The Sacrifice of Rav Wosner’s Mother


shmuel-wosnerAs Klal Yisroel mourns the passing of the great manhig and posek, Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner zt”l, we share the now-famous story about Rav Wosner’s mother:

Over 100 hundred years ago, in the very beginning of the 1900’s, there was a young girl who last name was Shiff, who had a most beautiful and amazing voice. Her talents were nothing short of professional. She was the talk of all those that knew her. For a religious Frum girl in Vienna, Austria, coming from a traditional Torah home, professional singing was not an option.

News spread of her amazing and potential talent to a famous agent, who offered this young potential star, a very lucrative opportunity and career. Thrilled, she decided to discuss the matter with her parents. When the parents heard about this terrible news, they agreed they will do all within their power, to not allow it to be. The young girl refused to listen to her parents.

Her father then took his daughter to their rov, Rabbi Shlomo Baumgarten, who tried to convince the girl to abandon this career. Reb Shlomo, sensing that he had not swayed her, suggested that they go to Rav Yitzchok Meir, the Kapytshnitzer Rebbe, who was in Vienna at the time.

Immediately, the father went with his daughter to see the Rebbe, who spoke with the girl. “Tell me, my dear Jewish daughter, why do you want so badly to go into this line of work?”

The girl answered honestly: “It is because of the fame that I will find. l will be known throughout the world.”

The Rebbe closed his eyes, deep in thought, contemplating the aspirations the girl had just expressed. After a few moments, the Rebbe opened his eyes and began to speak: “Listen closely, my dear daughter. It is the dream of every young Jewish woman to be blessed with a child who will illuminate the world through his Torah learning. I give you my promise that if you now sacrifice your chance at fame, there will come a time when you will be blessed with a child who will light up the world. He will become the one of the greatest halachic authorities of his time, a posek hador. Your fame will come, but it will be through him, your son.”

The young girl wiped away her tears and thought deeply about the magnanimous promise the Rebbe had just made to her. She was a fine, young Jewish girl and so, after considering the offer, she accepted the Rebbe’s proposition.

Rav Don Segal, the famed mashgiach and mashpiah, found this most earth-shattering and amazing story in the Sefer Kehillos of Austria and decided to pursue the rest of the story. Rav Segal discovered that this girl eventually got married and had a son by the name of Shmuel. This Shmuel grew up to be none other then Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner

When Rav Don approached Rav Wosner to question the validity of the story, Rav Wosner became very emotional and, with tears in his eyes, replied, “It all makes sense now. When I was young, my mother always encouraged me to learn well and be an ehrliche Yid. She always said, ‘You cannot imagine what I sacrificed for you.'”

Indeed, Rav Wosner grew and grew, in fact becoming one of the learning Torah luminaries of his day.

Zechuso yogein aleinu. May he be a meilitz yosher for all of Klal Yisroel.

{© Newscenter}


  1. great story VERY applicable to todays frum girls & mothers[& bubbies too].
    to sacrifice todays yetser haras [not necessarily fame!!] ,like non tsnius dress, toughts, speech & a host of attitudes inside & outside the home.
    see the positive effects…. rav vosner zt”l!!… his sons…grandchildren…

  2. There is a famous story with R’ Moshe Weiss Shlita, the father of Rav Asher Weiss (a well known posek and AMAZING talmud chacham in Israel) after the war the Klausenberger Rebbe himself helped to bury bodies of yidden. He asked R’ Moshe Weiss (a Sanzer chossid) to help him. He said for his help he blessed him that all of his children would become giants in Torah. V’cach haveh. All four sons became tremendous talmidei chachamim and ovdei HaShem. Rav Dov Weiss even married the daughter of the Klausenberger Rebbe. Rav Moshe Weiss is still alive B”H and lives in Yerushalayim. Someone went up to him once and asked if the story was true. He said “heh! it’s true….But brachos didn’t make my children who they are, they sat and learned!!”


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