Rabbi Shlomo Boruch Pomerantz z”l


candle-small5Reposted: [Updated, levaya info below.] Friday, 1:37 p.m.: It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rabbi Shlomo Boruch Pomerantz z”l of Chicago, who was niftar after battling a difficult illness.

Rabbi Pomerantz was formerly a rebbi at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School in Chicago, where he was beloved by student and parent alike, utilizing his unique warmth and charisma, and his chinuch expertise, to impart Torah and yiras Shomayim to his students.

Rabbi Pomerantz was a son of Rabbi and Mrs. Pomerantz of Kensington, Brooklyn. He was a son-in-law of Rabbi and Mrs. Asher Weil of Chicago. Rav Weil is a maggid shiur at Telshe Yeshiva in Chicago.

The levaya will take place tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School in Chicago. A levaya will follow at JFK Airport in New York tomorrow evening at 9 p.m. in the Cell Lot. (Take Exit B and follow blue signs to the Cell Lot.)

The aron is expected to arrive in Eretz Yisroel on Monday evening on El Al flight 008. A levaya will be held at about 7:15 p.m. at Har Hamenuchos.

Thousands had been davening for a refuah sheleimah for Shlomo Boruch ben Shaindel Bracha, who had recently written various letters of chizuk as a zechus for his refuah. The letters were full of inspiration and encouragement, and we share several of them here as a zechus for his neshamah.

Yehi zichro boruch.


We sometimes experience bumps in the road. These bumps are not necessarily insurmountable obstacles. Rather, they are speed bumps. They serve as signals to slow down and take notice of those things that we may not have seen or been sensitive to in the past, providing an opportunity for reflection, inspiration and growth.

Recently, I have encountered just such a speed bump relating to my vision. Although I am consulting with medical professionals as to the appropriate way to address this matter, I also tried to think of how I might take inspiration from this particular challenge and share that inspiration with others.

It is interesting to note that the parshiyos hashovua read during these weeks which usher in the summer season share a common thread in that they all deal with seeing. For example, at the beginning of Parshas Shelach, Rashi notes that the parsha of the meraglim is joined to the parsha of Miriam because “these reshaim saw [how Miriam had been punished for speaking lashon hara against Moshe Rabbeinu] and they did not take mussar.” Similarly, in Parshas Korach, Rashi (16:7) explains that Korach rebelled against Moshe Rabbeinu because “his eye deceived him.”

Perhaps we can suggest that it is not by coincidence that between these two events Hashem commands us to wear tzitzis, “so that you will see it, and you will remember all the mitzvos of Hashem and do them and not follow your heart or your eyes and run after them.”              Maybe the Torah is teaching us that had the meraglim and Korach had the visual clarity that can be achieved through the mitzvah of tzitzis, they may have been able to save themselves from their misguided ways.

Thus, there are two things that we can be mechazeik in, particularly during these days of summer: tzitzis and kedushas einayim. The mitzvah of tzitzis was given to men to remind them not to follow their base desires. We should be sure to wear tzitzis at all times to keep us focused on what is important. Because the world is typically dressed immodestly during the summer, it is imperative for men to be vigilant about not allowing their eyes to roam unnecessarily. In this way, we can transform an ordinary moment into an eis ratzon. Whenever a desire or a test comes one’s way and one overcomes the challenge, it is an opportune time to ask Hakadosh Boruch Hu for one’s personal needs.

We can also encourage our boys to be makpid on wearing tzitzis during the summer, even when playing sports. Just as the Ananei Hakavod protected Klal Yisroel in the desert, tzitzis can serve as the personal Ananei Hakavod for individuals.

Extending this theme, I would like to address our noshim tzidkaniyos. I would like to suggest that Chava sinned with the Eitz Hadaas Tov Vora because she allowed her eyes to be desirous, as the posuk says, “Taavah hee le’einayim.” She allowed her eyes to deceive her.  However, neshei dor hamidbar ultimately made amends for this misstep by seeing good through the bad. When Moshe Rabbeinu told the spies, “…and see the land what it is…whether it is good or bad,” although the spies came back with a negative report, unlike the men who were unable to see the good beyond the bad, the women were able to see the good. Therefore, the neshei dor hamidbar merited to enter Eretz Yisroel.

Perhaps our noshim tzidkaniyos can continue to use this positive outlook to inspire themselves and the men to constantly look for the good and see the good in Hashem’s world and each other. When we speak about the good, Hashem will bring about the good. Perhaps every camp should have a “Seeing the Good” program. Children can write down the positive things that others did or they saw. In fact, let’s start a new Readers Write section titled “Seeing the Good.” I will be happy to start.

1. A dear friend came to my home to help me submit a letter to the Readers Write column.

2. 3,000 community members always make sure that I have a companion to accompany me to treatments.

One last suggestion relating to this theme is that we should make sure to recite Birkas Hamapil every night, for in that bracha we ask Hashem to illuminate our eyes.

May we be mechuzak in these areas, thus creating a zechus for ourselves and all of Klal Yisroel to ultimately see the coming of Moshiach.

Wishing all of Klal Yisroel besuros tovos yeshuos venechamos,

Shlomo Boruch ben Shaindel Bracha Pomerantz


Boruch Hashem, I received a positive response to my previous letter. I would like to add a few more thoughts with regard to speech:

In Parshas Vayeishev (37:20), we find that Yosef’s brothers said regarding Yosef, “Come, let us kill him and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say: An evil beast has eaten him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”  Rashi, quoting Rebbi Yitzchok, states that ruach hakodesh said the last part of this posuk, because “it is impossible that they (the brothers) should say, ‘And we will see what will become of his dreams,’ for since they will slay him, his dreams have been in vain!”

Why couldn’t the brothers have said, “And we will see what will become of his dreams”?  Couldn’t Rashi have explained simply that Yosef’s brothers spoke in a sarcastic manner concerning Yosef’s dreams?

I heard in the name of Rav Leib Bakst zt”l that Rashi did not explain it in this manner, because the idea of speaking sarcastically was so foreign to Rashi that he could not comprehend reconciling this statement with the brothers’ decision to kill Yosef other than to explain that ruach hakodesh said it.

We see from Rashi that sarcastic speech is abhorrent.

I also heard from Dayan Aharon Dovid Dunner an amazing observation that underscores the importance of silence: Klal Yisroel did not know how they ended up in Mitzrayim. They knew that Yosef had become its viceroy and that Yaakov Avinu came to Mitzrayim because Yosef could not leave. However, it was not until after Matan Torah that Klal Yisroel discovered how Yosef came to be in Mitzrayim and eventually became its viceroy. How interesting that during all those years in Mitzrayim, it was never revealed that Yosef had been sold by his brothers, which resulted in his eventual sale to a Mitzri.

I would also like to share a thought relating to Chanukah. Chanukah is an opportune time to work on the home. Chazal say that one should light at the doorway of his house. The meforshim explain that this is also referring to the spiritual openings of our bodies, i.e., our eyes, mouths and ears. In this vein, we should be vigilant about what we bring into our physical house or spiritual house. Similarly, we have the ability to light up the spirits of our wives and children with nice comments and acts of patience.

In conclusion, I have one more thought (and request): The question is asked: If Yosef forgave his brothers for selling him by saying, “Fear not, for am I in the place of G-d,” why did Klal Yisroel need another kapparah through the Asarah Harugei Malchus?

The Acharonim posit that it may be that this additional kapparah was necessary because Yosef never explicitly stated that he forgave them.

On this note, I have a personal request. I began to serve as a counselor at the young age of 13. I started out as a counselor in Camp Torah Vodaas and then went on to Camp Agudah and other places. I feel confident saying that it was a positive experience for nearly everyone. However, one never knows, especially during the tumultuous teenage years, if one might have hurt an innocent boy’s feelings.

As we get older, hopefully we are more sensitive to others, and if we embarrass a child in a chinuch situation, we have the maturity to ask the child for mechilah. Undoubtedly, the child will always remember that gesture.

In fact, it is recommended that, each night, before reciting Krias Shema Al Hamitah, we proclaim our forgiveness of others who may have offended or wronged us.

I would therefore like to request from anyone who had been a camper of mine from 1982 through 1992 who is reading this letter to be mochel me if I wronged him in any way.

At this time of the year, when we celebrate, among other things, the rededication of the Bais Hamikdosh, may we recommit ourselves to speak and act positively, and may this be a zechus for myself and all of Klal Yisroel.

Shlomo Boruch ben Shaindel Bracha Pomerantz


I would like to share a few thoughts regarding the power of speech which we can glean from the parshiyos we have read in the recent past and will be reading in the near future:

1. Hakadosh Boruch Hu created the world through speech, i.e., ten utterances (Avos 5:1).

2.  Noach spoke and blessed Sheim and Yefes but cursed Canaan (Noach 9:25-26).

3. When Avrohom Avinu withheld his speech and did not ask Hashem for a sign concerning His promise of children, it was considered a zechus and a tzedakah for him (Lech Lecha 15:6).

4. Seforim note that we suffer from Yishmoel because Avrohom Avinu asked Hashem, “Lu Yishmoel yichyeh lefanecha” (Lech Lecha 17:18).

5. I heard the following observation from Dayan Aharon Dovid Dunner. When the shevatim came back and said, “The man, the lord of the land (Yosef), spoke roughly with us,” Yaakov Avinu remained silent regarding “the lord of the land.” Had Yaakov reacted (as is common for a person to react) and said, “That anti-Semite should die,” Yosef would have died instantly. However, fortunately for Yosef Hatzaddik, Yaakov Avinu restrained himself and kept silent. (I would like to suggest that this exercise in restraint was a tikkun for Yaakov Avinu’s reaction concerning Lavan’s terafim, about which he said, “With whomever you find your gods, he shall not live,” and the Medrash points out that Rochel Imeinu died on account of those words.)

Wow! The power of knowing when and when not to speak!

If I may share some suggestions for using our speech in a positive fashion:

1. Let us make a point to clearly compliment our children’s rabbeim and teachers, particularly in front of our children.

2. Let’s appreciate our children even when we are frustrated, never saying, “What a parsha he/she is!” or screaming, “Sha!” at him/her and that “he/she will never get married with those middos!”

3.  Don’t jump to conclusions. Better stay silent.

4. When learning, say the words out loud.

5. Let’s not be compelled to talk and complain about the horrid weather, etc. Either say nothing or merely comment that the weather is challenging.

May any step the tzibbur takes in refining this vital area of shemiras hadibbur be a zechus and tzedakah for myself and all of Klal Yisrael.

Wishing all of Klal Yisruel besuros tovos, yeshuos, venechamos,

Shlomo Baruch ben Shaindel Brachah Pomerantz


I am writing this letter to encourage everyone to continue using the koach of hakol kol Yaakov to continue davening for yourself, your wife, your children, Klal Yisroel, bias haMoshiach, and whatever needs you might have.
Approximately three months ago, in a letter that the Yated was kind enough to print, I encouraged you, the heilige Am Yisroel, to strengthen yourself, in particular during the summer months, in shmiras einayim. Boruch Hashem, I am happy to report to the tzibbur that since that time, my vision has improved. I am sure you recognize, as I do, that it is not (chemo)therapy that heals, but rather Hakadosh Boruch Hu who is Rofeh Chol Bosor. I know that it was through the klal‘s tefillos and chizuk that Hashem blessed me by restoring my eyesight. In fact, when I daven, I ask Hashem to please send me a refuah in the zechus of the tefillos of the tzaddikim, the tzibbur, and my former talmidim who daven for me.
Because we are approaching the Yomim Noraim and tefillos play a pivotal role amongst our avodos, please allow me to share a few thoughts regarding how we may strengthen our most potent weapon, tefillah:
1. Come on time to davening or, better yet, as Rav Shimshon Pincus zt”l advises, arrive a few minutes early to allow your mind to focus on the privilege of speaking directly to Hashem. It’s almost impossible to concentrate properly on Shemoneh Esrei when we start late and hurried.
2. Daven from a siddur with translation. There is no reason to be ashamed. Each day, choose one posuk, read its translation, and gain a new insight. You will be amazed at how that one posuk can inspire your entire davening.
3. Concentrate on one Boruch Atah in tefillah. Contemplate the awesome privilege and responsibility to be talking directly to Hashem. By saying, “Blessed are You Hashem,” it humbles as well as inspires a person to appreciate his/her role in the world.
4. Say the words out loud. If davening out loud is uncomfortable for you, ask a friend to join you or stand next to a friend who also davens out loud.

5. Realize that we inherited the ability to daven well from our avos and imahos and we need to believe in ourselves. Let’s go for it.
Thank you, once again, Am Yisroel, and especially the Chicago community, for your chizuk and tefillos. May Hakadosh Boruch Hu continue to listen to our tefillos and allow the middas harachamim to prevail over the middas hadin. May Hakadosh Boruch Hu answer our ultimate tefillah to bring Moshiach and restore the glory of Hashem and of Klal Yisroel.
Hatzlachah in all your tefillos and may everyone be blessed with a kesivah vachasimah tovah.

Shlomo Boruch ben Shaindel Brachah Pomerantz

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  1. i am so sad to hear this terrible news. his impact on the chicago community was huge. i dont know 1 person that he hasnt left a impact on. no 1 news y he is gone but hashem always has his reasons. may his nashama have a aliyaha and may his family continue to stay strong…

    baruch dayon emes

  2. i cant believe such a big gadol passed away, he affected me so much i cant stop crying for him, he honestly loved every person, he always said hello to everyone he sees, i live in his neighborhood in chicago, any time i would pass him he would always say hello, even when he was hospitalized recently he was very sick but he still smiled may we learn a lesson from this gadol zt”l li’ilui nishama R’ Shlomo Boruch Pomeranzt Zt”l
    B’suros tovos

  3. yehay zichro boruch. now that shabbos is coming we have time to think and choose something to be mechazik in.it should be an aliyah for his neshama and a zichus for all of us

  4. Baruch Dayan HaEmes. Rabbi Pomerantz zt”l was a truly wonderful person. I chersih his memory. Thank you for printing his wonderful words of Torah.

  5. I am truly saddened by this news. Rabbi Pomerantz came to Chicago to join the Chicago Community Kollel (Lakewood). He impressed the entire community with his optimistic, upbeat manner.

    After spending a couple of years there he joined the faculty at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School (where all of my children attended) and was a successful Rebbe there for many years.

    I recall a few years ago when I approached him once after Mincha at Brisk Yeshiva, where he occasionally Davened. It was just after my son’s Sefer on Taharas HaMishpacha was published. He looked at it and asked, “Your son went to Arie Crown, didn’t he?” I answered in the affirmative. He then enthusiastically said, “I’m going to buy this Sefer and show it to my Talmidim tomorrow so they can see just how much an Arie Crown student can achieve.”

    I last saw him at that same Brisk Yeshiva Mincha Mniyan. He had lost his hair and beard and I could barely recognize him. He looked weak and frail. And yet there he was in a suit and tie; wearing a hat and standing for both Shemoneh Esreh and Chazaras HaShatz. After Davening I asked him how things were going and he answered in his typical optimistic way.

    He was a real asset to the Chicago Jewish community and will be sorely missed.

  6. BD”E. He Had had a Shinui Hashem to Rafael Shlomo Baruch be Sheinel Beracha. A very sweet eidel man. Chaval al d’avdin v’lo mishtokchin.

  7. I knew the niftar from the camp torah voddas days. He was a true mentsh and always had very strong values. A mechanech through and through. May his chashuve family have a nechama and he should be a meilitz yosher for all klal yisroel

  8. He touched all segments of the community. He was a son in law of Rav Asher Weil shlita, long time R”M in Telshe Yeshiva. He came to Chicago in the Lakewood Kollel. He was a rebbe in Arie Crown. His wife and mother in law are Moros in Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov. His smile and optimism will not soon be forgotten.

  9. baruch dayan hamet
    i learned with his son in school and henever i came over to their house i was welcomed and made felt at home by rabbi pomerantz. i also had the zchus togo to rabbi pomerantz`s camp called Oneg which gave a fun and torahdik inviorment. may his inspiration on all of us leave a big zchus for his nesamah.

  10. baruch dayan emes. may his neshama lift up to great hieghts. Rabbi Pomerantz was a tremendous gadol in everything he did, and everyone he encountered. with the unknown reasoning of Hashem, may Rabbi Pomerantz be in a better place, looking upon our acts of teshuva, to prevent tzaros and raise his neshama. Baruch dayan emes.

  11. the levaya will be tomorrow morning he will then be transfered to new york and than eretz yisroel i am so sad of this tragedy he will be missed by all i think ppl should try to take on being b’simcha and optimistic and being kind to everyone becasue that was and is the essences of Harav Shlomo Boruch Pomeranzt Zt”l to poster number 7 if someone has a name change and is niftar from that ilness the name is dropped
    may this week be a gitten vuch for all of klal yisroel

  12. A true eved Hashem, Mokir Rabanan, loyal friend and ehrliche yid! He will be missed by all that knew him. Chicago is a lesser place today than it was yesterday. When a Tzaddik leaves a city, the splendor leaves the city.
    Yehi Zichro Boruch!

  13. He was so special. The type of chizuk you see in these letters is the same as all who knew him were used to hearing. He was the “ARI SHEBICHABURA”, when we learned together in BMG. A GIANT IN TORAH AND MIDDOS! What a tremendous loss to the world of Chinuch. To the family: Only the RBSH”O can comprehend your loss and assist you in finding true nechama, May that happen soon together with all that mourn for Tzion & Yerushalyim!

  14. Harry that was beautiful! I unfortunately never met this remarkable man, but may his Neshama be raised to the highest levels of Shamayim

  15. I have known Rebbi for almost 2 decades. He lived every minute like it was his last. It was his never ending appreciation and kindness that I will remember most. His excitement for others. How positive he was. He was truly one of the most special people I have ever met and will never stop missing him. Nothing but a pure inspiration. Thank you for coming into my life

  16. Boruch Dayan Ha’emes. He was a person who cared about every single person – as a bochur I looked forward to coming home and hearing his Sholem Aleichem in Shul. From his talmidim, to finding Shiduchim (for both boys and girls), he was a man with a heart for others. Yehi Zichro Boruch

  17. The levaya will take place Sunday morning, February 5th at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School, 4600 W. Main, Skokie IL, at 10:30AM. Kevurah will be at Har Hamenuchos. Shiva is at the Pomerantz residence, 3004 W. Pratt Blvd. Chicago, IL.

    HaMakom Yenachem Eschem B’soch Sh’ar Aveilei Tzion V’Yerushalayim

  18. We will ATTEMPT to do a live simulcast of the R Shlomo Pomerantz funeral on Sunday morning. Success will be dependent an the quality of the Internet connection at Arie Crown. We apologize, in advance, if it doesn’t work. If it does, we will begin about 10:15am (CST). Go to Ustream.tv In the top-center of the screen there is a box “Search for User or Event” Enter: Deja Views – Celebrating a Life Please note that the SimulCast may include a short ad, it is beyond our control. Y’hi Zichro Bracha.

  19. Shiva will be at the Pomerantz home, 3004 W. Pratt Blvd.
    Shacharis Monday through Friday 7:45 am; Mincha/Maariv Sunday through Thursday 4:50 PM

  20. Boruch Dayan Emes. I grew up on the same block in Kensington as him.He was my leader in Pirchei of Torah and them my counsler in Camp Ohr Shraga. Even as a bocher his tzidkus shined through him.And he only shteiged further as he got older.My eyes are filling eith tears as I write about our loss of R’ Shlomoh .May he be a Meilitz Yosher

  21. Is it possible to hear the levayah via phone or computer audio for those of us who unfortunately could not attend in Chicago? We are saddened beyond belief..His dear family should have strength to continue..We should all learn and try our utmost to follow in his ways.

  22. The Nifter Rav Shlomo Zatazl has 4 brothers that live in lakewood chanania menachem asher and shui they are all big Talmedai Chachomim Chanania is also a Big Baal Tzedaka here in Lakewood the other brothers i believe all learn in BMG KOLLEL The Father is a Talmid Chochiom and a very Chosheve Yid a Big Baal Midos he Davens and Learns in Torah Vodath

  23. This unfortunate tragedy, as well as others that have hurt the Chicago Jewish community in recent years, call for Tshuvah (repentence and mending our ways)!

    One area is Shmiras Shabbos. Perhaps it is time for us Chicagoans to abandon our controversial Eruvs. According to all our Rashei HaYeshivos and Rashei HaKollelim (our leading Torah scholars) the Chicago and (nearby) Skokie and Lincolnwood Eruvs are ineffective, rendering “carrying” on Shabbos CHILLUL SHABBOS BEFARHESIA (public desecration of the Sabbath), a very serious transgression!

  24. To poster #21:
    The Aron will be arriving in Eretz Yisroel on Monday evening, El Al flight 008.
    The levayah/kevura will take place approximately 7:15 pm Monday at Har Hamenuchos.

  25. Rebbi,
    I am left with a void in my life. You were my teacher, my mentor, and my friend. You were always there for me through good and bad. I miss you Rebbi. I know you are now in the presence of H’BH. May your teachings live on forever.

  26. #36:

    How about the community mending their ways and abandon petty Sinas Chinam and machlokes that has plagued the community for years. By emulating Rabbi Pomerantz zt”l who valued each person, even if they weren’t 100% like him, the community can IY”H start the healing process.

  27. #36, how did you come by this information? Have you been in touch with the Pamalia shel Ma’alah?

    Ordinarily, I wouldn’t respond to divrei hevel like yours, but l’chvod the Niftar, I must.

    There are many Rabbonim who approve of the various Eruvin in place for years. One of the goals was to enhance kavod Shabbos and to make it more enjoyable for families.

    Your criticism is exactly the opposite, both in style and in substance, of what R’ Pomerantz, z”l would have stood for.

    I also note that you approach improvement by pointing your accusatory finger at everyone else, telling them what to do. How about fixing yourself before you tell everyone else what to do? Again, this was an area where R’ Pomerantz excelled. He always focused on himself rather than accusing others with whom he may have disagreed or conducted himself differently.

    Either you never knew R’ Pomerantz, or you have a lot to learn from him.

  28. Yes indeed shloimy was a man of peace and indeed chicago should be an example of achdus in one community.They made a shabbos of achdus where several shuls combined together to daven and ERUV literally means mixing and that is one of the main reasons to make an eruv.CHICAGO KEEP UP THE ACHDUS AND CHESED AND VERY SOON SHLOIMY WILL BE BACK WITH US!!!