Rav Shymon Gitelis zt”l

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It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing today of Rav Shymon Gitelis zt”l. He was 103 years old.

Reb Shymon, son of Reb Zalka Gitelis z”l, was one of the last remaining Alter Mirrers, those who merited learning in the Mir Yeshiva of old. Reb Shymon was part of a unique chaburah of bnei Torah at the Mir in Poland and later in Shanghai, when the yeshiva was transplanted there during World War II.

Earlier, Reb Shymon merited learning at the Baranovitch Yeshiva, under Rav Elchonon Wasserman Hy”d.

He was one of the last links to the great Torah world of pre-war Europe.

After immigrating to the United States, Reb Shymon rebuilt his life, marrying his wife, Rochel, and establishing a noted family of bnei and bnos Torah. Reb Shymon entered the field of chinuch, becoming a rebbi at Yeshiva Toras Emes in Boro Park, where he taught talmidim for some three decades.

During the last period, he resided with his son and daughter-in-law, Moshe and Cheni Gitelis, in Lakewood, NJ.

Reb Shymon is survived by his children, Reb Zelig Gitelis of Brooklyn, Reb Moshe Gitelis of Lakewood; Mrs. Hindy David of Lakewood; and Mrs. Hadassah Singer of Chicago. He was predeceased by his daughter, Rebbetzin Rivka Zucker a”h, wife of Rav Dovid Zucker, rosh kollel of the Chicago Community Kollel.

The levaya was held today, Tzom Gedaliah, at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. The aron is being flown to Eretz Yisroel for kevurah on Har Hamenuchos in Yerushalayim.

Yehi zichro boruch.


{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Last living Talmid of the great mashgiach R Yeruchum Levovitz. We are now living in an ‘andereh velt’. The Oilam HaTorah shoud take note of his sad day. The Mashgiach had around 300 Talmidim and he was the last one. Do your self a favor and take out a Sefer Daas Chochma Umussar and show that ‘Der Mashigiach lebt Nuch!”

  2. Instead of waiting till they die to tell us that they were alive, why don’t you post a list of those links that are still alive, so that we can take our children and grandchildren to see them.

  3. There are more. Rabbi Dickstein who learned in Mir and Baranovich is living byvhis daughter and family in Atlanta. He lived for many years in baltimore. We should be careful with what we say and write.

  4. I had Rabbi Gitelis z”l as a Rebbi in 6th grade in Yeshiva Toras Emes, where he taught under the menahel Rabbi Schwartz z”l, who was niftar less than a year ago.

    As a youngster, I was rowdy in class at times.

    Many years later (over thirty I would guess), I happened to see him on the street in Borough Park, whereupon I asked him mechila. He reassured me that he didn’t remember any such transgressions at all, and that was all was okay.

    יהי זכרו ברוך

    זאל ער האבען א ליכטיגע גן עדן

    • I believe we learned פרק אלו מציאות that year in sixth grade in YTE/YTEK.

      That followed fifth grade in which we had התחלת גמרא, learning פרק המפקיד with R. Avraham Respler z”l, and was in turn followed by seventh grade, where we learned the beginning of מסכת גיטין with another alte Mirrer, R. Moshe Reiter z”l.


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