Rabbi Yerachmiel Alperowitz, 95, AH

Rabbi Yerachmiel Alperowitz, an elderly Chabad chossid from Yerushalayim who served for decades as a mechanech with the encouragement and guidance of the Frierdiker Rebbe and Rebbe, passed away. 

By Anash.org reporter

Rabbi Yerachmiel Alperowitz, an elderly Chabad chossid from Yerushalayim who served for decades as a mechanech with the encouragement and guidance of the Frierdiker Rebbe and Rebbe, passed away on Shabbos, 18 Adar, 5783.

He was 95 years old.

Yerachmiel was born on 7 Adar, 5688, in Moscow, Russia. His father, Reb Chaim Moshe Alperowitz, had learned in Tomchei Tmimim in Lubavitch as a bochur, and later served as a meshamesh bakodesh for the Frierdiker Rebbe, even living in a room near the Frierdiker Rebbe’s room. His mother, Doba Gita (nee Rubin), was the daughter of Reb Yechezkel Rubin, a Lubavitcher chossid who was the shochet in the city of Zembin.

In 5695, after years of trying, the family received exit visas to leave the USSR, and after receiving the Frierdiker Rebbe’s bracha while on a stop in Warsaw, the family traveled to Eretz Yisroel where they settled.

When he became of age in 5701, Yerachmiel began studying in the Chayei Olam yeshiva, and later studied in Yeshivas Achei Tmimim in Tel Aviv.

In 5709, Reb Zushe Wilmovsky, famously known as “the partisan,” established a Yeshiva in Lod to attend to the needs of the many families who had recently left Russia. He then convinced Yerachmiel, still unmarried, to serve as a teacher in the yeshiva.

“I remember it as though it was today,” Rabbi Alperowitz recalled decades later. “Zushe called me and said, ‘You will teach the children and I will take care of all the material needs.’ This arrangement worked until 5712, when I got married and moved to B’nei Brak.”

When Yerachmiel wrote to the Frierdiker Rebbe in 5709 about his involvement in chinuch and that he thought that he was suited to this work, the Frierdiker Rebbe wrote him a long and encouraging response, blessing him to be successful in establishing good students who are successful in their studies and in yiras shomayim.

In 5713, having already established a reputation as a successful teacher, Rabbi Alperowitz was offered two different teaching positions: In a Lubavitcher cheder in Kfar Sabba, and in a cheder in Bnei Brak run by the Chinuch Atzmai – the frum “Independent Education System.” Before accepting one of the offers, he wrote to the Rebbe asking what to do.

In the interim, while waiting for the Rebbe’s answer to arrive, he met the Chazon Ish, and asked him his opinion. He said, “You are a chassid and they are making you an offer from Chabad – you should go to Chabad.” Some days later the Rebbe’s letter arrived with the following answer: “Wherever you are, be a chassid who creates a sevivah – an environment.” He understood the Rebbe’s answer to be suggesting that he accept the offer from the Chinuch Atzmai School in B’nei Brak, and so he did.

Over the coming decades, he saw much success in his work as a mechanech. As a proud Chabad chossid, he taught lessons from Chassidus in his classes and hung pictures of the Rebbeim in his classroom, even though the school he was teaching in was associated with Litvishe groups.

In 5749, a group of parents conspired to have Rabbi Alperowitz and other teachers fired solely due to them being Lubavitchers. When the principal refused to fire them, they managed to have him removed and replaced with another principal who agreed to go along with their plans.

When he received his letter of dismissal, he sent it to the Rebbe, who sent back a message that he will remain in his job and have much success. Indeed, after pressure from another group of parents and the Talmud Torah’s supervisor, he retained his job for the coming year.

At the end of the year, the first group of parents tried to have Rabbi Alperowitz fired again, and he asked Rabbi Leibel Groner to inform the Rebbe. Rabbi Groner later told him that when he told the story to the Rebbe, the Rebbe laughed and said “with increased success.” Indeed, in the end, he continued in the job for many more years, raising generations of students, many of who grew up to be talmidei chachomim.

He is survived by his children, Rabbi Ozer Alperowitz – Kfar Chabad; Rabbi Shloime Alperowitz – Kfar Chabad Beis; Rabbi Yekusiel Alperowitz – Nachalas Har Chabad; Mrs. Sarah Sasha Alperowitz; Rabbi Yosef Lipa Alperowitz – Yerushalayim; Rabbi Menachem Mendel Alperowitz – Crown Heights; Rabbi Shmuel Alperowitz – Vienna, Austria; Mrs. Rivkah Sheingarten – Buenos Aires Argentina.

The levaya took place on Motzei Shabbos in Yerushalayim, with kevura in the Chabad section of Har Hazeisim.

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