Rebbetzin Tzirel Benoliel zt”l


It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rebbetzin Tzirel Benoliel a”h, wife of Rav Chaim Benoliel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Mikdash Melech. She was 79.

The rebbetzin was a faithful partner in her husband’s harbotzas Torah for nearly half a century. Together, they raised a beautiful family.

Rebbetzin Benoliel was born in March, 1936 in Baranovitch, Poland. Her father, Rav Mendel Kaplan zt”l was a yungerman in the yeshiva of Rav Elchonon Wasserman Hy”d, who was his rebbi muvhak and neighbor. Her mother, Rebbetzin Sarah Baila Kaplan a”h, was a daughter of Rav Zvi Hirsh Gutman Hy”d, the menahel of Rav Elchonon’s yeshiva.

Rav Mendel and his family escaped together with the Mirrer Yeshiva – where he had learned as a bochur – on their famous journey to Vilna, across Siberia, to Japan and finally to Shanghai.

After the war, the Kaplans settled in Chicago, where Rav Mendel was a maggid shiur at Bais Medrash L’Torah. It was in Chicago that the shidduch was made between Rav Mendel’s oldest daughter and Rav Chaim, a native of Seattle of who was learning at Bais Medrash L’Torah.

After their marriage in 1959, the young couple settled in Brooklyn, NY, where Rav Chaim learned and taught at Yeshivas Bais Hatalmud in Bensonhurst.

In 1968, Rav Chaim was appointed as the rov of the Syrian community’s Congregation Bnei Yosef, which eventually moved to its current location on Ocean Parkway.

In 1972 Rav Chaim established Yeshiva Mikdash Melech, the first Sefardic yeshiva gedolah in the Western Hemisphere, together with his brother-in-law, Rav Yitzchok Dovid Lopian. A branch was opened in Yerushalayim in 1988; it is now located in the city’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.

Rebbetzin Benoliel was a full partner in her husband’s avodas hakodesh and merited to see children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren walking in her footsteps.

The levaya will be held today at 2:15 p.m. at Congregation Bnei Yosef, located at 1616 Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, NY. The aron will be flown to Eretz Yisroel and kevurah will take place on Har Hamenuchos at 3 p.m.

Yehi zichrah boruch.

{G. Newscenter}