Third Yahrtzeit of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum zt”l Marked


rav-shmuel-berenbaumThe third  yahrtzeit of the Mirrer rosh yeshiva, Moreinu Harav Shmuel Berenbaum zt”l, is today, 28 Teves. All are asked to increase their learning the day of the yahrtzeit l’illui nishmas the rosh yeshiva, who embodied ameilus baTorah and lived a life that was truly kulo Torah.

Last night, a kinnus zikaron was held l’zecher nishmas Rav Refoel Shmuel ben Rav Aryeh Leib zt”l at the Mirrer Yeshiva bais medrash, located at the corner of Ocean Parkway and Avenue R in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Hespeidim were delivered by Rav Osher Berenbaum, rosh yeshiva of Mirrer Yeshiva and eldest son of Rav Shmuel, and others.

In Lakewood, a gathering for the yahrtzeit took place at the Lakewood Commons Bais Medrash where a kollel, Kollel Zichron Shmuel, was founded l’illui nishmas the rosh yeshiva.  were delivered by Rav Avrohom Berenbaum, son of the rosh yeshiva, and by Rav Eliyahu Levine, a close chaver of the rosh yeshiva and rosh kollel of Kollel Choshen Mishpat and Even Ha’ezer in Lakewood.

{Yossi Newscenter}


  1. here’s a story about R Shmuel.

    He was on the ship coming to America after the war with the rest of the boys from the Mirrer yeshiva who had escaped. The ship had come over the Pacific and was coming into the San Francisco port. The ship made its way under the Golden Gate Bridge. All the boys ran onto the deck to see the famous bridge which was already known as a landmark and symbol of American technology and infrastructure. R Shmuel remained learning and didn’t leave to go see.

    The boys said him , whets the big deal? You can learn for the rest of your life but when will you ever get another chance to see the famous Bridge? R Shmuel said back, you think I have no interest to see the bridge, I am as curious as you are. But when will I ever get a chance battle my desire to see the bridge and keep learning anyways?

  2. To: Alteh Bucher in Comment #1

    This incident of the Rosh Yeshiva is literally awesome!

    Boruch HaShem, I had been privileged to attend Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn and some of the Sichos Mussar of the Rosh Yeshiva, ZT’L.

    My family has always livede in the SF Bay Metro Area: in the East Bay cities of Berkeley and Oakland, and then in one of the suburbs north of SF. Our house in Berkeley had a great view of the bay, straight out to the Golden Gate Bridge. When I was a child, in the evenings when I would be waiting for my father, A’H, to come home, I would sit on our living room couch turned around facing the large window (in back of the couch), and look out at the view and watch the lights go on on the bridge.

    Understandably, I rode over the bridge countless times, and I myself actually DROVE over it countless times.

    So considering all of this, this incident of the Rosh Yeshiva and the bridge has quite a bit of special meaning to me.

  3. Very Nice!

    I never learned in Mirer Yeshiva, but R shmuel was one of a kind,

    In addition to his vast learning, the amount of tzedakah causes that passed through his home was beyong amazing.


  4. Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Bo
    Time: 1:55 PM Pacific Standard Time

    (continuation of above comment #2)

    L’Aniyus Daati, the action of Rav Shmuel with the bridge could have a much deeper meaning. To explain, we will first have to have a little mini-lesson in some geography and history.

    Most of the western coast of North America is formed of rugged little mountains jutting down right into the Pacific Ocean. At one point in the middle of this coastal “wall” though, there is a small opening, which leads into a moderate size lake — called a “bay” — which is fed by a major local river. The land that is on the south side of this opening — with the ocean on its west, the opening on its north, the bay on its east — is thus at the tip of a peninsula and is thus a perfect place to build a port.

    In the late 1840’s, deposits of gold were discovered in the inland mountains of this region, which was called “California.” Thus began the “California Gold Rush”: a massive immigration of people to the area with delusions of getting instant riches. Many of the people came by boat; as their ships reached the land, they went into this opening in the coast and docked at the harbor on the inner bay side of this tip of the peninsula. This place on the tip of this peninsula was thus the end point of the immigrants’ long ocean journey, AND also the jumping off starting point for their next journey, north-east to the gold fields in the inner mountains. With the huge influx of people through this point, the tiny village here — which had been named “San Francisco” — rapidly turned into a large major important city.

    Hitherto, this region had been an almost completely rural, sparely populated area, but the Gold Rush quickly turned it into a modern bustling cosmopolitan province; in 1850, California became a state of the US. As it was the Gold Rush that had made California into what it is, California became known as the “Golden State,” and this phrase “The Golden State” became the state’s official nickname.

    As related above, a major portion of those who came to California by boat arrived at the port of San Francisco. As the docks of the SF harbor are located on the “inner” north-east sides of the city, to reach the docks, the ships had to go through that opening (in the California coast described above) and after that turn right to where the docks are. So this opening is like the “entrance” to the city of San Francisco. In a wider sense, it is like the “entrance” to the whole State of California.

    As California is called “The Golden State,” it is thus the “entrance” to the “Golden State.” To those travelers of the Gold Rush, whose thoughts were on finding gold, this opening was to them directly and literally about gold: the “entrance,” the “gateway,” to “(where there is) ‘the gold.'” Therefore, this opening in the California coast, this small straight of water that connects the (outside) Pacific Ocean with the (inland) San Francisco Bay, was officially named “The Golden Gate.” When, almost ninety years latter in 1937, a bridge was built across this straight, it was called “The Golden Gate Bridge.”

    (To further highlight the Inyan of gold with the bridge, the following was done. Most bridges are painted with two kinds of paint. The first layer is an ugly looking reddish orange color paint, which is applied to keep the metal from rusting. Then, that layer is covered with a nice looking silver or pale green color paint. For the GGB though, the reddish-brownish-orange-similar-to-gold-color was deemed to be perfect. So the bridge and its railings and its toll facilities and its offices are all continually painted with just the rust protecting reddish-brownish-orange color paint.)

    In a much wider sense, this coastal opening of The Golden Gate with its world renowned unique bridge is not just the entrance into the city of San Francisco, it is not just the entrance into the state of California, it is not just the entrance into the gold fields of 1849. For those people coming from the Pacific realm, it is the entrance to the whole country of the United States!

  5. Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Bo
    Time: 1:58 PM Pacific Standard Time

    (continuation of previous comment)

    So Rav Shmuel Berenbaum and his colleagues were approaching a very momentous moment: they were now entering the country of the United States. They were now entering, what was one of the very largest countries — both in population and land area — in the world. They were now entering, what was the world’s super power, which had just acheived a dramatic victory in the massive Second World War. They were now entering, what was “The Goldeneh Medina” – “The Golden Country,” a place where there was a distorted over emphasis on gold and physical wealth; in fact, they were entering right through — literally — “The Golden State” of “The Golden Country” – “The Goldeneh Medina” of “The Goldeneh Medina”!

    Probably above all, they were now entering a place where much of the philosophy was that much of the ways of our Torah were relics from “a bygone era”; therefore, the big new beautifully built structures of Reform and Conservative Temples, THEY were the growing centers of the Jewish communities here.

    So the Bnei Torah of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum and his colleagues had before them the tremendously difficult immense task of rebuilding Torah here: of re-establishing the priority of the persuit of SPIRITUAL wealth, of re-establishing the realization that all the Words and the Instructions of the Torah are the Words and the Instructions of G-D and are thus fully relevant for us in all times, and of thus building up communities where the full study, scholarship, and observance of the Torah is done.

    Therefore, yes, this certainly was a momentous moment that they certainly needed to properly utilized to properly M’Kadeish – properly sanctified. Now, looking at and gazing at and praising and thanking HaShem for seeing the magnificent physical geographic sights of the western “gate” of America, was certainly a valid and worthwhile endeavor of a Mitzva. However, Rav Shmuel well knew what was his particular form and task of Avodas HaShem. So he correctly realized that for him, the very biggest Mitzva that he could do and the very best way that he could properly utilize to properly Mekadeish – properly sanctify – that momentous moment, was for him to be Daveck – for him to remain fully immersed – in his study of HaShem’s Torah.


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