Reb Zeev Rothschild zt”l

12

It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Rabbi Zeev Rothschild zt”l, a towering baal chesed and yorei Shomayim.

Reb Zeev, the owner of NPGS in Lakewood, NJ, was one of Lakewood’s most notable and selfless baalei chesed, and was involved in numerous tzorchei tzibbur.

Reb Zeev quietly and without fanfare helped numerous struggling families, almanos and yesomim. He was called upon regularly to mediate in difficult situations, and with his tremendous chochmah, he’d navigate seemingly impossible circumstances, while everyone knew that Reb Zeev had no agenda other than to help those involved.

Reb Zeev resided on Forest Avenue in the heart of Lakewood, right near Seventh Street, around the corner of Bais Medrash Govoah. Indeed, he was the very “heart” of Lakewood, as his own generous heart had room for every yochid and every nitzrach, every need and every person who could be helped.

Reb Zeev was always away from the limelight, and that’s how he liked it. He never sought recognition or accolades, despite that wide reach of his activities.

The word “no” did not exist in his vernacular. If there was a need, if someone could be helped, if he could be involved in an undertaking l’sheim Shomayim, he was there.

When Reb Zeev identified the high cost of food for the average frum family, he launched a then-unheard idea, a Non-Profit-Grocery-Store, to become known as the Co-Op, and later as NPGS, to provide groceries at reasonable prices. When he felt he could do more, he launched his own shechitah, and his own line of products, again in order to provide food at the lowest prices to bnei Torah.

His shechitah and grocery line were also launched in an effort to provide the absolutely highest level of kashrus anywhere.

Reb Zeev actually took on a special mashgiach just to supervise the products sold in his stores, so that any shopper could be confident that any product taken off a shelf at any of the Co-Op stores was on a mehadrin level.

Reb Zeev was unbending in his hashkafah and standards, and wouldn’t allow any item into his stores if he felt it could compromise the purity and reinkeit of Torah mishpachos.

The Co-Op is officially a “business,” but one might say that it is more of a chesed organization. The amount of chesed done from the NPGS offices is unfathomable. From hiring workers who needed parnassah to providing food to an untold number of families to helping thousands who benefit from the Co-Op’s prices and integrity, Reb Zeev’s NPGS is a virtual chesed empire.

But that was only one facet of Reb Zeev, who was an outstanding talmid chochom, who was well-versed in halacha and adhered, personally, to the highest levels of dikduk b’halacha and shemiras hamitzvos. He was a shining role model to others in his sterling middos, his humility, his ehrlichkeit, and everything he stood for. It is hard to fathom how he had the time for the various gemachim he oversaw or was involved in.

As one askan said, “Reb Zeev was a chad bedara, one in a generation.”

Reb Zeev had become very ill and a name was added, as Yidden davened for Shlomo Zev Asher ben Devorah. He passed away this morning.

Reb Zeev’s petirah has plunged tens of thousands of admiring friends and families into mourning. Who will be there now to help the downtrodden and forlorn? Who will be there now to worry about the yochid? Who will be mafkir themselves to the klal, doing anything and everything for whoever needs it?

Mi yitein lonu temuraso?

Reb Zeev is survived by his dedicated rebbetzin, Mrs. Brachi Rothschild, and their wonderful family.

Levayah details will be published once they are finalized.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}

12 COMMENTS

  1. Baruch Dayan Haemes! I’ve visited Rabbi Rothchild’s house as a day camper in an out of town day camp learning about the Baalei Tzedaka/ Ohavei Chesed of Lakewood. We learnt about the different projects he is involved in and his gemachim. May his family gain Nechama in these trying times! Yehei Zichron Baruch!

  2. Amud hachesed of our generation ! Tower of greatness ! Beacon of hope ! His love for the good of every individual was unmatched ! His unassuming ahavas hatorah !

    Reb Zeev You were the hidden light of the world, how can we go on without you.

    Who will fill your shoes !

  3. He did a tremendous amount for Russian Jewey. He sent me to Russia for Yomim Noraim many years ago.

    Alteh Bucher

  4. What a terrible loss. Reb Zeev was an incredible anav. So humble was he about his successes that it took me weeks of sitting at Shabbos seudos to figure out what he did for a living. Reb Zeev was extraordinarily temimisdik and menchlich on a personal level as well. The more I read about him now, the more I realize how much of the klal he carried on his broad shoulders. may he continue advocating for the klal from his new position eitzel Kisei Hakavod.
    To his beloved family:
    המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

  5. He mediated countless divorces out of pure chessed and then he helped support the single mothers!
    My he be a malitz yosher from a very high place in Gan Eden!

  6. Reb Zeev didn’t become what he was overnight.

    I was his upstairs neighbor on Private Way about 40 years ago when he first got married. I don’t know when he slept. He was ALWAYS learning until the wee hours of the morning and then was up every morning davening Vasikin.

    He was proficient in Halacha, Tenach, History, and knew safrus, and was an excellent Baal koreh as well. He never relied on others for anything. He made sure to figure things out for himself. He didn’t possess a lazy bone in his body, and did everything with full dedication. He was already larger than life as a 22 year old.

  7. Boruch Daiyan HaEmes!!

    Yes, as the several comments here exclaim, what an enormous tragic loss!!

    While we may have just known him as a major Askan and Ba’al Chesed, the “Anonymous” comment above points out that he was equally a giant in Limud and Yedias HaTorah.

    Right after I had moved out of BMG and Lakewood because of a horrific Matzav HaKashe of severe illness, R’L, he made a Tzedaka mailing appeal for me.

    Mi Yitiein T’muraso!!

  8. Rabbi Rothschild was one of the greatest persons, anywhere, in our generation. He not only started the co-op, he build so many of the most important institutions that we take for granted in Lakewood. He built this city.

    Robert Moses, the man who built New York, said that you have to break some eggs to make an omelette. To build a road, you have to condemn houses, even neighborhoods. The founders of every great city knew that the good of the few had to be sacrificed for the welfare of the many.

    Rabbi Rothschild proved that wrong.

    When he built the non-profit co-op to provide low cost groceries to the public, competing merchants complained. He compensated them, in one case, buying out the grocer for far more than it was worth, and then selling it for less. He did not care about his own loss.

    He lived his life in a way that no one would have any possible complaint against him. No one. This is no small feat for a man that built a great city.

    He took upon himself and stood behind the right cause no matter the opposition.

    He stood behind me when I filed the Lakewood school funding case, Alcantara v. Hespe in 2014, after almost everyone in town ridiculed and dismissed me. He told me not to be deterred and lent me his support and advice. He encouraged me to keep quiet, to avoid the newspapers and not to seek publicity.

    He was quiet force of good and right who understood and encountered, time after time, the politics of power in a large city.

    I was never so humble, but I took his advice to quietly pursue a cause.

    It is amazing the good we can do and the opposition we can avoid if we do not seek recognition.

    Aaron Lang

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    Arthur Lang
    Rabbi Rothschild was one of the greatest persons, anywhere, in our generation. He not only started the co-op, he build so many of the most important institutions that we take for granted in Lakewood. He built this city.

    Robert Moses, the man who built New York, said that you have to break some eggs to make an omelette. To build a road, you have to condemn houses, even neighborhoods. The founders of every great city knew that the good of the few had to be sacrificed for the welfare of the many.

    Rabbi Rothschild proved that wrong.

    When he built the non-profit co-op to provide low cost groceries to the public, competing merchants complained. He compensated them, in one case, buying out the grocer for far more than it was worth, and then selling it for less. He did not care about his own loss.

    He built the mikvah, the Bais Elyahu (BMG), a g’mach and countless other institutions that the olam take for granted.

    He lived his life in a way that no one would have any possible complaint against him. No one. This is no small feat for a man that built a great city.

    He took upon himself and stood behind the right cause no matter the opposition.

    He stood behind me when I filed Alcantara v. Hespe in 2014, after almost everyone in town ridiculed and dismissed me. He told me not to be deterred and lent me his support and advice. He encouraged me to keep quiet, to avoid the newspapers and not to seek publicity.

    He was quiet force of good and right who understood and encountered, time after time, the politics of power in a large city.

    I was never so humble, but I took his advice to quietly pursue a cause.

    It is amazing the good we can do and the opposition we can avoid if we do not seek recognition.

    There was so much to learn from this great man.

    AaronLang

  10. Rabbi Rothschild was one of the greatest persons, anywhere, in our generation. He not only started the co-op, he build so many of the most important institutions that we take for granted in Lakewood. He built this city.

    Robert Moses, the man who built New York, said that you have to break some eggs to make an omelette. To build a road, you have to condemn houses, even neighborhoods. The founders of every great city knew that the good of the few had to be sacrificed for the welfare of the many.

    Rabbi Rothschild proved that wrong.

    When he built the non-profit co-op to provide low cost groceries to the public, competing merchants complained. He compensated them, in one case, buying out the grocer for far more than it was worth, and then selling it for less. He did not care about his own loss.

    He built the mikvah, the Bais Elyahu (BMG), a g’mach and countless other institutions that the olam take for granted.

    He lived his life in a way that no one would have any possible complaint against him. No one. This is no small feat for a man that built a great city.

    He took upon himself and stood behind the right cause no matter the opposition.

    He stood behind me when I filed Alcantara v. Hespe in 2014, after almost everyone in town ridiculed and dismissed me. He told me not to be deterred and lent me his support and advice. He encouraged me to keep quiet, to avoid the newspapers and not to seek publicity.

    He was quiet force of good and right who understood and encountered, time after time, the politics of power in a large city.

    I was never so humble, but I took his advice to quietly pursue a cause.

    It is amazing the good we can do and the opposition we can avoid if we do not seek recognition.

    There was so much to learn from this great man.

    AaronLang

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