R’ Chaim Yechiel Rothman zt”l, Hy”d

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Chaim Yechiel RothmanIt is with great sadness that we report the passing on Friday night of R’ Chaim Yechiel Rothman zt”l Hy”d, who spent almost a year fighting for his life at Hadassah Medical Center in Yerushalayim after being seriously hurt during the Haf Nof massacre on November 18, 2014. R’ Chaim Yechiel succumbed to his injuries on Motzoei Shabbos.

R’ Chaim Yechiel, or Howie as he was known to many, was 54. He becomes the fifth kadosh in the attack on the Har Nof shul, Kehillas Bnei Torah.

The other victims of the attack were Rav Moshe Twersky (59);Rav Aryeh Kupinsky (43); Rav Avrohom Shmuel Goldberg (68); and Rav Kalman Levine (50).

Also tragically killed in the attack was the heroic Master-Sergeant Zidan Saif (30), the Druze police officer who tried to fight off the terrorists and who was posthumously promoted to First Sergeant.

R’ Chaim Yechiel was still fresh from celebrating the birth of his first granddaughter when he was struck in the head by an axe wielded by a Palestinian attacker in the Har Nof tragedy.

Raised in Toronto, R’ Chaim Yechiel graduated from the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto in 1979 before studying computer science at York University, where he met his wife, Risa Dodick from Windsor, Ontario. They married in August 1986.

The couple lived in Eretz Yisroel for the past 30 years, raising 11 children, the youngest of whom is 4 years old.

Just six weeks before the attack, R’ Chaim Yechiel’s daughter Zehava Farago gave birth to Sarah, his first grandchild.

R’ Chaim Yechiel’s mother, Mollie – as well as most of his siblings – reside in Canada.

A longtime resident of Har Nof, Mr. Rothman davened regularly at Kehillas Bnei Torah.

Ten years ago, R’ Chaim Yechiel’s oldest son, Eliyahu Mordechi, was killed at the age of 17 after falling off a cliff while riding his bicycle through the Yerushalayim Forest.

R’ Chaim Yechiel was born in September, 1960, in Toronto, Ontario. He attended Bialik Hebrew Day School in Toronto; CHAT (Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto); York University in Toronto (B.A., economics and computer science); and Tel Aviv University in Israel (M.A., Public Policy).

R’ Chaim Yechiel had worked as an auditor for Office of the State Comptroller of Israel.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}



  1. Pretty sad. Also what’s sad is how pretty openly in your article. You clearly make the Druze officer nothing. When I do the math there’s now 6 kadosh not 5.

  2. No, it’s not “pretty sad”. It’s a horrible tragedy. He was young, left 10 yesomim, a mother and a wife. And no, there are not 6 kedoshim. The Druze officer is a hero, yes. We have infinite hakaras hatov to him. It’s terrible that he was killed. But he cannot be called a kadosh. And don’t make it like the article made nothing of him. The article very clearly states he was tragically killed, was heroic, and was posthumously promoted to First Sergeant. Maybe you skipped over that paragraph for some reason.

  3. To #1, Be Real! They very honorably mentioned him in the next paragraph. Yes, he received (and deserved!) his own title and paragraph because he died under different circumstances. They were “innocent victims”, targeted because they were Jews and this was the terrorist’s objective. Zidan Seif died in the line of duty, he was not targeted by the terrorists but rather heroically ran in to fight them The term “Kadosh” is used for those that die Al Kiddush Hashem, because of their Judaism. The term Hero is used for those that willfully did something heroic. Getting shot in the back of the head while you daven does not make you a hero – it makes you a kadosh. Running in to a terrorist attack and shooting the terrorists makes you a hero, not a kadosh.

    Being argumentative doesn’t help any of their memories.

    The heroes of today’s news item are the Rothman family, who lost their oldest son/brother, lost their father/husband as they knew him almost a year ago, cared for him lovingly all this time, and now ushered him to a better place and accepted with Emuna and Bitachon their new titles of widow/orphans. I hope they find Nechama quickly and share only happy news from here on in!

  4. Its#1 again. You others have made good points. Thank you. The best point is just thinking of and feeling for R’ rothman. While your hearts are in right place , your heart is missing. This point. 1. He was a kadosh for doing the act he did to try and save lives. 2. The point that he a hero is kadosh also. 3. We must always rember that all of us no matter what we are doing but because we are a Jew are kadosh. Yes there is those that were davening and he was saving. It’s evident and not needed to explain. That is different but we as Jews will all raise ourselves up when we realize all this. I remain the heart torn kadosh for rothmsn family. Along with Druze officer family and the other 4 ones families.


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