Rav Shloma Margolis zt”l


shloma-margolisIt is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Shloma Margolis zt”l. Rav Shloma was a talmid of the pre-war Novardoker yeshivos and  a talmid of Rav Yaakov Naiman, Rav Avrohom Joffen, Rav Elazar Shach and the Steipler Gaon. He was 99.

After World War II, Rav Shloma established a yeshiva for yesomim in Lodz, Pinsk and later in Prague, and he was instrumental in saving many neshamos who would have otherwise been lost from Yiddishkeit. He eventually procured visas for them and sent them off to learn in yeshivos in France and England. The great talmid chochom, Rav Arye Leib Grosnes, who on the scene from London, England, had in his possession twenty visas of entry for immigrant yeshiva bochurim. Rav Shloma entrusted to him twenty of his bochurim, including his two brothers-in law, Yudel and Ela Dovek, who later emigrated to Boston with him.

Many of his talmidim continued on to become marbitzei Torah themselves, attributing their love for Torah to Rav Shloma. He was a beacon of light to many who lost entire families. Rav Shloma, whose exemplary character traits attracted many of the youth later in Boston and then in Ramat Elchonon, was a warm influence on many talmidim already in Lithuania.

In his sefer, Darkei Hashleimus, released in 2002, Rav Shloma writes about his history and describes a unique society, a brotherhood of five of the elite bochurim of the Novardoker network. Its sole purpose was to encourage and strengthen one another and to ensure future contact with each another. Rav Shloma writes that the following seven resolutions were accepted by each of them, attesting to the greatness of these humble individuals. One of them was Rav Shlomo Podolsky, whose son, Rav Nachum Podolsky, rosh yeshiva of Siach Yitzchak, eventually married a daughter of Rav Shloma. The seven kabbalos were: 1. To correspond each half year with each member. 2. Before proceeding to write the letter, one should learn at least fifteen minutes of mussar about bein adam lachaveiro. 3. Each seventh of Shevat one should celebrate their friendship and also write letters to each other. If it is Shabbos, then this would be postponed until Sunday. 4. Each seventh of Shevat one should study fifteen minutes of mussar concerning conduct with one’s fellow man. 5. To assist one another both physically and financially as one would a brother. 6. To inform each other of a change of address. 7. The eventual goal is to gather together and settle in one place in Eretz Yisroel.

Rav Shloma attested to the fact that he fulfilled the first six resolutions all the years in America and finally fulfilled the seventh one eight years prior, when he settled in Bnei Brak.

After Rav Shloma emigrated to the United States, he served as rov of Bais Haknesses Chayei Adam in Boston for over 40 years, touching numerous lives and bringing many mishpachos close to Yiddishkeit. He was a major force in building Torah andYiddishkeit in Boston. Among other organizations that he founded, he was a driving force behind the Lakewood Yeshiva in Boston, bringing in Rav Leib Heiman to serve as rosh yeshiva there. Rav Shloma played a significant role in Agudas Yisroel and in spreadingYiddishkeit in America in general.

Rav Shloma spent the last 20 years of his life in Bnei Brak. He devoted his efforts to writing and printing his seforimDarkei Hashleimus, and founded Yeshiva Darkei Hashleimus in Kiryat Sefer.

Rav Shloma was niftar yesterday and the levaya was held in Ramat Elchanan in Bnei Brak.

He merited to see all his children and grandchildren become talmidei chachomim and true avdei Hashem.

Rav Shloma is survived by his children, Mrs. Breindel Willner (Baltimore), Mrs. Devora Moskovitz (Boston), Rabbi Avrohom Margolis (Baltimore), Mrs. Esther Leah Kleinman (Cleveland), and Mrs. Basya Podolsky (Bnei Braq). In Bnei Brak, the mishpacha is sitting shivah at the home of Rav Shlomo’s son-in-law and daughter, Rav and Mrs. Nachum and Basya Podolsky. The aveilim may be reached at 011.972.3.677.9901  When calling from within Israel, dial 03.677.9901.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Casriel Bauman-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. What a man! What an impact he had on so many lives, including mine. I’m sure, that as head of his mishpacha, he’ll be a meilitz yosher for all of us. Tanta Chava wouldn’t allow it to be otherwise! He will be greatly missed in the family, for sure.

  2. Boruch dayan ha’emes! What a loss! I was only zocheh to meet him once since he was already living in Bnei Brak when I started davening in his shul, and that alone left an imperssion on me. Everyone I spoke to in Boston who knew him, misses him. He was a tremendous talmid chochom, yirei shomayim, and ba’al middos, and he impacted immeasurably on the Boston frum community. May he be a maylitz yosher for all of us.

  3. Boruch dayan ha’emes! What a loss! I was only zocheh to meet him once since he was already living in Bnei Brak when I started davening in his shul, and that alone left an imperssion on me. Everyone I spoke to in Boston who knew him, misses him. He was a tremendous talmid chochom, yirei shomayim, and ba’al middos, and he impacted immeasurably on the Boston frum community. May he be a maylitz yosher for all of us.

  4. When I lived in Boston I was zoche to daven literally within his daled amos. He and his wife were such fine, kind people. Even having the most cursory of conversations with him left one feeling that this was a very special person. I can still hear his Lithuanian Yiddish droshos – it was ‘tayra’ not ‘toyra’! (I think the article was remiss that it did not mention that he lived to be over 100 years old.) Yehi zichro baruch!

  5. To me, Rabbi Margolis is best remembered for what he told me during Mussaf on the second day of Rosh Hashanah 5751 when my wife was starting to feel contractions. He told me that not only should my wife go home and not worry about shofar blowing, but that I should go home too and be with her. He made sure one of the balebatim stopped by my house after davening to check up on us and blow shofar. Once the baby was born, he was always asking how mother and daughter were doing. A big tzaddik to be sure. May his neshama have an aliyah.

  6. It was our very great Z’chus to host the Rav in our home. Being in his presence elevated our family to a higher level of Keddusha and left an indelible inspiration on us that made us all better for knowing him.

    Yehi zichro boruch

  7. We have been honored to know R’ Margolis, zt’l, through his amazing children and the Torah legacy he has created in Boston in Congregation Chayei Odom. May his memory be for a blessing.

  8. I also only met Rov Margolis zt’l once when he visited Boston after I moved to the area, and he exuded such warmth and love of Torah that it was almost infectious. He gave my husband and I a brocha to have many children, and B”H we became pregnant with twins shortly thereafter. His loss is felt around the world, and I feel so lucky and grateful to have known him even for such a short time. Boruch dayan ha’emes.

    (P.S. He was born in January 1913, so he lived to be 99.)

  9. I was very fortunate to spend time at the Rav’s shul, shiurim and home in Boston during my 4.5 years there, and to see him again briefly in Israel. Interacting with his many Torah-observant relatives on both sides of the ocean proves that his legacy lives on.

  10. The Margolises and their families provided me with a foundation upon which to build and to learn. I remember with great sadness the passing of the Rebbisyn and now the Rav. Their memory will be for a great many a blessing for years to come.

  11. I grew up in Chai Odom, and my father, z”l, was very close with Rabbi Margolis, zt”l, and learned with him every shabbos morning. (He picked the Rabbi up in the morning and walked with him to (and often from) shul.) The first time we davened there, we were leaving after davening and Rabbi Margolis came out to the coatroom and put his hand on my father’s arm and invited us to join the shul for kiddush. My father kept refusing, and Rabbi Margolis (albeit gently) did not let go of his arm until we agreed. My father davened there regularly for the next 25 years. Yehi zichro baruch.

  12. I feel that Rav Margolis inspired, and I hope I can say influenced, me in Torah and Derech Eretz more than any other person.

    My zeyde A”H was a contemporary of his at Chai Odom in Dorchester, MA; and his personal greeting and interest taken gave me a feeling that he had been waiting for me, the first time I entered his shul in Brighton, MA.