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Chevra Kadisha of Jerusalem Turns Away Body of R’ Moshe Erlich


On Tuesday, June 2nd the Ehrlich family of Yerushalayim was struck by a terrible tragedy. Sadly, tragedy is no stranger to this family; only a year and a half ago they lost their beloved mother, Mrs. Liba Ehrlich, after a long and painful battle with cancer.

A few short weeks ago their father, Reb Moshe Ehrlich, son of the renowned Yiddish composer and folk singer Reb Yom Tov Ehrlich, was diagnosed with cancer. The terrifying disease was quick and destructive, and within a few weeks, Reb Moshe was gone.

Reb Moshe was born in 1952 in Brooklyn to his parents Reb Yom Tov Simcha and Mrs Chana Ehrlich. The home of Reb Yom Tov was one filled with Yiras Shamayim, simcha and Avodas Hashem. As the Satmer Rebbe Reb Yoel zy”a once said of Reb Yom Tov; “wherever he goes it is Yom Tov, what he spreads is Simcha and whatever he does is Ehrlich [honest]”.

Reb Yom Tov, or Yontel, as he was affectionately known, worked tirelessly to spread the old values of the Alter Heim and to permeate American Jewish homes with them. Through his many records where he rhymed and sang Yiddish lyrics, he infused his listeners with a “gishmak” in Shabbos, Yom Tov, Chinuch, hope for Moshiach and many, other topics. Reb Moshe, growing up, often accompanied his father in recording his records.

Reb Yom Tov and his family lived in Williamsburg for many years and then moved to Eretz Yisroel. In turn, all of the children married Israelis and most set up their homes there, Reb Moshe z”l included.

Reb Moshe learned in the Tzelimer Yeshiva in Williamsburg and in the early 70s traveled to learn in Eretz Yisroel. In the late 70s he married Mrs. Liba Weinberg a”h, daughter of Reb Shimon Weinberg Shlit”a, one of the prominent Chassidim of Slonim.

Reb Moshe was a paradigm of Emes with a tremendous Ahavas Hatorah. He constantly strove for excellence in character and taught his children the same. Reb Moshe was not content with doing things out of rote. When he sat down to learn, he immersed himself fully and could not be disturbed. He did everything without compromise, he took no short cuts. This was how he did everything, how he was as a husband and how he was as a father.

Reb Moshe would always try to find out the right way to do things and would not rest until he did. He loved to share his knowledge of the way things were in the “old days”, his phenomenal memory kept his audiences spellbound.

To hear Reb Moshe lead the prayers or sing a song was something that would keep people at a rapt attention. It was as if it were being played by instrument, so perfect were his vocal abilities. It was in this melodious way that he would pour out his heart to the Creator, sweeping the crowd along with him in sublime service of Hashem.

Emunah, faith, was always on his mind and lips. Especially throughout his wife’s long and dreadful battle with cancer, Reb Moshe’s faith did not waver and it was he who infused his children with the strength to withstand the suffering and ultimate loss of their beloved mother.

As stated before, this Tuesday Reb Moshe too fell victim to the dreaded disease and returned his pure soul to it’s Maker.

The family of orphans was crushed; especially the three youngest who are still unmarried. Preparations were started to begin the process of the levaya and burial, and that’s where the real trouble started.

The Chevra Kadisha [burial society] would not deal with the body of Reb Moshe until the family paid the sum of $25,000. This amount was not only for expenses of Reb Moshe’s burial and plot, but also for fees incurred by the burial of his wife, 1.5 years ago.

Needless to say, there was no way the family could afford this amount. The crushing blow they had just been dealt was enough, an exorbitant sum just to go ahead with their father’s burial was too much to bear. They had expected to make the levaya at night, in accordance with the custom in Yerushalayim, but alas, the funds could not be procured and the family had no choice but to go to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, dejected and devastated.

Meanwhile, in NY, word got out about the delay of the levaya and the reason behind it. A few dedicated volunteers who know the family set up a GoFundMe campaign. The goal was to raise not only the $25,000 needed to proceed with the funeral, but also an additional $10,000 to keep the family afloat in over the next short period of time, with a total goal set at $35,000.

Over the next 12 hours the link to the website went viral on social media, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, and good hearted people across the globe logged in and placed their donations. In less than 12 hours, over $25,000 was raised. The family in Israel who went to sleep hopeless and broken, woke up to the unbelievable news that the entire amount needed for the funeral was raised and the funeral was scheduled for this morning.

By now, over $30,000 has been raised and the goal of $35,000 will be hopefully be reached by this afternoon. The Ehrlich family is blown away by the outpouring of Chessed and support they have been shown. They cannot express their appreciation adequately enough, this has brought a level of consolation to them in this terrible state.

However, the bulk of the project is still ahead of us. With three children still at home, aged 16, 18 and 20, unmarried and bereft of both parents, they have no one who will provide for them. Imagine the pain and hopelessness that a young adult feels; no loving mother and no supporting father, no income, barely a home. Their future is terribly bleak.

We must show our support and come to the rescue of these poor orphans! What was done in the past 14 hours is proof that there are hundreds of caring people with open hearts who will jump in and do their share to ease the pain and burden of a family who suffered tragedy after tragedy. The new goal is now $100,000. This will provide the basic needs of the family for the time being and will hopefully assist in marrying off these children when the time comes.

This project is endorsed by Rabbi Shmuel Dishon Shlit”a, a close friend of the family.

To donate:


Call: (929) 262-0202

Email: [email protected]

Or send checks to

Cong. Bais Aaron

1070 38th Street

Brooklyn NY 11219


13 Responses

  1. Mi keamcha yisroel!
    The truth is; it’s payback time for the great R’ yom tov ehrlich. He not only left a legacy of the most musically sophisticated songs and words that went with it. It was one of those remnants from the previous old yiras shamayim that was given to this entire generation. All the jewish super stars have converted and translated his songs to diff languages and made remakes… it really imbues a level of erlichkeit and inspiration… for this in itself it is beautiful to see how klal yisroel is giving back….

  2. Ah mi kiamcha Yisroel. True to what was written he was a great Baal emunah and a Chosheva karliner chassid. May he be a meilitz yosher for his family and all of Klal yisroel.

  3. In Israel bituach leumi pays for burials. Is this chevra kadesha just in the usual business of stealing from people in their most vulnerable times or is there another explanation

  4. I saw that request for GoFundMe, two days ago. I hesitated, how am I supposed to know if it’s legitimate? How about this one by Duvys? Can anyone advise..

    Actually I knew him quite well, I wanted to do something (bl”n), I just want to make sure it’s going to the right place.

  5. Wow, why are plots in E’Y so expensive?? How can people afford that?? Most people, in E’Y are not wealthy. So, the money was raised. But what about others who also can not pay, assuming a majority are barely ekking out a livilihood.

  6. bituach leumi probably pays for places like in chulon or bat yam.. but probably not on har hazeisim or even har hamenuchos in the area that he would prefer or would be respectful for him to be in.

  7. This whole story makes no sense. Instead of just publishing [Communicated Content] without any comment from the Chevra Kadisha being portrayed as heartless and mercenary, why doesn’t YWN see comment from the Chevra Kadisha? If they refuse to comment, note that or publish, in full, what they do say. In Israel every person is entitled by law to a burial spot in the the town he lived in. If the family of the deceased want a specific plot, not one the Chevra Kadisha allocate, and they are open to discussions, then the family have to pay. I find it hard to believe this is as painted. YWN, please find out what actually happened here rather than just push tear jerker stories that blacken others.

  8. @ZeesKite I am a stoliner chossid and I know the people that are running this campaign. Yes this is 100% ligit the money is being raised for the family. As a side note I confirmed today with Harav S. Dishon and he said he truly endorses this campaign. May he be a meilitz yosher for all that support his family.

  9. First of all, the family is from Beitar, not Yerushalayim.

    There is no cemetery in Beitar. Besides which, #6 is most likely correct that while there are cemeteries that bituach leumi pays for, Har Hazeisim (where the niftar was buried) and Har Hamenuchos are not included.

    And there definitely was a delay in the levaya. Here in Beitar we all heard it was going to be that night, and in the end it was only in the later hours of the morning.

  10. ZeesKite, yes it is legitimate. I know the people who set it up. I also knew the Nifar a”h, and I am a friend of some children.

    The tragedy is only greater when you realize that a few short years ago, Reb Moshe Ehrlich was somewhat well to do, helped others, and raised a beautiful family of real Talmidei Chachomim. Then it all came tumbling down. First he was swindled of his money and had to sell his house, then his wife got sick, and now this.

    Things can only go up from here and may Hakadosh Baruch Hu help that it goes up fast and high.

    This is not a million dollar project and with reasonable donations of a large enough Tzibbur we can reach the goal easily and quickly. It really doesn’t pay to groan about it.

  11. I still do not understand. If the family has financial issues why must the person be buried where bituach leumi does not pay. (By the way a resident of Jerusalem will be buried in Jerusalem without paying fees). It would seem to be more logical to use the money for the living.
    In another sphere where does the cash for burial go, are there receipts given, who owns the plot where the body is put……..

  12. According to Israeli law, only citizens of Israel or those who officially made Aliyah are entitled to free burial in Israel. For whatever reason, he may not have made official Aliyah when he moved to Israel as a young man. The cost of my burial in Israel would be $30,000.

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