It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Mr. Eli Freundlich z”l. He was 91 years old.
In his youth, Mr. Freundlich attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
He was just 18 years old and a recent graduate of Torah Vodaas when he was drafted into the US Army to fight during World War II. Her was a US soldier from July 1943 to July 27, 1943.
On August 18, 1943, he reported to Camp Upton in Long Island, where he received his uniform. He was then sent to Camp Croft boot camp in South Carolina, where he received his basic training. After four months of basic training, he was sent overseas. Eli hoped to be sent to Europe, but was sent to Asia instead.
Together with another frum soldier in his barrack, Yitzchok Goldschmidt from Germany, Eli did his best to maintain his shemiras hamitzvos during that challenging tekufah, putting on tefillin and davening every day. Yitzchok was later killed when he stepped on a booby trap set by the Germans.
Eli, during an interview decades later, said that he and his fellow Americans had no idea at that time the extent to which the Jews in Europe were being exterminated. The war years made an indelible impact on young Eli.
Eli survived the war and later restarted his life on American shores.
With great perseverance and strong will, at a time when many of his contemporaries were assimilating, Mr. Freundlich stayed staunch in his beliefs and established a family of upstanding shomrei Torah umitzvos.
Mr. Feundlich is survived by his children, Rabbi Zev Freundlich, founder of Yeshivas Shaarei Arazim of Monsey, Fred Fruendlich, Mrs. Malkie Shulman, Mrs. Rus Zucker (wife of R’ Raphael of Lakewood, NJ), Mrs. Shifra Fried, and Mrs. Chana S. Mischel.
The levayah will take place today, at noon, at at Congregation Sons of Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Chapel, located at 613 Ramsey Street, off of East 7th Street, in Lakewood, NJ. The family will be observing shivah at the Zucker home in Village Park in Lakewood, NJ.
Yehi zichro boruch.