The Torah city of Bnei Brak laid to rest the righteous Rabbi Reuven HaRosh ztzel, one of the greatest Torah rabbis of the last generation, who was an example of greatness in the Torah and a distant closeness to their Father in Heaven, served as a spiritual pillar in the Torah community in the town of Aix-la-Bain, founded the Oleh of Torah throughout France, and brought thousands of the children of Israel into the covenant of Abraham our father.
The deceased was born in Algiers to his father, R. Levy, and his mother – who enjoyed reaching their hands and walked in innocent faith. Even as a tender child, his heart was burning with love and reverence for God, and at the age of four, the boy Reuven used to wake up every night in the month of Elul to walk with his grandfather to say the forgiveness in the synagogue. When he was twelve years old, he was sent to France with his brother, when his parents stayed behind. He began studying at a Jewish school in the city of Strasbourg, but since the school was not run according to Halacha, he decided after a while that he did not belong in such an institution, and left the institution on his own.
The gentle and pure soul of the boy Reuven HaRosh yearned to rise in the virtues of the Torah in holiness, and so, when he was only fourteen years old, the young boy settled in the Torah city of France – Aix-la-Bain, where he was welcomed with open arms as a student at the ‘Sages of France’ yeshiva in the town, becoming their student The favorite and distinct of the great genius yeshiva heads Rabbi Chaim Yitzchak Chaikin ztzel, one of the last students of Maran Ha’Fetz Chayim ztzel, and Rabbi Eliyahu Eliovitch ztzel.
In this yeshiva, which was located in the middle of the town that was nicknamed ‘Little Radin’ as it was founded on the great spirit of the ‘Hafetz Chaim’ ZIA from whom Hagarhi Chaikin learned the way of education – the boy Reuven was filled with the Torah and reverence for God, when in those years he Outstanding in his enormous diligence, in his manners of holiness that were rare for his generation, and in his path of growth as one of the greats of the Torah in the next generation. The leaders of the yeshiva played with him in the Torah and saw him as one of the great promises of the Torah world in France.
Rabbi Reuven’s external and internal appearance in those years – was a symbol and example among French Jews, who saw him as a perfect yeshiva member, who proudly wore his yeshiva symbols, and even began to grow wigs behind his ears. When he was preparing for the first time to travel to his parents for Passover, Gerachi Chaikin zt’al feared that his parents would be frightened by his pious Torah appearance, and advised him to disguise his wigs in some way, so that his parents would not hesitate to send him again to the yeshiva during the summer. However, Gera Eliovitz opposed this – and urged the boy Reuven to return home precisely with his yeshiva badges without fearing at all. When Gera Hai Chaikin heard this – he canceled his opinion, and indeed, the parents were favorably impressed and proud to see their son walking a safe path towards his growth into one of the disciples of the sages The most prominent in Torah Judaism of France.
Ponibjai’s dream shelved
During his years of study at the ‘Sages of France’ in Aix-les-Bains, Rabbi Reuven prepared to go to a place of Torah in the Holy Land and to absorb the Torah of the land. He was accepted into the Ponivage Yeshiva and was excited about his ascension to study at the famous Degel Yeshiva. However, while he was preparing – the Gaon Rabbi Ya’akov Toledano zt’l turned to him and asked him to help him establish his new yeshiva in the town of Ransi. Rabbi Reuven explained that he was just getting ready to go to Israel to study in Ponivage, but HaGri Toledano spoke of his heart, explaining that He needs it for establishing an Oleh of Torah in Rensi. Rabbi Reuven was convinced, and in fact gave up his life’s dream – to excel in the Torah as one of the lions in the Ponivage yeshiva – and this in order to build a world of Torah in desolate France. “That’s how it was all his life,” his important sons of Lithuania said this week, “he sacrificed both his future and his present for other Jews, while he never held any favors for himself.”
After years of devotion and exaltation in the Torah, when he was filling his stomach with all the mechanisms of the Shas and gradually turning from a full-fledged student to one of the Torah rabbis at the Aix-la-Ben Yeshiva – the distinguished Rabbi Gerha’i Chaikin sent him to the city of Marseilles, so that his Torah would be ‘touched in order to touch ‘ – and he will bring the Jews of the city closer to their Father in heaven with the abundance of love. In those years, there was a lot of spiritual abandonment in the cities of France, and Gerachi Chaikin ztzel saw his great student as a talented tool to bring about a spiritual revolution among the young people of France.
Rabbi Harush did as his Rabbi commanded and moved to Marseilles – while still a young man who had not yet entered into the covenant of marriage – where he began to work among young and old alike, placing multitudes of Jews in the light of the light and bringing them closer to their Father in Heaven. On one of the synagogues where the prayer is accompanied by musical instruments, completely contrary to the Halacha – he showed courage and acted in brave ways to remove the scourge and make the synagogue run according to the pure Halacha, influencing the direction of Marseille Jewry and tilting it to the good and straight path.
Sap threatens with a knife
Immediately upon his arrival, Rabbi Reuven set his heart on a terrible and unthinkable phenomenon: many of the Jews of Marseille do not talk to their children! The reason – a cartel organized by local mohels, who charged huge sums of hundreds of French francs in exchange for circumcision. As a result, many immigrants from North Africa refrained from entering their children into the covenant of Avraham Abino, as they guarded their money, or due to an economic inability to meet the financial demands of the mohals.
Garr HaRosh – who, as mentioned, was a young man at the time before his marriage – was horrified to the depths of his soul: was it possible that Jewish children would remain celibate and their parents would cancel the most fundamental mitzvah of circumcision, the ban on canceling which he had broken?! – – –
Without saying a word, he changed his mind and went to London, England, to learn the profession of the word and its laws. At first, when the expert mohels in London saw a young man in front of them, they refused to teach him the profession of milah, but when they saw his devotion to the goal and the fierceness of dekdosha he was equipped with – he was accepted to study the laws of milah, and within a period of time he returned to Marseille with a qualified mohel certificate.
The Judaism of Marseille was turned upside down when the young Rabbi Reuven Harosh announced in the city: “From today free circumcisions will be held here, there is no money! In the following months, his hands were full of work – bringing children into the covenant of our father Avraham, some of them eight-day-old babies, and some of them children of advanced ages in his activity The spirited parents agreed to correct the deformity and circumcise them.
When the Mohels of Marseille saw this – their anger burned in them to the point of corruption: was it possible that a young man would come and take away their livelihood? Things came to such a point that one of the moholim stood at the door of Rabbi Reuven’s house, a butcher knife in his hand, waving it and warning him that if he did not commit to it on the spot because he stopped offering free Mila services – one of his religions would be killed.
And Rabbi Reuven, who is all one casting of the fierceness of Dakdosha – bared his neck and said: “You are welcome to kill me – I will not give up the right to save the children of Israel from being barren. I will continue as long as my spirit is in me to bring the children of Israel into the covenant of our father Abraham.” When Hela saw Rabbi Reuven’s determination and seriousness – let him rest.
And since then, for decades, Rabbi Reuven would travel to all corners of the world – from North Africa to the South, throughout Western and even Eastern Europe and wherever he was invited – bringing thousands of children into the covenant of our father Avraham.
Alliances all over the world
At the age of twenty-seven, he established his home with his wife, a rabbi in Tablha, and a short time later returned to Aix-les-Bains, where he became one of the rabbis of the yeshiva, and later the head of the yeshiva for young people in the French Torah town. From time to time, Rabbi Gerachi Chaikin encouraged him to go to Marseilles to bring more Jews closer to the Torah, and for that he even left his wife and small children in Aix-la-Bain, when on one occasion his daughter was even born without his presence in the town – because the baby’s father was then busy establishing Judaism in Marseille.
In the decades that followed – one was the mission of the tzaddik genius Rabbi Reuven Herosh ztzel: to add more and more with his personal diligence to the Torah, at the same time as having a spiritual and Torah influence on huge audiences in France and abroad. Crowds were brought closer to Torah life by him, as he personally guided the families who were brought closer by him in their spiritual lives, makes sure to enroll multitudes of children for Torah education, and places countless young people and adults in the Ora Foundation.
Rabbi Reuven z’atzal blessed and honored the rabbis all his days, when he did not spare his power, wealth, and honor, and traveled from place to place to bring another Jewish child into the covenant of our father Avraham – at his own expense, when he steadfastly refused to be reimbursed even for the flight expenses, and to bring Another young man to a holy yeshiva. He sent some of his students to study in the Land of Israel, where they became full-fledged yeshiva students and later established houses of Torah thanks to the rabbi who loved them and guided them on the way up Beit Kl.
Over the years, and with his frequent visits to the Holy Land, Rabbi Reuven zt’l became associated with the Torah city of Bnei Brak, saying that “Aix-la-Ben is the twin city of Bnei Brak. Every time he visited the country, he would go to the residence of the great men of Israel in Bnei Brak, and visit the graves of the Torah greats in the city’s living houses, and especially the grave of the eminent Rabbi Gerachi Chaikin ztzel, praying for the general and the individual.
As a general rule, his way was in prayer, he won the right of the righteous, when at any time of Mitzvah he would light candles for the upliftment of the souls of the righteous as he prayed for dozens and hundreds of people who recognized the power of his prayer and blessing and asked that salvation work for them. This is also how he behaved in the covenants he made – when before making the covenant he would mention hundreds of names that flowed to him, for the command of salvation and mercy. Many visible miracles would take place thanks to his meritorious prayer, which was said as a debased monk, and as a servant who repented before his brother with a pure heart.
His holiness and piety were for nothing. He educated his children in purity of thought and guarding their eyes, and he served as an example and model for observing mitzvot with enthusiasm and holy fire. “Each mitzvah was with him as if it was the first time he got to perform it,” his students said, adding that “just by seeing him perform a mitzvah with special holy enthusiasm – one could get a full handful of reverence for God and extreme holiness.”
His children say that he once traveled by train during Hanukkah, and it was time to light the candles. It was a long night journey, and Rabbi Reuven concluded that according to the Halacha, he must light the Hanukkah candle on the train. On the site he brought out a menorah and candles from his rock, blessed the blessings with intention and a stream of mitzvah. While singing ‘Maoz Tzur’ the conductor came in and warned him that lighting a fire on the train is forbidden. However, at the sight of Rabbi Reuven’s pleading face – the hard ticket holder softened, and realized that with such a Jew there is no insistence.
Three secret receipts
One of the students says that on one occasion he accompanied him when he came to visit the Holy Land. On Tisha B’av he stayed in Bnei Brak, and during the day he got on the bus, on his way to prayer. His luck ran out, and when he got off the bus he discovered that his wallet had been stolen, along with a large sum of money that was in it. It was the result of a prank by a ‘pickpocket’ who made himself fall on the floor of the bus. Rabbi Reuven felt he had to save him, and while he was leaning over him to pick him up – a robber pocketed the mutilated pocket with extreme agility.
In the following hours, Rabbi Reuven walked with a cloud of sorrow and pain visible on his face. His companion tried to calm him down and said: “Rabbi, it’s just money, the place will fill your need.” Rabbi Reuven smiled bitterly and explained: “I am not sorry for the money, but for the fact that instead of regretting the destruction – there was one moment when I found myself regretting my stolen money. How can one distract from the sorrow of the destruction even for one moment?!
All his days he followed the personal will of his rabbi, Gra Iliovitch zt’l, who promised him that if he followed three things he would win the next world. The three things are: to walk all the time with two coverings on the head, not to shake on Shabbat even in a place where there is a fancy mixing, and to give one’s tithes to the scholars. He took upon himself these three receipts, and until the end of his days he guarded them with all vigilance.
His love for Israel was self-sacrificing. He distributed all of his wealth to charity, and he especially excelled in the degree of hospitality – truly unparalleled. He abandoned his home for guests, and even his bedroom for others, when he and his wife, the rabbi of Tabladhta, were looking for an alternative place for them to spend the night, so that they could properly respect their guests. One Shabbat night, his family members found him sleeping on a bench in the street all night. Because he was afraid of ‘uniqueness’ in his home, he slipped away slowly, being careful not to cause discomfort.
His timekeeping was exemplary. “We have never seen him idle even for a single moment,” testify his important sons of LITA. He always had a book in his hand, studied with great enthusiasm and did not give his heart to what was going on around him. They also point out that, despite his sanctity, he always made sure that his leadership did not cause suffering to others. Only on himself he was very strict – but around him he made sure to instill a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, when his very personal leadership radiated godliness and fear of sin to the whole environment.
Carrying his burden with others was for nothing. “He was able to give his whole body and money for someone else, and regrets the sorrow of every Jew. He spent days and nights for others.”
‘Baba Kama’ in a dream
About four years ago, Lahon won the dirt of the land – when he dreamed of it all his life. For years he collected penny for penny to accumulate a sum of money that would allow him to purchase an apartment in the Holy Land. When the time came, the movers were packed, and he moved with his rabbi wife in Tablacha to live in the apartment they bought in Bnei Brak. These were years of agony and pain, but his face always had a smile of joy and peace of mind, for the very right to realize his dream and live in the Holy Land. The boy’s grandson Yonatan Deri, who stood by his side in his last years, had the privilege of seeing him clinging to his creator at all times, even in the most difficult situations, when more than once during the night his mouth was heard muttering indistinct syllables. “I would approach him, and then I would hear him utter questions from the treatise Baba Kama,” recounts the grandson in awe .
And on Wednesday for the order ‘And a man of Israel’, when the members of his family surround his bed saying a confession, accepting the yoke of the kingdom of heaven and singing ‘Yigdal Elokim Hai’, ‘Sikka Hema Sikka Nefshi’ and ‘Luli Torah Shashu’i’ – tunes that were dear to him all his days – the Gaon Pig The tzaddik left his polished soul to its creator, to enjoy the divine light. He was buried in the Ponibej plot, next to and visible to his friends whom he clung to all his life.
He left behind a blessed righteous generation of sons and daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren who walk in the path of God. He left behind a blessed generation of righteous sons and daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren who walk in the path of God. His son-in-law Rabbi Avraham Moyel, president of the ‘Ash Chaim’ institutions in New York, his sons Rabbi Levi, director of the Torah and Grace institutions in Toronto, Canada, Rabbi Moshe, one of the chief priests in Bnei Brak, and one of the chief Rabbi Yosef The elders in the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood in Jerusalem, as well as his sons-in-law Rabbi Bezalel Deri, Dayan in Bnei Brak and head of the Kollel in Mishkanto Yosef, Rabbi David Bokra of Kiryat Sefer, Rabbi Yehuda Arwas of Kiryat Sefer, Rabbi Shmuel Sebag Mekrit Safar, and Rabbi Yonatan Rosiliou, director of the Torah Talmud in Aix-les-Bains in France.
May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life.