Chabad Community Mourns Passing Of Rabbi Tzvi Yosef Kotlarsky


The Chabad-Lubavitch community in large mourns the departure Monday, of a prominent figurein the annals of Chabad.  The young years old Rabbi Tzvi Yosef Kotlarsky, that passed away in 91,signify a transitional period of the movement throughout the crucial WWII years. 

Tzvi Yosef, called Hirschelthe Yiddish diminutive for its Hebrew Tzviwas born to Yaakov Dovid, a shochet (ritual slaughterer), also Nechamah Devorah Kotlarsky at Kronenberga small resort city in interwar Poland.  The Chasidic warmth and fervor for Judaism his parents, followers of the Rebbe of Kotzk, imbued from the youthful Hirschel would remain him heed throughout the remainder of his life.  After the family then moved into G?? Usk, a little suburb of Lublin, he had been registered in the neighborhood cheder, grade college. 

Hearing of this famed community of Lubavitcher Yeshivas at Poland, Hirschel was sent to Warsaw to attend Tomchei Temimimthe neighborhood Chabad run secondary college.  Though a brief time afterwards, in the time of 14Kotlarsky would go back to his hometown to find out together with his brother, the period spent Tomchei Temimim would sow the seeds of a lifelong relationship with the faculty, the Chabad Chasidic philosophy and its own leadersthe Lubavitcher Rebbes. 

After immersing himself in the study of the Talmud and its enormous commentaries, Hirschel registered in the famous Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva.  Under the auspices of Rabbi Meir Schapiro, the celebrated scholar and creator of the Daf Yomi systemthe broadly practiced routine of daily research by the total Talmud is finished in a little more than seven yearsthe pupils worked on dominating the Talmud.  The Yeshivah, the greatest and most modern of its own period, home countless pupils and over 100,000 books, boasted a demanding program and required that the memorization of 400 folios of the Talmud to get entrance.  Although he had been enamored with profound discussions of Rabbi Schapiro, and also the Yeshivah in overall, Kotlarsky returned into the Lubavitcher Yeshivah system. 

The Rebbe had relocated there from Warsaw from 1936 to escape the hustle of big-city lifestyle and also to make the most of the regional sanitariums because of his diminished health.  One of just eight pupils to get approval to the yeshivah that phrase, Kotlarsky was astonished at the dedication of their pupils to their studieshe would later remember the bustling study hallway, complete even during the wee hours of their mourning. 

As the world looked on with growing apprehension in the fast growing Nazi war-machine, Poland started to brace itself for possible battle on its own various boundaries.    After the Nazi Blitzkrieg invasion started on September 1, 1939, the chaos of this assault scattered the Allied forces, separating Kotlarsky out of his unit.

Even the Soviets had reinstated Vilna since the capital of Lithuania, also there was a expectation that recently allowed Baltic Republic would provide increased security against the German forces.  Thousands of Jews fled to Lithuania, among them Kotlarsky along with other Yeshivah students from Otwockwho relocated into a satellite division of Tomchei Temmim. 

The judgment in Lithuania was short lived, along with the pupils of Tomechei Temmim, and people of the Chachmei Lublin and Mirrer Yeshivos, were forced to flee once again from the encroaching clouds of warfare.   Issuing thousands of transit visas, Hirschel and other pupils could depart -spanning Russia and the huge Siberian Steppe into the Eastern port of Vladivostok and to Kobe, Japan. 

Not able to manage the huge influx of refugees, the Japanese moved them into the then annexed Shanghai, China in which the students of Tomchei Temmim started to once more establish a yeshiva and some semblance of the old lives.  Finally, Kotlarsky and eight of those other senior pupils could get visas to Canada.  Crossing the Pacific, the nine planet weary refugees expected that possibly upon coming in North America they'd have the ability to travel out there to New York to watch their Rebbe.  The Rebbe, however, educated them to set a Yeshivah in Montreal.  Despite resistance from several parties, and also an offer by the famed entrepreneur Samuel Bronfman to relocate to Toronto, Kotlarsky along with his buddies persisted in their assignment. 

Recruiting many Jewish refugees who had arrived at Montreal, Kotlarsky was in control of the Kerem Yisroel Talmud Torah, a day program built to provide supplemental Jewish education to children attending public colleges.  Although the numbers were initially little, they relied over 500 pupils. 

Following a first trip to the New York in 1946, Kotlarsky shortly settled at the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn, where he had been introduced to his future wife, Goldie Shimelman.  Goldie goes on to become his loyal partner until her departure in 1989.  Working to help reconstruct the world that he saw so brutally destroyed, Kotlarsky committed another 50 decades of his lifetime to educationworking as secretary of the United Lubavitch Yeshiva campuses at the Crown Heights and Flatbush regions of Brooklyn. 

A committed family man, he sought to supply the exact same warm Chasidic house he'd grown up with as a kid for his family.  Looking back in amazement, his son, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, recalls that the Fantastic care his dad applied to the minutiae of Chasidic practice and custom, even through his failing health lately, 

"My dad was meticulous in his fealty to Torah and mitzvahs, hammering himself at the end to honor the exact facts at the observance of Jewish and Chasidic habit, regardless of what pain or distress it might have caused. " His daughter, Chani Shemtov, a Chabad representative to Arizona, states that her father never talked about the horrors in Poland that finally annihilated his whole family, save a solitary brother.  Rather, he seemed with humility and gratitude to the long run that'd come from himappreciating a poetic justice and justice serenity in the faces of the many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

My grandfather, states Chana Wolowik, Chabad representative to Five Towns, NY, could look about at his children, grandchildren and fantastic grandchildren with luminous pride and state, Jacob appeared to G-d with thanks to the fantastic multitude he'd brought forth stating, For with my staff I crossed this Jordan and today I became just two camps.  Nevertheless I didn't have a team, and look what I'm blessed with now. 

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