Harav Yosef Levi Hakohen Katzenstein Z”L

Submitted: HaRav Yosef Levi Hakohein Katzenstein zt”l was Niftar this past Wednesday. He was hospitalized just before Pesach.

The levaya in Brooklyn took place at Shomeri Hadas and was attended by many Gedolei Torah, Yedidim and friends. The Kevurah took place Friday morning 8:30AM(EST) 3:30 PM Erev Shabbos at the Petach Tikvah Bais Hakevoros- Charedi Chelka.

The family will be sitting shivah in the backyard of R’ Dovid Katzenstein’s home at 1442 East 15th Street in Flatbush until Tuesday morning. Mrs. Mindy Ort ( daughter) will be sitting Motzoei Shabbos 10PM-12AM, Sunday AM 9:30 AM-12PM at 115 Benjamin Street, Toms River NJ 08755.

Originally of Copenhagen, Rav Katzenstein was a brilliant and one-of-a-kind talmid chochom and rov in Flatbush of Khal Neve Yakov. His shul hosted a kollel boker for many years as well was a mokom of limud Hatorah and tefillah for Bnei Torah of all ages. He came to America without his parents in his young teenage years during the Holocaust. After the war he saw his father only one time. All his siblings were saved and most of the family immigrated to Eretz Yisroel.

A prominent talmid of Rav Yitzchok Hutner zt”l at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, he was the author of Kol Chayil and Lema’an Achai. He was a talmid of Yeshivas Chaim Berlin his entire life learning many hours in the Bais Medrash.

Well known amongst Gedolei Torah in America, he would share his divrei torah and questions he discussed with the Gedolei Torah with the younger generations in the Bais Medrashm. One of the Maspidim said he was the youngest of the bnei chabura when it came to his fire in learning.

Harav Katzenstein Ztl closest friends were Gedolei Torah such as Harav Shlomo Freifeld ztl, Harav Zelig Epstein Ztl, Harav Shmuel Birbaum Ztl , Harav Dovid Cohen Shlita amongst many more. He also was very close to the Rachmestrivka Rebba Shlita.

As a Rav and very compassionate person he would help many people in his own special ways such as bringing simcha to the home-bound and helping others make simchas. He was always a rodeph emes. A rodeph Shalom. And always had a good vort (or joke) to make someone happy.

When his shul was moving, he cried bitterly over the need to give away his seforim due to space constraints. It was as if he was losing his most priceless diamonds. He made a cheshbon of who should get what seforim as he wanted them to continue being used.

From the many Rabbonim, Gedolei Torah and Bnei Torah who were able to show up for the levaya, it was apparent of his Gadlus BTorah as well as his Bein Adam Lchavero which all personified Harav Katzenstien Ztl personality.

The family would like to thank Chaim Aurchim for their tremendous help during this entire time, as well as Dr. Kirstein, Dr. Lehrer, Dr. Axel Pfluger, R’ Shmuel Lefkowitz, R’ Horowitz, Mrs. Leah Horowitz, R’ Yehudah Kasirer, R’ Labish Borek, Chesed Shel Emes, Misaskim and many more who were involved in helping the family. Special thank you to the WellTab organization who allowed us to have 2 way video monitoring during this period when we could not be in there in person.

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