ZT”L came to town before Shavuos to take part in his grandson’s bar mitzvah. It was after yomtov, and the Rebbe was exhausted from the tiresome journey to Montreal and the long hours of learning on yomtov and receiving the k’hal. The Rebbe had received well-wishers for hours at the time young Aryeh Leibish approach. Suddenly, the Rebbe awakened and the two reviewed halachos of Eruv Tafshilin, which the young prodigy had recently completed. They sat together for an hour. Anyone present at the time will never forget witnessing the two.
He then went to learn under HaGaon HaTzaddik Tudros Silber Shlita, where he was also regarding as exceptional, eventually becoming the son-in-law of the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shlita. Those who knew him in the Yerushalayim community attest to his rigorous learning schedule in Eretz Yisrael as well.
Of late, he also ran a gemach to assist avreichim whose children were getting married.
His adherence to honoring his parents was exceptional, and despite the geographical distance, he was known to be his father, the Rebbe’s right hand. Even this last trip, he decided at the last moment to travel to India to inspect a factory to assist the Rebbe Shlita, a trip that was logistically difficult for him at this time.
His last conversation was with his Rebbitzin, who immediately tried making contact with him following the breaking news of the attack, but without success.
His last Shabbos in Eretz Yisrael was spend in Bet Shemesh together with his father-in-law the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shlita. At the tisch, the Rebbe gave him a long gaze, finally signaling him to start a nigun. He started a Chabad nigun, “L’Elok-kim domi nafshi ki elecha tikvasi”.
Rav Aryeh Leibish is survived by his rebbitzin, 8 children, the oldest of which celebrated his bar mitzvah about six months ago. The youngest is 10 months.
YWN has learned that the Volover Rebbe Shlita, along with his mechutan, the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shlita, have left JFK International Airport in NYC on motzei Shabbos on their way to Eretz Yisrael. The Satmar Rebbe Shlita from Kiryas Yoel, who is a cousin with the Volover Rebbe, along with more than 100 Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Chassidim traveled to the airport to be Menachem them. The Misaskim organization was in the airport, and arranged for both Rebbe’s to receive VIP treatment, with the airport, airline staff and Port Authority Polce extending all courtesy possible in this tragic time.
An exclusive video clip along with photos taken at the airport will be posted shortly.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)