By Anash.org reporter
Rabbi Mordechai Gurary, Rov of the Chevra Shas Shul in Crown Heights, passed away on Shabbos, 3 Nissan from coronavirus.
He was 84 years old.
Reb Mottel, as he was lovingly known, was named after his father, who passed away before he was born. His father was a mekurev to Rav Levi Yitzchok and Rebbetzin Chana, the Rebbe’s parents. When the elder Gurary passed away Rav Levi Yitzchok was maspid him for an hour!
Young Mottel was born in Dnepropetrovsk and also spent much time with Reb Levi’k. The story of how the senior Mottel got acquainted with the Rebbe’s parents is mentioned in the Rebbetzin Chana’s reshimos.
As a young bochur he left Russia with his mother and entered the yeshiva at Brunoy. The Rebbe wrote to Reb Nissen Nemanov to keep an eye on Mottel.
In 5719/1958, Mottel came to New York for Tishrei and saw the Rebbe for the first time. He often spoke about how the Rebbe taught the Shamil niggun that Simchas Torah.
He married Lea (Liza) Bronstein, daughter of Reb Zalman Bronstein, his mother’s brother. She passed away in the summer of 5777/2017.
Reb Mottel was the rov of the Chevra Shas shul, one where many of the rabbonim and roshei yeshiva in Crown Heights davened. Notable mispallelim included the rabbonim of Crown Heights: Rav Marlow, yblch”t Rav Osdoba and Rav Braun, Rav Yisroel Friedman, and many more. People many years his senior were the most devoted attendees of his shiurim.
He was a very accomplished speaker who could keep the crowd riveted with his words of derush, intertwined with much humor and wit. Always full of life, any visitor to his shul was welcomed with a warm Shalom Aleichem.
In recent years, he would often be asked to lead tour groups to the kivrei tzaddikim in Europe, where he would teach and farbreng with the crowds of non-Lubavitcher Chassidim.
He is survived by his children Mrs. Chanie Blizinsky – Crown Heights, Mrs. Shaina Zalmanov – Crown Heights, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his wife Mrs. Lea (Liza) Gurary.