Rav Moshe Spiegel zt”l

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rav-moshe-spiegelIt is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Moshe Spiegel zt”l, the Ostrove-Kalushiner Rebbe, formerly of Long Beach, NY.

Rav Moshe was the oldest of seven children of Rav Pinchus Eliyahu Spiegel, the Ostrove-Kalushiner Rebbe in the Bronx, and his Rebbetzin, Basha (nee Burstein).

Reb Pinchus Eliyahu was a descendant of a long history of Torah and chassidus. His father, Rav Naftali Aryeh, was a son-in-law of Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Unger and a grandson of Rav Avrohom Elchonon Unger.

Rav Naftali Aryeh arrived in America in the late 1920s and was joined in the early 1930s by his three sons, Rav Moshe, Rav Elchonon Yochonon and Rav Pinchus Eliyahu.

Despite the winds of change when so many immigrants had, r”l, abandoned Yiddishkeit, the Spiegels remained steadfast to the mesorah that they had received from their great zaides, going back to the Chozeh of Lublin.

It was this atmosphere that helped raise Rav Moshe in a home that was steeped in Torah, chassidus and yiras Shomayim. Like his revered father, Rav Naftali Aryeh, Rav Moshe’s father, Rav Pinchus Eliyahu, was a Yid who never compromised on the slightest chumrah in Yiddishkeit, despite being surrounded by a community that was slowly assimilating into American culture. Rav Pinchus Eliyahu had never eaten meat in America and his father, who had a small shul on Faile Street in the Bronx, was so removed from this world that he did not even know what his own house looked like. Once, Rav Naftali Aryeh’s shammas left him outside his home and expected the Rebbe to just enter.  However, the Rebbe, steeped in thought, tarried and walked a few yards before he realized that he might have strayed from the place that the gabbai had let him off. An hour later, the gabbai returned and noticed that the Rebbe looked puzzled as to where he actually lived.

Rav Pinchus Eliyahu and his Rebbetzen made sure that their children went only to the best yeshivos and received the purest Torah upbringing.

Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l, who was close to the Spiegel mishpacha, used to praise Rav Moshe’s father, Rav Pinchus Eliyahu, quoting the Gemara, “I have seen bnei aliyah and they are very few, and Rav Pinchus Eliyahu is one of them.”  Rav Aharon smiled as he added, “Ah Litvishe rebbe vos ken gut lernin.”

Indeed, Rav Pinchus Eliyahu revered the rosh yeshiva.  He once accompanied another chassidishe rebbe to a shiur given by Rav Aharon at a meeting of the Agudas Harabbanim. Upon leaving, the other rebbe commented on the point that Rav Aharon made a machlokes between the opinion of the Vilna Gaon and the Rambam.

“Imagine a machlokes between the Gra and the Rambam?’ the rebbe asked sardonically.

Rav Moshe’s father looked at the man sternly. “Gedenkt! Dos iz Rav Aharon. Remember, you are talking about Rav Aharon!” he reprimanded.

It was in this environment in which Rav Moshe was raised, and he carried that unadulterated, pure mesorah of Torah and avodah with him throughout his life. His uncompromising ideals and the pashtus with which he lived is apparent on his children and his entire mishpacha of bnei Torah and bnei aliyah. His bitachon and emunah were inspiring.

Rav Moshe’s father ultimately moved from the Bronx to Long Beach, where he established the Ostrove-Kalushiner bais medrash there. Following his father’s passing, Rav Moshe led the bais medrash in Long Beach. Approximately three years ago, Rav Moshe relocated to Lakewood, NJ, where he settled in Pine River Village, establishing the Ostrove-Kalushiner shtiebel in his home there.

Rav Moshe was niftar this afternoon at the age of 83.

The levaya will take place tomorrow, at 11 a.m., at his home, located at 14 Goldcrest Drive in Pine River Village.

Rav Moshe is survived by his rebbetzin, as well as children and grandchildren following in his ways and continuing the mesorah which he upheld throughout his productive life of avodas hakodesh and avodas Hashem. Rav Moshe is also survived by his siblings, Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Spiegel of Boro Park, Rav Dovid Spiegel of Cedarhurst, Rebbetzin Esther Lichtshein of Chicago, and Rebbetzin Kamenetzky of Woodmere, wife of Rav Binyomin Kamenetzky, founding rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Chaim of South Shore. His youngest brother was the famed Rav Avrohom Elchonon (Chuni) Spiegel zt”l, one of the early pioneers of the Lakewood community.

A fuller appreciation and tribute of Rav Moshe’s life will iy”H be printed in the future.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Yossi Schneider-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. He was a very nice man.
    thanks for the nice tribute and for the background of his father and zaide which I never knew.
    may we only share smachos.

  2. Please note: The information above is CORRECT. The levaya is at the house on Goldcrest, NOT AT the PRV shul as some have mistakenly said.
    11 a.m. at the house

  3. According to this, Rav Moshe was the oldest and Rav Chuni was the youngest, and then theres’ Rav Dovid, Rav Yacov Yitchok and Rebbetzin Kaminetssky. Anyone know the other siblings??

  4. I had the great zchus of davening as a child in the shul on Faile Street.Rav Pinchus Eliyahu was truly one of the great people of the previous generation.
    Rav Dovid Spiegel and Rav chuna zt’l were twins.

  5. Rabbi Spiegel zt”l leaves a sister Rebetzin Esther Lichtshein in Chicago. Rebetzin Yetta Zaks a”h from Eretz Yisroel was also his sister.

  6. the levayah will take place at 11:00 at the pine river village shul not at the house there is not enough room at the house.
    to #5, there were seven children the oldest is Rebbetzin Tzirel Kamenetzky then was Reb. Moishe tz”l , Reb. Yaakov Yitchok , Rebbetzin Yita Zaks a”h wife of Reb. Hershel Zaks einekel of the chofetz chaim, Rebbetzin Toby Lichtshein, Reb. Duvid and Reb. Avrohom Elchonon(chuni) tz”l

  7. to #5, #10 there were seven children the oldest is Rebbetzin Tzirel Kamenetzky till 120 years then was Reb. Moishe tz”l , then Rebbetzin Yita Zaks a”h wife of Reb. Hershel Zaks einekel of the chofetz chaim, Rebbetzin Toby Lichtshein, H’admoer Rav Yaakov Yitchok , Harav Avrohom Elchonon(chuni) tz”l, H’admoer Rav Duvid is the youngest

    Also to comment that H’admoer Rav Pinchus Eliyohu was mechutonim with the great rabonim HaRav Hagoen R’ Yakov Kaminetzki Zt”l, HaRav Hagoen R’ Mendel Zaks Zt”l, HaRav Hagoen R’ Moshe Bick Zt”l, and the Pitsburger Rebbe Zt”l

    Also to comment that the oldest son of H’admoer Rav Naftali Aryeh, Harav Elchonin Yochnun Came to america in about 1925 and H’admoer Rav Naftali Aryeh came in 1926 and H’admoer Rav Pinchus Eliyohu came in 1928 when Reb Moshe was a infant.

  8. May Rav Moshe be a meilitz yashar for Klal Yisrael. Amazingly, over Shabbos I thought of Rav Dovid Spiegel Shlita just out of the blue and I live out of town and have not been to Cederhurst in twenty years. Can someone explain how I would think of Rav Moshe’s brother so suddenly?


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