Hundreds of participants, led by roshei yeshivos and rabbonim, were on hand to lay to rest Mrs. Tzipporah (Feige) Kushelevsky o”h, who passed away on 29 Teves.
She was born to Rav Yaakov Meir Gross, a native of Lomzha who immigrated to the U.S. in 5677 (1917) as a young man to escape the draft in Poland. All his life he sanctified the Name of Heaven publicly through his mesirus nefesh for Shabbos, for which he was fired repeatedly. He supported Yeshivas Lomzha and helped HaRav Yechiel Michel Gordon during his U.S. fund-raising campaigns. He also devoted his energies and personal funds to building mikvo’os at locations around the U.S.
Her maternal side was related to the Shmuelson family, which included several generations of rabbonim and dayonim in Lithuania, and to HaRav Shmuel Ragoler ben Chaim, one of the dayonim among the Perushim of Jerusalem, who was given the honor of being buried at Har Hazeisim.
Though during this period there were no Jewish schools in the U.S., they managed to raise their daughters, who went on to marry outstanding talmidei chachomim. In 5693 (1933) the family moved to Eretz Hakodesh, settling in Tel Aviv. Their home was wide open to all those in need, particularly the rabbonim and talmidim of Yeshivas Heichal HaTalmud and Yeshivas Lomzha.
During this period marrying a genuine ben Torah entailed great self-sacrifice, particularly since she was accustomed to the material abundance of the U.S., yet she chose a life of Torah, marrying HaRav Eliyohu Kushelevsky, who had been a student at Yeshivas Slobodka since his bar mitzvah and among the first students of the Divrei Yechezkel. Back in Lithuania he had been known as the Prodigy of Malat. Several years after their marriage, they moved to the U.S., where HaRav Kushelevsky served as a rov for several kehillos and as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas R’ Shlomo Kugler. Later he served as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim together with HaRav Mendel Zaks, the son-in- law of the Chofetz Chaim, and a close friendship formed between them.
Mrs. Kushelevsky dedicated her body, her soul and her financial resources to her husband’s Torah study. She said she had never disturbed his learning; in her final years, despite her poor health, she would say to her sons, her son-in-law and her grandsons, “You don’t have to honor me so much by sitting with me. Go learn.”
She lost at a young age both her daughter, who was married to HaRav Lipa Rabinowitz, and her son, R’ Avrohom, yet she accepted the Judgment without the slightest protest. She had the merit to see many descendants – including great-grandchildren and great-great- grandchildren – who were outstanding bnei Torah, most notably her oldest son, HaRav Tzvi Kushelevsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Heichal HaTorah for decades.